Feeling the Heat at the County Animal Shelter

By Joanna Dunn Samson, FOTAS Vice President

It’s hot. It’s humid. We’re short on volunteers and long – very long – on animals. Intake is crazy high. The shelter is packed full of dogs, dogs and more dogs and loads of adorable puppies, not to mention a gazillion cats and a bajillion kittens.

The Aiken County Animal Shelter needs your help.

Last Tuesday was a particularly awful day. 50 animals were admitted to the shelter, including one very pregnant momma named Poppy who needs to go into foster care to birth her puppies. Unfortunately, all of our existing fosters have been pressed into service for months without a break. We need new fosters.

As if all this wasn’t sad enough, last Friday Zach, a very handsome volunteer favorite who was adopted last Valentine’s Day, was brought back to the shelter because the owner is moving. Zach is confused, and we are heartbroken. He’s such a good boy.

So, yes – the only way to bring down these intake numbers and the euthanasia rate is for everyone to spay and neuter their animals, but that’s a long-term proposition.

In the meantime, the County shelter, paid for by taxpayer dollars, cannot refuse to accept an animal because there isn’t enough room. That means the County, with the help of FOTAS, is responsible for the care and disposition of the 5000 unwanted animals that wind up in the County shelter each year. Dedicated shelter staff and FOTAS volunteers are working feverishly to take care of all of these animals. It is exhausting work.

You can help. How?

First and foremost, adopt one of these deserving animals, who, through no fault of their own, have ended up in the shelter, homeless and bewildered. They need someone to love. They need you.

How about this for an incentive? Through the end of the month, the shelter is waiving adoption fees for already fixed adult cats. You can take home a fully vaccinated, microchipped, spayed or neutered adult feline friend for free until July 31st. Please, they need a good home, perhaps a mousing job in a barn. Don’t wait. Their time is running out – fast.

Help the County and FOTAS take care of the animals. Volunteer at the shelter, or make a tax-free donation to the cause at www.fotasaiken.org.

Become a short-term foster for dogs selected for transfer or a long-term foster for mamma dogs and their puppies until they are weaned and rehomed. Remember, for every animal you adopt or foster, you save two lives – the pet you adopted and the pet that can be moved to the adoption floor from Intake.

Most of all: spay or neuter your animals. Talk your friends and family into spaying and neutering theirs. If you or they cannot afford the cost to spay/neuter, you may be eligible for a County voucher or FOTAS Fix-a-Pet financial assistance.

Call us at (803) 514-4313 or email us at info@fotasaiken.org and see how you can get involved. You won’t be sorry.

Their lives are in our hands.


For the month of June, FOTAS working with the Shelter to supplement local adoptions, organized and paid expenses for the transport to rescue partners of 102 dogs and cats who will now have “forever” homes.