Business Community Rallies for County’s Homeless Animals

By Edie Hubler, FOTAS Director
As Jeri Barrett, owner of Herbal Solutions, remembers it, a little brown and white hound dog named Mae was the spark that inspired “Hang One for the Animal Shelter”.

Jeri was an exhibitor at the 2014 FOTAS Woofstock event at the Aiken County Animal Shelter. Jeri wasn’t looking for a dog, but Mae, one of the adoptable dogs, caught her eye. At home that night, all she could think about was the hopeful Mae sitting quietly in her kennel. Jeri called the shelter on Monday and learned, to her great relief and delight, that Mae had found a home.

Although Jeri was already a veteran supporter of FOTAS, Mae touched her heart in a big way and she decided to do more for the shelter animals. That’s when she came up with a $10,000 idea for the Christmas holidays – she would recruit other Aiken businesses to sell paper cut-out dog or cat ornaments for $1.00 to hang in their place of business and donate the proceeds to FOTAS.

“Hang One for the Animal Shelter” was such a splendid idea and a great success, Jeri is doing it again this Christmas. Local businesses have responded enthusiastically – Herbal Solutions (in Centre South on Silver Bluff), Brave Friend Apparel & Design (2171 Whiskey Rd.), Osbon’s Laundry & Cleaners (Centre South on Silver Bluff and 136 Pendleton St.), Family Pharmacy (333 Newberry St. and 110 Price Ave.), Hammond-Beyer Health Center (920 Houndslake Dr.), Powderhouse Pet Resort & Spa (1258 Powderhouse Rd.), Aiken Antique Mall (112 Laurens St.), Riverfront Antiques Mall (5979 Jefferson Davis Hgwy.), and the Aiken County Animal Shelter (333 Wire Rd.).

Here’s how it works. Visit any of these businesses during December, donate $1.00 or more and hang a paper dog, cat or horse in honor of a pet or someone you love. All donations will go to the County’s abandoned, abused and neglected animals, and your karma will brighten a notch on the enlightenment scale.

Looking for another way to donate and an easy and convenient way to get all those presents wrapped? Bring your gifts to Downtown Dog, owned by Vic & Sheri Scarborough and located at 150 Laurens Street, on December 23rd from 10:00 – 5:00, and FOTAS volunteers will do the wrapping for you in exchange for a donation to FOTAS. Vic & Sheri will provide the wrapping paper and ribbon. How’s that for Christmas spirit!

How about extending the Christmas spirit to one of our adoptable orphan dogs just for the holiday weekend? It’s a short-term commitment that will make a big difference in the life of your canine guest. Contact the County Shelter (803.642.1537) for more information.

There’s a special place in heaven for people like Jeri Barrett, Patrick Donovan, Rick Osbon, Jay Watts, Dr. Kim Hammond-Beyer, Philip Martin, Gaye Cain, Edie Conway and Vic & Sheri Scarborough — people who sacrifice their time, energy and personal capital to help the thousands of unwanted animals in the County who, through no fault of their own, are unwanted, unloved and homeless. God Bless them.

Their lives are in our hands.