At Paws Humane Society, our mission is to be a resource to companion animals and the people who love them. The product of a merger between the Muscogee County Humane Society and PAWS Columbus, we have been at this for nearly 40 years. To maximize our effectiveness, we brought it all under one roof in 2009. At the same time we formalized a “public/private” partnership with Columbus Animal Care and Control (CACC).

Together we can do so much more than we could ever do alone making our most important partnership the one we all have with all of you. If not for you Columbus, Georgia would not be where it is today, which is very close to the Paws’ vision “to ultimately create a no-kill community.”

Pet overpopulation is a community problem. Getting to “no-kill” can only be achieved when the public supports the initiatives required to get there. Paws Humane Society is the largest and most comprehensive animal welfare organization located between Atlanta and Birmingham. Our clinic performs over 7,000 free and low-cost spay/neuter surgeries each year. We find homes for more than 1,700 animals annually. Over the past 13 months, we have housed 127 animals displaced by major storms that hit Florida and the Carolinas and provided support to evacuees sheltering in Columbus.

Our volunteer program was recently certified as a service enterprise. We are the first organization to be certified in Georgia and what this means is that we know how to appreciate our volunteers make their time at Paws meaningful for them, for our staff and for our animals

Best Friends Animal Society operated a Community Cat Program out of CACC for three years changing the whole landscape for unowned cats in Columbus. Last October, Paws Humane Society was able to take over this program thanks to a generous grant from the Petco Foundation and nearly $60,000 of designated contributions made by individuals. Because of your support, euthanasia of healthy or treatable cats at CACC has ceased to be the norm.

PetSmart Charities, in conjunction with a private donor, is funding our Pets for Life program this year. Pets for Life consists of intensive community outreach to the most underserved communities of Columbus. These are the neighborhoods where the majority of animal control intakes come from. The goal of Pets for Life is to reduce pet overpopulation and to provide the support low-income pet owners need to keep their pets healthy.

Most of the Paws Humane Society annual budget is funded by individuals like you. Every donation, no matter how big or how small, helps to fund all of our programs which taken together have directly resulted in the reduction of animal control intakes by 50% since 2009. During this same period, live release rates at CACC have increased from 21% in 2009 to 89% in 2011.

Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Google “generosity” and you will find hundreds of quotes like this. It is the human experience for those who earnestly seek it.

We are entering that time of year when people give the most; to family, friends and to the causes they believe in. November 27 has been set aside this year for Giving Tuesday and Georgia Gives Day, but why wait? Paws is already receiving donations to be counted under these headings. You were generous last year and we hope you will support us again this year knowing your contributions will be put to good use. Go to www.pawshumane.org to learn more about what we do and how to help.