UNC Charlotte shooting survivor from Apex wins $50,000 grant for pet rescue

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Thursday, December 12, 2019
Shooting survivor wins $50,000 grant for pet rescue
Shooting survivor wins $50,000 grant for pet rescue

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Drew Pescaro, his fiancé and their dog Lilly spent the morning finding the perfect toy at Petco

And it's a local rescue that helped match Lilly the dog with her humans.

"I'm so thankful for them for giving me a gift like Lilly," said Pescaro, who was one of four people injured April 30 in a UNC Charlotte classroom when a gunman opened fire, killing two.

About a year ago, Pescaro, who is from Apex, adopted Lilly from Peak Lab Rescue. Little did he know, Lilly would be the one rescuing him.

"She is like the light in my life, honestly. You know, there are plenty of days after everything I've been through where I don't want to get out of bed," Pescaro said.

Lilly helped him heal and to show his appreciation he wrote to the Petco Foundation. His story was so moving the foundation awarded the Peak Lab Rescue with a $50,000 grant.

"When you look at North Carolina -- a state that euthanized 28,000 dogs last year -- it tells you the scope of the problem. And having something like $50,000 will enable us to take a bigger bite out of that problem," said Sharon Gesser with Peak Lab Rescue.

During their Holiday Wishes Campaign, the Petco Foundation awarded $875,000 in grants across the country this year.

Peak Lab Rescue said it plans to use its $50,000 on veterinarian care for their dogs in foster care.