FOTAS is leading an effort in Aiken County to reduce our homeless dog and cat pet population through this program. FOTAS is committed to reducing the number of unwanted pets in our County and thus reduce the number of animals coming into our animal shelter.
In 2016, FOTAS Fix-A-Pet organized and paid for the spay/neuter surgeries of 599 community cats and pets owned by citizens who were in need of financial assistance.
FOTAS is committed to reducing the number of unwanted dogs and cats in Aiken County and thus reduce the number of animals coming into our animal shelter through our spay and neuter Fix-A-Pet Program. From 2013 through 2016, FOTAS Fix-A-Pet organized and paid for over 2116 community cats and pets owned by citizens who were in need of financial assistance. Aiken County also has a Trap/Neuter/Release (TNR) program in which feral cats are fixed and then returned to local cat colonies.
FOTAS works to address the overpopulation of community cats in various problem spots in Aiken County. FOTAS has been working in and around the town of Wagener and other areas of Aiken County.
Please call the FOTAS Fix-A-Pet Hotline at (803) 507-6315 for any questions.
After its inception in 2009, FOTAS has recruited volunteers to help interact with the animals in the shelter. Today, FOTAS volunteers are the lifeblood of the organization.
Our volunteers walk and socialize the dogs and play with the cats, which makes them more adoptable. They organize transfers, pick up animals to be spayed or neutered, deliver them to the hospital, and return them to their owners or, in the case of feral cats, back to their cat colonies. They help organize and man special events, like the Woofstock Dog, Cat and Music Festival. They assist at the front desk, help with administrative matters and fundraisers. There are so many possibilities: click here to find out how you can volunteer your time.
We would love to help you find a place where your time and efforts will save even more animals in the future. You can contact us or call 803-514-4313 to volunteer. We also have a volunteer form available for you to fill out if you like.
FOTAS and the County have developed a network of no-kill rescue facilities in other regions of the Country that are willing and able to take the County’s shelter dogs, puppies, cats & kittens and place them in forever homes. FOTAS organizes and funds the transport of the transfer animals to the other rescue facilities as needed.
The Transfer Program has proven to be an important aspect in our ability to save more animals. From 2013 through 2016, FOTAS and the County arranged for the transfer of 4078 animals to no-kill rescue facilities in other regions of the Country. Click here to learn more about this vital program.
Reaching Out + Giving Back
FOTAS is dedicated to reaching out to the community, and especially children, to educate and inform all about pet responsibility, the importance of spay/neuter, and the love and endearing companionship of shelter animals. Many events are hosted at the new Aiken County Animal Shelter facility so that the community can see how Aiken County and FOTAS are helping care for and find homes for God’s special creatures. FOTAS also attends many off-site events, taking adoptable dogs, and sometimes cats, to showcase to this great and generous community what a wonderful group of animals await their forever homes.
A few of FOTAS’ On-Site Events have included:
Reading Programs, co-sponsored by FOTAS and the Aiken County Regional Library System, where children five years old and up get to build their reading confidence in 20-minute reading sessions with adoptable shelter animals and having fun while they are doing this. These sessions are scheduled periodically and are overseen by FOTAS reading volunteers. Reservations are always required and are publicized as events on the FOTAS web site, through Facebook, and through other social media. Click here for a local feature story on by Channel 6
Puppy Socials: Because we care about shelter-adopted puppies and their new owners, FOTAS, along with several local veterinarians co-sponsor Puppy Socials throughout the year. Entitled, “H.E.L.P: How to Enjoy Living with a Puppy,” the puppy socials provide owners with helpful information such as healthy nutrition, housebreaking tips and fitness/play techniques. Keep a look out on the FOTAS website and Facebook for the next social. Reservations are required.
Half Price Military Adoptions: Sponsored by FOTAS, adoption fees are half price for any U.S. military services men, women & veterans who adopt a dog or cat from the Aiken County Animal Shelter (Dogs $35 and Cats $15) — fees include spay/neuter, shots, microchip.
Woofstock Doxie Derby Festival, a unique fun event where the community is invited to bring their dogs and enjoy the festivities— dachshund races & small-dog non-doxie races, music, dog contests, pet related products & services exhibitors, food, games plus more. It’s a great day to “play” and many who attend actually adopt some of the Shelter’s adoptable dogs and cats as well.
