September 17, 2017
Animals in our homes add so much to our lives.
Those who work to make sure that dogs and cats as well as others that have pet potential are given a place to stay in a home environment do wonderful work. Often it takes one person with a vision and passion to begin such a group.
The following is a story about one such organization:
Gulf Islands Driftwood — Penders Edition
Wednesday, August 9, 2000
In the name of those with PAWS
by Tanya Lester
Despite Karin Campbell’s recent appearance around the Driftwood Centre and at the Farmer’s Market with a little creature in a baby sling, there is not a new addition to her family.
The fuzzy little one was only a temporary visitor at Campbell’s home on its way to being adopted. Still, for the short time it was fostered by Campbell, there is no doubt it got lots of tender loving care.
The creature was not a human baby but a kitten. Campbell, as a founding member of Pender Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), firmly believes that all animal species are equal and should be treated with the same respect.
When two kittens were found at the Corbett Farm, PAWS paid for their medical check-up, vaccinations and deworming. Members then fostered them while a search for a permanent home was conducted.
The shyer of the two spent four days with Campbell. During that time, the family worked hard to socialize with the animal. Campbell took the kitten with her in a sling as she went through her daily routine.
“When she first came home with me she could cower in her cage and growl at me,” Campbell said. “By the end of her stay here she would come out of her cage by herself and explore and play and sit around with us on the couch and purr. It was the first time I have done any fostering and it was very rewarding.”
Campbell added that she is happy a home was found for the kittens and grateful for donations made to PAWS by the Penders community. “If no one had adopted them or we didn’t have the funding we would have been forced to take them to the SPCA in Victoria where they would not have had a very good chance of being adopted.”
Founded in 1996 by a former Penders veterinarian, PAWS fills some of the functions the SPCA meets in more populated areas. The non-profit organization’s mandate is to help domestic animals , which have no apparent owners, and wildlife in distress.
It also assists animal owners who are financially or physically unable to care for their animals. PAWS’ third goal is to seek the reduction or prevention of harm to animals through education.
Over the last year, PAWS — whose directors are Campbell, Marti Tilley and Maureen Stone — has assisted in the medical care, spaying, neutering and adoption of 19 cats and dogs as well as eight wild animals including birds.
PAWS urges animal owners to spay or neuter pets because “one plus one equals six.”
The organization has also helped pay for the euthanization of injured deer when the veterinarian is called to give the animal lethal injection.
Also, it brought in Linda Wells from the Island Wildlife Natural Care Centre on Salt Spring to give a presentation and made a small donation to the group.
Campbell is involved in PAWS volunteer work simply because she cares about animals. When she lived in a boarding house while attending university in Victoria, she kept a pet rat as she was not allowed to have a bird or cat.
Probably her most unusual pets were two Amazon parrots which she has adopted out with one still living on the Penders. Her family cat is more suitable for Campbell now that she has two small children.
“For me, I just find them absolutely fascinating and good company and they always love you,” said Campbell.
“They’re much better listeners than people are. I believe it’s absolutely necessary to have pets. They provide emotional support that humans don’t. Also, I really believe that animals have every right to be here and have to be respected as much as people are.”
Sometimes, Campbell thinks she would like to own a hobby farm. Then she remembers that caring for an animal is a big responsibility. For example, Amazon parrots live to be 80 or 90 years old.
PAWS has received donations from many individuals, who often give money after being aided by the organization. The Pender Island Community Services Society has also generously contributed to PAWS…..etc.