At the Aiken County Shelter: puppies, kittens and kids – oh my!

6/22/15 By Ellie Joos, FOTAS Director and On-site Event Coordinator

What’s way more fun than a barrel of monkeys? Puppies and kitties and kids, that’s what! And we had them in spades over the past several weeks when the Aiken County Animal Shelter hosted a birthday party and a visit from a group of twelve 4 and 5-year olds from the First Baptist Church Aiken Day Camp.

Abby Callis and seven friends celebrated her 10th birthday at the Shelter, complete with lots of gifts and a delicious cake shaped like a fluffy dog. Her guests brought presents for our an-imal residents, too – special homemade treats made from peanut butter and green beans, along with a great selection of toys. Abby’s and her family’s thoughtfulness included a sur-prise for the first family that came to the shelter that day and adopted a dog (the Toole fam-ily from Beech Island.) To Christina & Emily Toole’s delight, the Callis family had assembled a huge bowl filled with treats and toys for their new puppy that Abby proudly presented on behalf of her friends and family.

We started the party with a brief introduction to the shelter and our volunteers. We showed them how the volunteers socialize the dogs and cats to help them learn basic obe-dience skills and manners so they can adapt more quickly in their new homes. Many of the children said they want to volunteer too some day. Nothing would make us happier.

After the introduction, Maggie, Linda, and Sharon, our amazing volunteers, worked with the girls to make toys made from old t-shirts. Then they filled small plastic cups with pumpkin, which was frozen for an afternoon snack for the dogs.

The real fun began – play time with the puppies and kittens! The kids were split into smaller groups, and needless to say, by the time the girls were done, we had a bunch of very tired puppies and kittens.

Birthday cake and ice pops completed the morning’s activities. The cake shaped and deco-rated like a fluffy dog was a huge hit. To top off the event, our birthday girl adopted an adorable kitten named Smokey and one of her friends adopted a sweet and loveable older cat.

Next up was a morning visit from the First Baptist Church Aiken day camp group of 4 and 5 year olds, accompanied by Margaret Campbell and a huge basket of treats and toys. Earlier that morning, prior to their arrival, our volunteers were busy walking dogs, bathing kittens, and preparing the puppy pen. Most of the children had not been to the shelter before and they were wowed by all of our adorable residents. The children squealed with delight at the puppies, who chased the toys with wild abandon and gave the kids lots of big kisses. The kittens also provided lively entertainment in a room full of children, toys, and our great volunteer Pat.

Sound like fun? It was. Call us at (803) 514-4313 to plan your next birthday party or event. Call us to volunteer. Come by and adopt your new best friend.

Their lives are in our hands.

May 2015
Total Dogs and cats received = 525
Total dogs and cats adopted /transferred = 216
Total dogs and cats returned to owner = 19
Total dogs and cats euthanized = 217
Euthanasia Rate- = 41%


SULA Female, terrier mix — 10 months old, 16 lbs $70

GARFUNKEL Male, tabby — 8 weeks old $17.50