By: Laura Kuhen
Two-year-old Hero was hours away from being put to sleep last Tuesday. Today he's got a new life in a new home.
Pawmetto Lifeline rescued Hero from a municipal shelter where he was on his fifth and final day before euthanasia. He was injured and malnourished. They saved him from death row and were able to find a foster parent for him within a few hours.
"The sadder the case, the more I'm interested in them," said Laura Crisp, Hero's foster mom. Crisp has been a foster parent for Pawmetto Lifeline for almost two years.
Pawmetto's facility is packed at capacity with 100 animals. They rely heavily on foster parents like Crisp to continue their life saving efforts.
"It kind of works as a revolving door," said Pawmetto's Jeannie Frazier-Scott. "The more fosters we get, the more spaces we have here, the more animals we're able to save."
Pawmetto provides everything that its foster parents need from food to toys. The only thing a foster needs to provide is a loving home.
Pawmetto's Natasha Ackberger stressed the importance of a loving home.
"A lot of the time the animals get very stressed out in a shelter environment so it does them so much good just to be in a home environment and be loved," said Ackberger. "Their personalities can really shine and help them get adopted."
Of course, it's not always easy to give the animal up.
"I'm not very good at it. About 50 percent of them I wind up wanting to keep," said Crisp. "He [Hero] is certainly one that I'm probably going to end up wanting to keep."
Not every animal is as fortunate as Hero. Over 23,000 dogs and cats enter the shelters in Lexington and Richland counties every year, and over 19,500 of those are euthanized due to lack of space, time, money and resources.
Pawmetto rescues over 1,000 homeless pets from shelters each year. They say they are looking forward to saving three times that many when their new, bigger facility opens on Bauer Parkway in Fall 2011.
Pawmetto operators say their mission is to save all of the animals and end euthanasia.