By Bob Gordon, FOTAS Communications Director and Volunteer
In mid-July, the Aiken County Animal Shelter FOTAS put out a Code Red for seven dogs that were at risk of being euthanized because of the extraordinarily high intake and consequent overcrowding at the shelter. FOTAS quickly dispersed a desperate plea for help, leveraging its network of social and traditional media.
The community responded big-time. The first group of dogs in danger – Alana, Boomer, Breese, Butch, Fallon, Mack and Roberta were adopted into loving homes before the deadline. When more dogs were scheduled to be euthanized later in the week, they too were swiftly adopted by kindhearted community members.
Many of the dogs at risk were Pit Bull mixes – sweet, sweet dogs too often overlooked because of the stigma attached to their breed.
“What was so great about the response to our Code Red alert, is that when people saw the pictures of the dogs in danger on social media, they didn’t see breed; they only saw a sweet dog in a perilous situation that needed a home,” said FOTAS President Jennifer Miller.
So, how are these Code Red dogs doing in their new digs? We followed up with some of the new owners to find out.
Alana and Milo: Brittany Starks of Wagener adopted Alana and then came back for Milo.
“Milo likes to sleep on the couch while we watch TV, and loves to lick my son Cole’s face all the time,” Brittany said. “Alana enjoys playing more and thinks every stuffed ani-mal in the house is hers.” Both Milo and Alana sleep in the bed while Brittany’s husband is stationed in Germany.
Butch: Amber Boone’s seven year-old son, Jaxson, fell in love with big Butch immedi-ately. He had been asking for a dog for some time, and when Amber saw the photo of the white and tan Pit Bull mix on Facebook and on the news, she knew the time was right. “Butch has brought a lot of joy to our family,” Amber said.
Roberta: Yvette Caballero of Batesburg saw Roberta on her Facebook news feed and had to go see her. “I saw the Code Red online and kept looking at her pictures,” Yvette said. “She looked so happy; the thought of her being put down was awful. I have a pond so it just seemed like it was meant to be. Roberta puts a smile on my face every day when I get home from work. She’s a great dog…I’m so happy I was able to give this baby a home.”
Thanks to Brittany, Amber and Yvette – as well as the adopters of all the Code Red dogs and other at risk canines – amazing animals were given a second chance to have wonder-ful, full lives. But the shelter remains full and the challenge continues. There are many more lovable dogs currently on the adoption floor – like Rory, Austin, Allison and Trixie – who need forever homes. Please come visit the shelter today and adopt one of them as a furry companion.
Their lives are in our hands.