Until they have a home of their own

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Lawnie Mitchell walks Daisy, a red doberman she is providing foster care for through Power of the Paw pet rescue. (Photo by JAMIE SEDLMAYER)

Power of the Paw saves the lives of unwanted pets


Coeur Voice Writer

“Saving one by one until there’s none.”

That’s the slogan of Power of the Paw, a Rathdrum-based animal rescue that focuses on saving pets from high kill shelters where time limits are placed on each animal’s stay and adoptable animals are euthanized to make room for new ones.

Power of the Paw rescues pets from shelters around the country, and

while cats and dogs are the most common animals they take in, they have also rescued rabbits, goats, chickens, and guinea pigs.

“They are a very good rescue that has the animal’s best interest in mind,” said Angela Farnes.

Farnes is a volunteer who fosters pets and has adopted them from Power of the Paw.

“Molly is a blessing in the home,” said Farnes, of her rescued beagle.

“I can’t imagine life without an animal in it,” said Traci Simon, another Power of the Paw adopter.

One of Simon’s animals, Oliver, was flown up from one of the high kill shelters in California. The dog was diagnosed with advanced heart worm and wasn’t developing social skills. After a few foster moves, and no adopters in sight, Oliver’s social skills were getting worse. Simon agreed to take the dog in and treated him for a year for his heartworm and socialized him with her other dogs.

“Now when I come home from work and he kisses me and cries with excitement, I just am happy each and every time. He loves walks, has learned to swim, thinks squirrels are the best invention ever, goes on RV trips with us and happily cuddles on the sofa for movie nights,” Simon said.

“Here is a dog that would not be alive today without the determination of a whole list of people.”

Power of the Paw specializes in difficult cases like Oliver’s. The rescue takes in sick animals and many senior pets that are difficult to place with adopters.

“Power of the Paw is different. They unabashedly take these dogs no one wants in. They see the downtrodden, they see the discarded. They take on the challenge,” Simon said.

Many involved with Power of the Paw credit founder and president, Autumn Jolley, with the rescue’s success stories.

“Autumn knows the needs of the animals she takes in,” said Lisa Bilich, who has adopted from Power of the Paw.

Jolley founded the pet rescue in November 2011 in order to help animals that no one else would, the ones that are harder to place in homes.

“I had a passion for the senior animals, the hospice cases, and black animals,” said Jolley.

Power of the Paw rescues around 300 animals a year. A large number of the dogs they rescue come from the Post Falls Animal Shelter which now hasn’t had to euthanize an adoptable dog in over four years thanks to the shelter’s working relationship with Power of the Paw.

Power of the Paw helps people and pets in many ways. One need that is always pressing is finding foster homes for the animals they take in. Though some may find the idea of temporarily housing an animal difficult, it allows Power of the Paw the ability to rescue more animals.

“We can’t rescue more animals than we have foster homes for,” Jolley said.

If anyone is thinking about fostering, she advises them to jump right in.

“It will be one of the most rewarding things they’ve ever done. Knowing that you are the reason an animal went on to have a better life than they were destined for,” said Jolley.

Power of the Paw also provides high quality medical care, and high quality nutrition that is better than shelters are able to give with their resources, said Jolley.

“We are lucky to have Power of the Paw,” Bilch said.

For more info, visit www.powerofthepaw.org.

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