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Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012 09:54 am

RESCUE VEHICLE

Prisons need vans to transport inmates so they won’t escape. In Hillsboro, animal lovers want a van to help get dogs and cats out of lockup and save them from the executioner’s needle.

Founded in 2008, Paws Care takes unwanted pets from Montgomery County’s animal-control facility and drives them to no-kill shelters throughout the state where they won’t be euthanized. They also hold adoption events at the Petsmart store on Veterans Parkway in Springfield.

That’s a lot of driving. Since its inception, Paws Care says that it has saved more than 700 animals and dramatically reduced euthanasia rates in a county where more than half of unwanted, perfectly healthy pets were once put down. It is an all-volunteer effort, given that Paws Care has no paid staff.

The Paws Care van, unlike the animals it saves, has recently died.  Trivia nights, bake sales, raffles and other traditional fundraising strategies can only do so much, and so the organization is hoping to raise enough money to buy a low-mileage van to keep the love alive. Anyone interested in helping should visit the organization’s website at www.mcpawscare.org.

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