The Friends of the Animal Shelter – Aiken County (FOTAS) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), all-volunteer organization created in 2009 to supplement the resources of the Aiken County Animal Shelter in the care of the 4800 homeless and abandoned animals consigned to its care each year. FOTAS is wholly funded by private donations.

The mission of FOTAS is to support the Aiken County Animal Shelter by promoting animal welfare, responsible pet ownership, and the elimination of euthanasia of all adoptable animals.

Since FOTAS has been involved, the County’s euthanasia rate has dropped from a high of 90% – 95% to 50% as a result of the efforts of FOTAS and its volunteers. Despite this improvement, 50% is still an unacceptably high number. FOTAS will continue its efforts to reduce that number and fulfill its mission to never have to euthanize another adoptable animal.

What We Do

Since its inception in 2009, FOTAS has made a difference in the lives of the 4800 homeless and abandoned animals consigned to the County’s care each year:

Developed a public/private partnership with the County for the purpose of building a new shelter facility that met basic standards of responsible and humane care, which opened on March 2, 2014

Participated in and funded the architectural and functional design of the new shelter

Funded the stainless steel cage banks and other equipment in the new shelter

Arranged for the private donation by Equine Rescue of Aiken of a two-horse run-in shed and paddocks on the new shelter site

Arranged for the private donation of a large portion of the landscaping and irrigation system on the new shelter site

Developed an extensive volunteer program to augment the County staff and provide daily human interaction with the animals at the shelter to properly socialize them and therefore increase their adoptability

Funded the C.A.T.S. Colony for adoptable felines

Developed a foster program for animals and their offspring until the pups/kittens are weaned and for dogs/cats in need of foster before being transferred to a no-kill shelter in other parts of the country

Established a transfer program to “no kill” shelters all over the country

Initiated and expanded a County spay/neuter voucher program

Organizes donation and collection of supplies, such as puppy food and blankets, when animal intake is high and County-resources are strained

Holds numerous fundraising activities in the community to assist with the expenses of the County shelter

Arranged for the private donation of a FOTAS van for use at off-site events

Purchased two cat condos for use in the lobby area at the Shelter

Supplemented the music system for the adoption


Become a Volunteer.

Our volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization. Through their efforts, FOTAS and the County have saved the lives of more animals than any time in the shelter’s past. Our volunteers truly make a difference. Call us today at 803-514-4313 – we will find a place where your love and efforts will save even more animals in the future.