Birthday Parties, for children 5 years old and up, for 10-12 guests — reservations in advance are required, click here for further information
All events are always posted on the FOTAS web site and advertised on our Facebook page.
FOTAS also “takes the show on the road” to off-site events, such as:
Aiken Farmer’s Market: During the summer, the FOTAS van will be loaded with adoptable Shelter dogs and head downtown to the Aiken Farmer’s Market in The Alley every Thursday from 5 – 7 p.m. These sweet, shelter pets attract a lot of attention from the market attendees and result in a number of adoptions.
Petsmart is another destination for the FOTAS van and adoptable Shelter dogs. FOTAS often will go there on a Saturday to showcase the fabulous dogs available at the Aiken County Animal Shelter.
Aiken Fall Steeplechase: FOTAS is one of a few non-profits lucky enough to be invited to participate and we take the FOTAS van along with adoptable dogs, as well as information about the Aiken County Animal Shelter.
Some other activities where FOTAS frequently takes the FOTAS van and adoptable dogs in include, Blessing of the Animals at area churches, annual Chocolate Festival at St. Mary Help of Christians Church, the Aiken Memorial Day Parade, Pacers & Polo event, Mead Hall Strawberry Festival,
Other outreach programs are very important to FOTAS, such as the Fences4Fido program. Fences4Fido is a collaborative effort between FOTAS and the SPCA Albrecht Center. Through the Fences4Fido initiative, FOTAS hopes to educate the public regarding the dangers of chaining and tethering their dogs, and through donations received, build humane fencing or shelters for selected Aiken County families in need that currently contain their dogs through tethering and/or chaining.
FOTAS and the County have established a short term and a longer term Foster Care program where volunteers foster adoptable animals outside of the shelter environment. The Foster Care system not only ensures the animals are raised in a healthy environment, it frees up limited space in the shelter for other adoptable animals.
Short term fosters usually involve the care of an animal that is scheduled to be transferred to no-kill shelters in other parts of the country or for whom an adoption is pending, typically 5-10 days. Foster families who care for moms and pups/kittens usually do so until the pups/kittens are properly weaned from the mother, roughly 12 weeks from the date of birth.
To become a foster parent for dogs or cats, please contact us or fill out this Foster Care Form and fax to us at 803-643-4006. After your form is received, you will be contacted for a site evaluation from one of the Animal Control officers, just to assure that the animal will be in a safe environment.
Once the site evaluation is completed and you are approved, you are one of our official foster homes. FOTAS will select the animals available for foster based on need, temperament, and the resources and environment of the foster home. FOTAS provides food and medical care to the dogs being fostered if necessary.
Approximately 16-20% of the dogs who arrive at the Aiken County Animal Shelter are Heartworm Positive (HWP) but otherwise very healthy. In many of these instances this condition is very treatable. Heartworm treatment can be extremely costly ($250 – $2500).
Adoptable HWP dogs are available for adoption at the Aiken County Animal Shelter through FOTAS’ “Have a Heart,Save a Heart” Fund. FOTAS offers financial assistance for the basic treatment for heartworms. This policy moves us one step closer toward FOTAS’ goal of never having to euthanize an adoptable pet at the County Shelter.
If you would like to help treat a dog for heartworms, please make a donation to FOTAS’ “Have a Heart, Save a Heart” Fund.
All dogs and cats have value, regardless of their age. The Silver Paws & Senior program was launched at the County Shelter to encourage those 60+ years of age to adopt a dog or cat 6+ years of age. Because senior animals are calmer, less active, and typically trained they make great companions for senior citizens. Adoption prices for the Silver Paws program are half price: $35 for dogs and $17 for cats.
Congratulations on the adoption of your new pet from the Aiken County Animal Shelter. If you have any training issues, an experienced local trainer will be happy to assist. Susi Cohen is a professional trainer, the President of the Palmetto Dog Club, and works with the dogs and FOTAS volunteers at the Aiken County Animal Shelter every week. She has been training dogs for 40 years and can be reached at 803-641-4998.