Three Paws Rescue

Pete, a playful pitbull, is available for adoption or fostering through Three Paws Rescue. 

University of Georgia junior Madison Webb saw a need for a specialized animal rescue in Athens after volunteering at the Athens-Clarke County Animal Control and falling in love with Jean, a 4-year-old female pitbull.

As a large dog and with some negative connotations, Jean went a long time without being adopted and was close to being euthanized.

“These ‘unadoptable’ dogs will get euthanized if they don’t get pulled. But even when rescue groups do pull animals, they pull the most adoptable ones, like golden retrievers or dogs under 25 pounds,” Webb said.

That’s when Webb knew she had to step in. With the help of her business partner and friend Kelvin Ling, Three Paws Rescue was licensed in January. The rescue has been working publicly as an active group since June, and together they successfully found a home for Jean and dozens of dogs and cats like her.

Three Paws, a nonprofit organization that finds fosters and adopters for elderly or special needs pets that most people have given up on, was named in honor of Ling's dog Sammy who passed away in 2013. Sammy lost a leg to bone cancer toward the end of his life and lived the rest of his days with three paws.

Many of Three Paws’ animals were abandoned by their owners.

“Most of our dogs are strays, but it's normally a result of dumping. Unlike other counties, Athens has no surrender fee and still many people prefer to dump them,” Webb said.

The work can be emotionally draining, she said, but at the end of the day Webb said the rewards outweigh the difficulties.

“The best thing is getting a text from one of my old adopters and seeing the dogs in their homes after a year. I try to stay in touch as much as possible. I think it’s really important and I’ve always loved to check in on my animals,” Webb said.

Denise Eades, a Three Paws adopter, has known Webb for several years. When Eades decided to rescue another dog she knew Three Paws would be perfect for the job.

“They really took the time to make sure I had the perfect dog for my family. The new dog and my nine-year-old daughter bonded immediately,” Eades said. “He was a perfect match for our family.”

Webb said their goal is to ensure a good match between pet and owner.

“We have to make sure that our animals are going to a good home because rescue groups have to be able to take them back if it’s not a good fit,” Webb said. “It’s really based on what’s best for the dog, rather than what's best for the applicants.”

This means Webb is tasked with the difficult decision of which applicants to accept and which to deny.

“We have to reject people all the time. A lot of our smaller dogs get tons of applicants. We had a shih tzu who probably received over 100 applications,” Webb said.

The rescue operates entirely through foster homes, meaning they aren’t based out of one physical location. Most of their clients connect with the rescue through Facebook or Petfinder, Webb said.

Three Paws Rescue will be participating in Athenspets first annual bar crawl on Sept. 21 from 6:30-10 p.m. Registration will take place at Little Kings Shuffle Club and all proceeds will go toward supporting medical costs for local homeless pets.

The bar crawl will feature adoptable dogs from Three Paws as well as ACC Animal Control, Athens Area Humane Society, Athens Canine Rescue and Madison Oglethorpe Animal Shelter.

More information on fostering, volunteering and donating can be found here.

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(1) comment


I thinks rescuing animals is a kind and generous think to do ..its horrible the abuse and animals suffer at the hands of humans ...I do however have one massive concern about the continued adopting out of potentially dangerous dogs .. something very popular since the " no kill" fad. I'm not saying this is this students intention but these facilities take in massive amounts of cash ,sponsors and free labor from volunteers all under non profit tax free status and they put all of us ,our kids and pets at risk. The practice of recycling out dangerous dogs is big money and Google it people have been killed because of it service dog Lucy almost died after being severely mauled by a no kill rescue dog who'shistory of dangerous behavior was withheld during the the last owners adoption process completely as well as the prior adopter. Bottom line have a licensed Veterinarian that's is also a animal behaviorist specialist on staff of your rescue and people shouldnt adopt any dog without requesting all paper work,volunteers notes everything and take a professional trainer with you on your evaluation. .. yes these facilities are 100% legally liable for damages occurred when they withheld info from adopter I wish you success and only had to mention these situations is dont be like these rescues and shelters we live in a world that mediocre and shady tactics are acceptable dont be them have appropriate staff , protect the public and genuinely do the right thing for those dogs who people have all ready let down the right thing by everyone please . Good luck!

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