To find out how to help the Paws of Love Dog Sanctuary or to adopt a dog, call 423-942-1056. Adoption fees are waived, but there may be a home check to make sure dogs are in a safe environment. Mail donations or inquiries to Paws of Love Dog Sanctuary, P.O. Box 734, Jasper, TN 37347.
The deadline for moving the Paws of Love Dog Sanctuary has been moved to August while a new home is in the works for the 28 dogs living there.
The extension is thanks to the current landowner and help from an out-of-town donor who wants to help the shelter find a new location, officials say.
An individual from Florida, who wants to remain unnamed for now, contacted sanctuary officials to offer help in finding new land, Paws of Love Dog Sanctuary President and board member Chris Pettine said. After learning about the sanctuary from newspaper articles, the Floridian "came to the shelter and loved what we were doing," Pettine said.
The shelter had been dubbed the Paws of Love Dog Sanctuary when volunteers totally rebuilt the operation after its predecessor, the Perry Link Memorial Humane Society shelter, was shut down in 2005.
The current property changed hands recently, which forced sanctuary officials to seek a new home with an initial deadline of May. The property owner since has agreed on a move-out deadline at the end of August, she said.
Now the Florida benefactor is working with a Marion County resident who wants to donate about 20 acres for the sanctuary, Pettine said. The local donor asked Pettine not to identify her or the location yet, she said.
"We're doing some paperwork to finalize the donation," she said.
After that, the Floridian will fund initial site work for the sanctuary. The sanctuary must have water and electricity, Pettine said, and if the land deal is successful, some of the current kennel's fencing and equipment will be moved to the new site. Some new fencing will complete preparations, she said.
Meanwhile, some of the dogs are getting new homes, she said.
"We've had four adoptions so far," Pettine said.
Those adoptions whittled the number of sanctuary residents from 32 to 28, but officials said they would like to place more before the move.
While shelter officials worked on the land deal, other volunteers and donors helped with food for the dogs, Pettine said.
"We've had some donations of dog food and cash," she said. "Someone called and offered some fencing and others have called to offer help moving when it's time."
Janah Moore, one of the sanctuary's longtime volunteers, said the land donation and help from the Florida resident mean the dogs won't face euthanization when the deadline to move runs out.
In recent adoptions, "Max and Reece and a dog named Dog got a home," Moore said.
She said she'd like all the dogs to find "forever homes," but failing that, if they have a new home for their sanctuary, they can be happy, safe and among friends.
The local resident who is offering the land at first just wanted to talk about adopting a dog, she said.
"She didn't take a dog, but she may have ended up saving all their lives in the long run," Moore said.