Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Allison Gillespie could hardly contain herself. Her words ran over each other as she talked about the new home for All4Paws.
On Saturday, it became official. The animal rescue organization moved into its new home at 708 Petigru Drive in Pawleys Island, about one-quarter mile from the Waverly Road address it had called home for the past two years.
“In July 2013, the building was two empty shells,” she said of the Petigru location. “But we put it all together for about $500,000, and we still kept going with our day-to-day operations.”
Tom Carter, a member of the All4Paws Board of Directors, is intimately familiar with the nonprofit’s new home. He’s overseen much of the work, drawn by a love of the animals and a faith in the mission of the organization and his role in it.
“God gave us these creatures. We’re responsible for them,” Carter said.
He said the animals – dogs and cats – also teach us.
“They bring love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. They can teach us if we let them.”
Shannon Prouty, the director of All4Paws, said she sees that love every day, and felt the support of the community when her organization decided it was time to move. Within a month, the nonprofit had raised the $250,000 to buy the property it now calls home, despite never having sponsored a capital campaign.
That was only the beginning, though. The new facility includes a quarantine room, a treatment room, an adoption area and a number of kennels, sized for different sized dogs.
In addition, there’s a top-rated air system so that the risk of spreading disease is minimized.
“We couldn’t have done this without the community and our volunteers,” Prouty said. “The outpouring of financial and other support – in people volunteering their skills and their time – tells us that the community wants us here.”
Of course, she and Gillespie firmly believe that the organization was destined to move into the Petigru location.
“You know,” Gillespie confided, “they poured the foundation for this building the year Shannon and I were born.”
The organization’s leaders are constantly on the lookout for ways to continue their mission – saving animals who have been harmed, rescuing dogs and cats in danger of being euthanized at shelters throughout the area – and finding them new homes.
There are two veterinarians who are on-call to help – Drs. Todd Brown and Noel Berger, who work at reduced rates, but sometimes even their skills and generosity are tested.
Most notable among the recently saved dogs are Mackenzie, who had been shot in the face and needed reconstructive surgery, but was adopted and returned to All4Paws on moving day; and Juno, a puppy who had been burned and left in an overturned wheelbarrow to die.
“There was never any question,” Prouty said. “They needed us.”
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