Saving one animal will not change the world, but for that one animal the world will change forever.
Fox News 25 OKC - Tell Me Something Good: PAW First
Aired Wednesday, January 30 2013,
Volunteers in Ponca City are putting animal welfare first. In fact, that's the name of their organization - P.A.W. First.
Sherry Hoach is a volunteer. She says their goal is simple.
"Save as many animals as we can and get them into the best homes that we can."
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P.A.W. First volunteers photograph dogs at area shelters and make them look as adoptable as possible.
Then they give each dog its own web page with all kinds of information. Then they market the dogs to a network of trusted friends, families, and potential new owners.
Kisha Oakes also uses social media to market the dogs she saves.
"I pretty much put my dog up on my Facebook page every week until I found a home for it."
Because dogs usually have only 72 hours at shelters before they're euthanized, volunteers work fast. Animals not adopted out are rescued before their expiration date. Oakes has 2 dogs of her own and fosters other dogs when necessary.
"It gives them playmates."
Hoach and her husband saved the lives of 26 unwanted dogs last year.
"When you see the need and you know about it, and you know what happens if you don't find them homes, then you can't not do it. It's as simple as that."
Each animal is examined, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered. Volunteers admit they couldn't do it without a network of humane societies, veterinarians, and PetSense. The Ponce City animal supply store allows P.A.W. First to hold adoption fairs and post pictures of available dogs. It also provides dog food.
Volunteers say fostering to the four-legged is rewarding - from the moment a dog steps inside their temporary home until it's time to move on to a carefully screened permanent home.
Hoach says, "What makes it easy is when you find that perfect home. You can let it go and know that the dog will be okay."
Last year, the volunteers of P.A.W. First saved the lives of 275 dogs.