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Stray Paws is a No-Kill Shelter That Seeks to Help Unwanted Pets

Ducky is a German Shepherd puppy who was adopted from Stray Paws

Credit to Photo Submitted

Ducky is a German Shepherd puppy who was adopted from Stray Paws

By Macy Cronin

Much like people, animals don’t always get a great start to the world. They can be born on the side of the road or be neglected by the family that was supposed to care for them. When cats and dogs are rescued from these situations, they could be placed in the local pound or picked up by a rescue group like Stray Paws.

“It’s hard to know what they’ve come from and a lot of times we assume the worst,” Mandy Mankin, Stray Paws volunteer of 13 years said. “But there is no denying seeing a very shutdown animal and then you work with it, and actually it’s usually my other animals that do more to bring that animal out of its shell, to know that it’s safe, to be fun and silly.”

Stray Paws is a no-kill animal shelter that takes in cats and dogs that are unwanted or in unsafe situations. 

“There are so many out there right now that need to be rescued, but all the rescues are so full this year,” Stray Paws President Linda Roever said. “What we were seeing is a lot of the dogs that were adopted during COVID are being returned, because people are going back to work. So we’re seeing so many dogs and cats right now that the rescues can’t keep up.”

Pounds can be kill shelters because once they hit capacity they have to find room for the incoming animals. Organizations similar to Stray Paws work with these pounds so when they have overfill, the shelters can take in the animals up for euthanization. Straw Pays has gone as far as Memphis, TN to take in animals located in kill shelters. 

Shelters generally focus on keeping the animals on site, but with Stray Paws they foster out their animals and only keep emergency cases in the shelter. Fostering animals is when cats and dogs are sent to live with foster families that are working with Stray Paws. Stray Paws pays for food, toys and any medical attention the pet may need. These foster families help make the animal feel safe again and heal from whatever past they may come from. They also help speed up the adoption process by taking the pets to adoption events to find potential homes. 

“I’ve had a dog as short as a couple days and I’ve had a dog as long as a couple years trying to find a home for it,” Mankin said.

Straw Paws has taken in animals in dire conditions like Esse. Esse had given birth to seven puppies, but was so weak that the rescue had to bottle feed all of them. Then Esse began to go into heart failure, but with the help of the rescue Esse began to recover to the point where she was adopted out and is now living a healthy life.

“We spend a lot of time and money with these animals trying to save them, because they had such a hard start,” Roever said.

Shelters give animals a second chance at life and vet every potential forever home very thoroughly. They make sure to do background checks as well as have home visits to ensure the animal is going to a safe and clean environment. 

“Before we [adopted my dog] we looked around at other places like Pet Land and things like that, but we felt it was better to [adopt] from a rescue because they already have all their vaccines and they’re taken good care of there,” junior Jillian Sterling said.

These animals go from being scared and timid to a carefree pet that has gone home. Animals that go through Stray Paws are able to find safe and comforting homes that they are able to truly be themselves. Stray Paws works with the families and pets to make sure the pet is in a home that is just right for them. 

“It makes me feel like I’m giving back to the community since they rescue dogs from the terrible lives they’ve had and it feels good to give them a better life,” Sterling said.