One Woman’s Life-long Mission
On a hot day in July, Angie, a resident of Market Common, and Grayson, a temporary one, come to meet me so I can learn more about them. On seeing her, I’m struck by the love that emanates from her, a warmth that only grows stronger and more palpable as she begins to speak to me about Peace, Love & Paws, Inc., her non-profit rescue, and the grim reality of the dogs that she finds and rescues. Market Common Dogs – Peace, Love, & Paws.
“In the past, I volunteered at shelters. It’s really sad, they kill these dogs, puppies like this,” she says, pointing to a love-filled Grayson sprawled happily between us, “and he’s perfect.”
“In the North and places like California, there are mandatory spay and neuter laws. We don’t have restrictions like that here in the South, so it just adds to the problem. Dogs are released and have more puppies and they’re dumped back at the shelter.
Horry County Shelter took in roughly 7,860 animals last year and over 4,000 were killed. That’s more than 50%. This is in Conway. This is right here.”
One of my goals is to grow the small scale spay and neuter program I have that provides financial support for those who can’t afford it. We are able to sponsor about 2-4 per month, but I need help and resources to grow it. I’m a new rescue, and it’s just me and a couple people, like my transporter, Lisa Saunders, trying to make a difference in our community. We want to grow and educate people on the importance of spaying and neutering and keeping your dog for its entire life, as well as save more dogs in our area.”
And how could our community help? “We always need fosters,” Angie says. “When you foster, you get them ready for the world. It doesn’t have to be long term, usually a month or so. You foster a dog, you save a dog’s life. And we always need donations. The cost of spaying/neutering, vaccinations, food, and many have health problems that need to be treated, the minimum cost is several hundred dollars with every rescue to get them ready for a permanent home. Every dollar counts.”
“It’s really a lot of work, but it’s saving lives, and that changes yours. When you see these dogs with nobody, and then with the right family, it’s just the best. It’s been so rewarding for me, I would love to do this exclusively.”
Angie’s devotion for animals is so strong, that for years before she became a non-profit she sponsored, fostered, donated, and transported dogs, often paying for their care out of pocket before they found a permanent home. Grayson is her 61st foster that she’s cared for personally.
“Rescuing is a very passionate thing. If you’re in rescue, it’s something you sleep, breathe and eat. You see these dogs, and it’s like, I just have to do something.”
Read more about Angie in her feature in Charlie’s Corner
Angie Westfall can be reached at email@example.com. Visit her Facebook page for more info and events, www.facebook.com/peacelovepawsinc. She and her canine rescues welcome anyone who wants to help in any capacity.