Heather Dean, left, and Olivia Fife, gives hugs and kisses to one of the rescue dogs at the Pawsitive Warriors Rescue In New Carlisle last week. Marshall Gorby/STAFF

New Carlisle group rescues 400 dogs in its first year

The nonprofit organization was created to advocate for the welfare and responsible care of animals, to get them off the streets, and provide essentials and care until they find suitable adopters.

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Where similar organizations can take time to grow, Pawsitive Warriors hit the ground running with its September 2017 launch. It now has 80 volunteers running its shelter at 1833 N. Dayton-Lakeview Road.

It was following the early 2017 death of her beloved dog Daisy that founder and executive director Molly Murray became inspired to help pets.

The opportunity came as her husband got a new job, allowing Murray to quit hers to found Pawsitive Warriors Rescue. Her position is also unpaid.

“We want to be an all-inclusive center,” Murray said. “In my mind it was a dream and it exploded fast. The community has been wonderful.”

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Social media coordinator Bridget Moyer said the group’s Facebook page has 7,000 followers, and her phone has been known to go off at 2 a.m. for a call.

Murray recalled one dog they picked up at 3:30 a.m. in a bar parking lot. He didn’t respond well at first but had a will to live and within 24 hours they saw a difference.

“He’s in a home now,” she said, smiling. “We do this for the good of dogs.”

It’s not unusual for staff members to be at the shelter at any hour of the day, Murray said, because they enjoy the company of each other and the dogs.

The shelter can hold up to 30 dogs. They said they get 15 to 40 calls a day, but that can be a challenge as the vision is to accommodate all the calls that come in.

Pawsitive Warriors makes sure its dogs are fully vetted: micro-chipped, socializing them by giving them playtime and making sure they are spayed and neutered before adoption to a family.

It is supported exclusively by fundraisers and donations. The group has monthly fundraisers such as bingo nights, dine to donate, silent auctions and a 5k run.

“The community has been great. If we need something we’ll put it on Facebook and within hours we’ll have it,” said Murray.

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Her long-term goal is to have a bigger facility that can accommodate cats and possibly other pets. Currently the only non-dog is a rabbit.

Another goal is to have a mobile adoption unit that could travel to bigger cities, along with helping keep pets in their homes by aiding with food, vet bills or training issues.

The organization got an early Christmas gift when Canine Justice Network, a Cincinnati-based group that supports shelter and rescue dog efforts, recognized Pawsitive Warriors with a donation of several items to alleviate operating expenses.

Unusual for a newer shelter to receive such an honor, Canine Justice Network President Natasha Madison said it was because their love for the pets showed through.

“We don’t think of ourselves as a shelter but a big foster home,” Murray said.

For more information on Pawsitive Warriors, go to www.pawsitivewarriorsrescue.org.

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