Animal rescue extends community outreach amid COVID-19 crisis

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When Conway was rescued, his abused body had almost given out. Now he rests comfortably at PAL.

The uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 leaves a heavy burden on many. Here at Palmetto Animal League, we find ourselves fighting for animals on two distinctly different fronts: saving animals in need of rescue and keeping pets in their homes as families struggle financially.

PAL stands ready to rescue dogs like Conway at a moment's notice. Starving and barbarically neglected, he was found on a desolate road eating an animal carcass. Conway's emaciated body was almost ready to give out but, thanks to our supporters, we were able to act quickly and save this severely mistreated hunting dog.

While his body will forever bear the scars of his former life, compassionate gifts from people like you brought him back from the brink of death.

Now, in the face of COVID-19, PAL is determined to reach farther and work harder to be a resource for the most fragile animals and their families struggling greatly during this crisis.

One way we're extending our outreach is by expanding our existing Pet Food Bank Project to make an even larger impact. When we made our regular deliveries of pet food to four local pantries two weeks ago, pet owners were waiting for us to arrive. As the financial burden continues, PAL will be increasing the frequency of our deliveries and expanding the number of distribution locations.

With so many people worrying about how to feed their families, having pet food available at local pantries might be the factor that keeps an animal in his home.

If you'd like to support PAL's Pet Food Bank Project, please bring the following items (any brand) to the PAL Adoption Center, located at 56 Riverwalk Blvd in Okatie, and place them in the donation bins out front.

• Bags of cat, dog, kitten and puppy dry food (broken or open bags acceptable; we examine and repackage)

• Canned dog and cat food

• Gallon size zipper-close bags and paper shopping bags

You can also visit PalmettoAnimalLeague.org and click on "Pet Food Bank Project" for a link to send essential supplies directly to PAL via Amazon.

Another way we are extending our outreach at PAL is by preparing to rescue more animals whose time is up at other shelters. As area shelters reopen, we anticipate there will be an influx of surrendered and abandoned pets.

PAL's no kill adoption center will be a place of refuge for animals in immediate danger due to space restrictions at other shelters.

In the coming months, animals will be crying out, "Is anyone there?" Our answer to their pleas can only be, "Yes, we are here to save you." And for animals like Conway, there is not a minute to waste.

Amy Campanini is president of Palmetto Animal League.

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