Think about a very-first-adoption-event-ever from the perspective of the event’s organizer. This is a woman who, along with her two young children and their father, dedicated their home and most of their home life to the care of the majority of the animals that they are about to offer up to strangers for adoption.
On February 20th, the PAWS Bully 4 You & Other PAWS Too adoptions were held in a new location, Tractor Supply on Whiskey Road in Aiken, SC. In addition to showing off the seven bully breed dogs at their best, the PAWS organization would be represented and promoted as a deserving 501(c)(3) Rescue Charity that counts on the approval and support of the public for its revenue and success.
Toni Maria King Smith, the event organizer, has a great deal of which to be proud. She managed everything: dogs, hats and T-shirts, volunteers, applications, info-flyers and crates, snacks and water for the critters.
“I wasn’t worried about the dogs. They love attention, and are all excellently behaved!” she said, “I was worried about organizing, planning, and executing our very first adoption event.”
They pulled into Tractor Supply, in “Clara Bark-on,” PAWS’s marquee vehicle, a ‘93 retired ambulance whose signage speaks to PAWS’ mission and the network that enables and supports it. “PAWS works with any and all animal welfare efforts in and around Aiken County to see that no healthy or treatable companion animal has to suffer or die for want of a responsible loving home.”
Toni wrote, “We gathered up with the manager in charge, and she told us where to set up. We set up our tables, and chairs, and shirts, and hats, and donation bucket. We got all the dogs out and set up in their own little areas. Shortly after that, our Bully4You team began to arrive. We had people walking our dogs around the parking lot, and through the store. We had people helping standing by the door with our donation bucket. We also had someone standing at the door handing out our wish-list.”
The specific charges seeking that special home that day were all bully dogs:
- Hopper, 6 months old, and Dusty, young adult, both bullies found wandering the streets of Edgefield after their owner died. A retired couple rescued them and contacted PAWS for help. They were vetted, neutered and loved by Toni and her family.
- Copper, 11 month old bully, thrown from a truck and taken into foster by Toni. Copper was vetted, neutered and is still looking for his forever family.
- Jacob and Hercules were county shelter rescues. Beautiful Pit Bulls who ran out of luck and time. PAWS pulled them.
- Jasmine, thrown over a fence as a puppy, vetted, spayed and fostered by PAWS until her special someone finally came along.
- Moon, rescued by Toni as a runt-at-risk from a backyard pit bull breeder who would only sell her. Without the funds, Toni bartered for Moon’s life with her husband’s hunting bow. Toni raised Moon.
“I was talking to people about what we do, about how together we are working to save them all!” Toni wrote, “I talked to people about our dogs, about their rescue stories, and I listened, laughing and learning, about other people’s experiences. Next thing I know one of our volunteers came up with a wonderful couple wanting to adopt Moon. It was hard and sad to see Moon go, having raised her from a pup, but the hurt was soon replaced by the thrill of one of our fur-babies finding her fur-ever family!”
Soon, Jasmine’s foster mom was introducing her to a young woman and her kids. Then the kids were on the ground playing with Jasmine; who, after being in foster care for months and months, finally found a loving family to call her own. This too was a bittersweet parting. So many months of foster care left Jasmine’s foster mom feeling the loss keenly while also being so very happy to see Jasmine find a family with kids to love her non-stop.
Long before the event was over it happened again. Hopper was adopted. This adorable replica of the Target mascot got very lucky that day. Hopper was abandoned, rescued from the streets, fostered, fixed, and finally placed in a good, permanent, loving home.
“Our first adoption event ever and three dogs found good homes!” Toni says, “Four hours flew by and we were loading the four dogs to go home. It didn’t really hit me how truly awesome the day had been until I heard our group gather and reflect on the day, and then the messages, comments and reviews started coming in on Facebook. We had really had a positive impact on people.
To our delight, we succeeded. To my delight, I accomplished a new chapter on this life saving journey. I must say, I am thrilled, and enlightened, and excited to see what happens next.
To all those who came out to help, show your support, adopt… From our hearts, we thank you!”
By the end of the week that followed, Hercules went home to the family that had adopted his buddy Moon, Dusty was adopted by someone who had hoped to meet him at the event, and Jacob finally found his forever family with a child to love on him.
Only Copper, the tossed pup with one blue and one green eye, remains, waiting for his own happily-ever-after miracle.
You can help PAWS and Bully 4 You & Other PAWS Too continue their work by donating your time and/or money to PAWS, P.O. Box 392, Aiken, SC 29802 or hit the DONATE buttons at www.paws4nokill.org! Thank you for caring! Also, check out our adoptable dogs on the PAWS website. Perhaps your next best friend is waiting there?