By Bob Gordon, FOTAS Director of Communications
It is Saturday morning at the shelter, and everyone is making final preparations before the doors open at 11:30 sharp. The cats and dogs have been fed and watered, and volunteers have already walked many of the dogs before visitor traffic gets too heavy.
The shelter staff and FOTAS volunteers are in high spirits on this fifth day of March, eager to help dogs and cats find good homes and assist visitors with finding a furry companion. At the front desk, two adoption assistants warm up their computers and prepare for the busy rush they hope will be coming their way. When the doors open, people slowly trickle in; but by the afternoon, the lobby is filled with people and at least four volunteers are needed to escort groups through the dog and cat adoption facilities. By the time the dust settles and the doors close at 4 p.m., ten dogs have been adopted.
“It was an amazing day!” said FOTAS Program Coordinator Kathy Jacobs. “Wonderful families came to adopt, some bringing their dogs with them, and, thankfully, we have dedicated volunteers and staff that work together to make things run smoothly.”
A shy but lovable Chihuahua, Anya, goes home with a great family that volunteers at the shelter; two ridiculously cute black Lab puppies, Claire and Cassie, ride home with a nice woman from North Augusta; Pancho, a Retriever/Setter mix with a long tongue, gets selected by a young boy from Aiken; Kaia, a Great Pyrenees mix, goes home with a war veteran from North Augusta; Monty, a fluffy and chatty adult Chow mix, is adopted to a family from Warrenville; Dee-Dee, a blonde Lab pup, is adopted by an Aiken woman; Lyndie, a white and brown Bully mix, finds a home with folks from Augusta; a sweet, tan Beagle, Honey, goes home with an Aiken woman and her two children; and another black Lab pup, Levi, is adopted by a woman from Grovetown, GA.
Since the shelter reintroduced Saturday adoption hours on Feb. 13, the community has strongly embraced the weekend adoption experience. In turn, FOTAS and the shelter staff have worked hard to make the adoption process not only a satisfactory experience, but a joyful one. Specials are usually offered on Saturdays, often tied to a fun theme. For example, on Feb. 13, the Shelter and FOTAS hosted a “Petcademy Awards” event, complete with free popcorn, a red carpet entrance and nominees for best VIP (Very Important Pet). Those that adopted nominated canines received a FOTAS swag bag that included a toy, leash, collar and dog treats. This Saturday, March 19, the shelter will celebrate “St. Catrick’s Day” and FOTAS will pay the $35 adoption fee for the first three people who take home a cat.
“Saturdays at the shelter are a lot of fun, especially when we get to see so many animals leave here with happy, new owners,” Kathy said.
For more information about FOTAS and shelter events and specials – including our Bully dog Hall of Fame half-price adoption special (last day is Saturday, March 19) and photo contest (deadline for entering photo of your Bully is March 20) – please follow FOTAS on Facebook and visit our website, www.fotasaiken.org.
Their lives are in our hands…