By ALEXIS DEHNER
“Our goal is to one day run ourselves out of business,” stated Theresa Weldon, founder of Precious Paws Animal Rescue in Franklin.
Precious Paws is a nonprofit organization completely run by volunteers dedicated to leaving no animal behind. Since 2001, the organization has been working toward advocating and speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves.
With the need for their rescue efforts continuing to rise, Precious Paws saves approximately 350 animals per year. Currently, they offer a safe space for animals to stay while finding them the perfect family. They also offer vaccine clinics on the second Saturday of each month.
Within the next 5 years, Precious Paws will be working toward creating a feral cat sanctuary, an unadoptable dog sanctuary, a dog park, and many other projects to establish safe spaces for local animals.
In order to make these goals attainable, it is important to note that the rescue is funded completely by donations, fundraisers, vet clinic bills, and grants, such as the one given by PNC in which Precious Paws received $15,000 to spay and neuter cats.
In 2014, Weldon decided to open Spay and Neuter Your Pet veterinary clinic (SNYP), which recently moved to Seneca. There, they provide low-cost veterinary services, and the fees are used to fund the rescue.
The lack of education on the importance of spaying and neutering pets is by far the most prominent issue that leads to animals needing rescue. Ignorance leads to more abuse and mistreatment of animals when too many are born that cannot be properly taken care of.
If you want to make a difference in the safety of these animals, support your local animal shelters. There are many options available, such as donating, volunteering, and educating yourself on the mistreatment of animals and what you could do to reduce it.
Encouraging others to spay and neuter their pets is a great example of these helpful efforts. One animal might not seem to make a huge impact, but it does. Just by spaying and neutering one female and one male cat, over 2,000 unwanted births could be prevented in just 4 years.
Alexis Dehner is a student at Cranberry High School and a member of Cranberry Chronicles, the school’s journalism/publications class.