Couple's mission to save shelter dogs gains national momentum
BYRON, GA (CBS46) -
Shane and Janet Smith have made it their mission to save shelter dogs and find them homes. They have partnered with the Eastwood Ranch Foundation and are taking their efforts to California.
The Smith's run the organization PAWS for Hope and Faith.
Two and a half years ago, the couple rescued a dog from a local pound. She had a wire sticking out of her neck. She was nearly decapitated from being tied to a tree with electrical wire. Shane Smith named her Hope. Despite attempts to save her, she died.
To honor Hope, the couple adopted another abused dog and named her Faith. Shane Smith said an idea came to him.
"I came up with the idea - could we save them all in the shelter," said Shane Smith.
They started their organization and work with local groups and shelters to hold what are called pardons. For at least a week, no dogs are euthanized to encourage adoptions.
Since the first event about two years ago, the Smiths have held almost a dozen pardons in Georgia, Alabama and Florida. Shane Smith estimates their effort has led to thousands of dogs finding home.
"Rescues are formed out of these pardons and there are partnerships formed from one town to the next," said Shane Smith.
The two are now heading out to San Bernardino's shelter in southern California. They have partnered with several organizations, including the Eastwood Ranch Foundation run by Clint Eastwood's daughter, Alison.
The event in California will run from Feb. 4 at 8 a.m. until Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. Shane Smith said they hope to save 500 dogs.
The Smiths said what they're doing at each event is creating a starting point.
"You get relationships that can become long-term solutions," said Shane Smith.
Their journey based on hope and faith is just beginning.
"Shane and I are just everyday people. We didn't set out to make this grand thing, but it happened and it's been awesome," said Janet Smith.