PAWS to release hardcover photo book

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Proceeds will go toward construction of county animal shelter

By Marty Finley

PAWS Shelter Foundation Inc. will debut a hardcover book this weekend its leaders said will make a great Christmas gift for pet lovers and assist in raising money for the county’s new animal shelter.

The foundation is releasing the “PAWS Forever” photo book to stores Monday, said Diane Shoffner, fundraising and marketing coordinator. The photo book, with more than 130 pages, features professional-quality photographs of more than 150 pets in the community, capturing snapshots of dogs, cats, horses and donkeys.

Roughly 68 pets photographed were adopted from an animal shelter or rescued from an unhealthy situation, according to a PAWS news release.

The books are $35 and will be available at Sam Russell’s Pet Provisions, Tootsie’s in Woodland Gallery, The Salon and Jeff’s Prescription Shop, according to the news release. The foundation is hosting a private book release party Sunday.

Shoffner said eight local photographers partnered with the foundation to take the pictures, and their work brought out the personalities of the individual animals. The book has been under development for several months, she said.

“It’s a really cool book,” Shoffner said. “It looks really good.”

Sales from the book will stand as the largest fundraiser this year for PAWS, which is overseeing construction on a new county animal shelter on Peterson Drive. Deedie Layman, PAWS president, said contractors have been hired to outfit the shelter and construction is in the early stages. Layman hopes the shelter will be finished and ready to turn over to Hardin County government by May or June.

“Of course that depends on the way everything happens to (shape out),” Layman said.

PAWS emerged to update the aging facilities for Hardin County Animal Control. Its present home on Nicholas Street was built more than 50 years ago and is cramped and outdated, according to the foundation.

The new 14,000-square-foot shelter will heighten capacity and extend the shelter’s rescue capabilities, according to the news release. The shelter is expected to include amenities such as dog acquaintance rooms where prospective owners can spend time with animals under consideration for adoption, a communal room where social cats can live together until adoption and outdoor play yards. Also, there are plans to include a ventilation system to cut down on the spread of disease.

PAWS officials said the shelter is needed to enlarge space for animals needing adoption, increase the number of adoptions and reduce the need for euthanasia by opening more kennel space.

To learn more about the foundation or to make a donation, go to www.pawsdonations.org.

Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.