2013 was an active year for a Jacksonville animal shelter.
The Protecting Animal Welfare Society saved a total of 457 animals last year, an increase of 158 animals from 2012 and 148 from 2011.
That’s according to PAWS director Lisa Jackson, who partially attributes the increase to the shelter’s new location that opened in April at the former Pennell Sheet Metal building at 400 West Walnut.
“Foster homes are great, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for, it’s hard to go in and pick out what you want off of the Internet or however people advertise their pets,” Jackson says.
“[We have] them all in one place and [are] able for people to walk through see their personality. We have meet-and-greets set up where they can go in and spend a little one-on-one time with each animal and get to know them ad make sure that they pick out the pet that best fits their lifestyle and situation.”
In addition to the dogs and cats being viewable on petfinder.com, you can also find Paws Jackson on Facebook as an active source of information. Jackson says people liking and sharing photos of pets in need of a new home is a big factor.
“We actually have had somebody as far as Canada. I won’t ship a dog; you have to come and meet me; I want to see you and the dog interact together. But, there was a dog that struck a lady’s fancy, and she drove down from Canada,” she says.
“We’ve had somebody drive up from Kentucky, Mississippi, Wisconsin and Michigan. I’m not opposed to adopting out of state as long as you’re willing to drive that far.”
Jackson hopes to rescue more than 500 animals in 2014.
The PAWS shelter has open houses Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. To inquire about a pet, call 243-7297.