Last updated: January 20. 2014 9:44PM - 134 Views

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ANDERSON — The number of animals adopted from Anderson County P.A.W.S. (Pets Are Worth Saving) increased by 44 percent in 2013, according to year-end numbers provided by Anderson County.

In 2013, 2,272 animals were adopted through P.A.W.S., almost 700 more than in 2012 when adoptions totaled 1,575.

The number of animals returned to their owners and transferred to rescue organizations increased in 2013 as well. In all, 3,976 animal lives were saved in 2013 thanks to the efforts of P.A.W.S. staff working in conjunction with the community. The total lives saved number for 2012 was 3,147.

“Our ability to save lives depends on the support we get from our community,” said P.A.W.S. Director Jessica Cwynar. “More and more, people in Anderson County are making the decision to adopt from P.A.W.S. The word is getting out among residents here that there are many, many wonderful animals here through no fault of their own, and all they need is a caring home. The love and joy they can bring is priceless.”

Intake numbers continue to decline at the shelter. In 2013, P.A.W.S. took in 9,898 animals — the first time in recent memory that intake for a year was less than 10,000. Much of the credit for the decline in intake is attributable to the County Council’s ongoing support to the Anderson County Humane Society’s Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic, said County Council Chairman Tommy Dunn.

“Since October of 2011, Anderson County has subsidized more than 3,400 spay/neuter surgeries at the Humane Society’s clinic,” Dunn said. “When you see intake numbers drop from more than 11,500 in 2011 to fewer than 10,000 in 2013, that tells me that this program is working the way Council intended it to. I am thrilled with the news we are getting from these numbers.”

Though intake declined by 5 percent in 2013, the number of animals euthanized at P.A.W.S. dropped by 17 percent. The overwhelming majority of the animals that are put down suffer from severe medical problems or insurmountable behavioral issues, but P.A.W.S. continues to take aggressive steps to save as many lives as possible, said Cwynar.

P.A.W.S. is located at 1320 S.C. 29 South in Anderson. Call 864-260-4151 or visit www.petango.com/andersoncountypaws for more information. The shelter is open from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.

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