How it all started....... 

TsaliIn 1990, a group of people in Swain County, NC, concerned by the number of homeless animals, many in need of medical assistance  founded P.A.W.S. as a way to help.  In a rural, economically depressed area with no county animal control resources available, P.A.W.S. became a volunteer based foster care network that established a low-cost neuter/spay program in collaboration with local veterinarians. 

To help fund these veterinary costs, more volunteers were recruited in 1993 and P.A.W.S. opened a small thrift store business in the community.  Today, the store provides 43% of the money needed to keep our shelter doors open, providing much needed services to our community.

Through thrift store sales, grants and private donations, enough funds were raised to purchase land and an all volunteer crew built our no-kill shelter in 1995. 

What We've Accomplished

P.A.W.S. has provided financial assistance for 10,000 spay/neuter surgeries. We have adopted out over 3,000 animals and reunited hundreds of lost animals with their people.We are the only shelter in the county, serving 14,000 people. Although P.A.W.S. doesn't receive any help from the county government, our dedication to the animals and community has resulted in a decrease in the number of homeless dogs and cats.

Small But Mighty

P.A.W.S. is a small shelter, which allows us to give lots of attention to the animals we take in.  (The downside is that we don’t get to take in as many cats and dogs as we would like.)  So, whether you are looking for a new pet, or a way to help out in the community, P.A.W.S. is the place to be!


  • GREAT NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    HUGE NEWS! PAWS Animal Shelter has been chosen as a finalist in Toyota 100 Cars for Good program. Vote for PAWS Animal Shelter (PAWS: Placing Animals Within Society) 5/21/11 in the Toyota 100 Cars for Good Program.


    P.A.W.S. Animal Shelter is in 3rd place for the state of North Carolina to win a $10,000 grant for the shelter! Go to and click on the purple button to feed the animals.


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