Aiken County Animal Shelter in 'crisis mode'

Aiken County Animal Shelter in 'crisis mode'

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Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016 News 12 NBC 26 at 6 O’Clock

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) — More than 600 animals came through the doors just in August, twice the usual in-take.

Now Aiken County Shelter Manager Bobby Arthurs says the shelter is in crisis mode.

“Every dog that comes into the shelter, additional animal, it puts other animals at risk,” Arthurs said.

Two and even three dogs to a kennel and an overflow of kittens. Instead of patiently awaiting adoption these pets are playing beat the clock, since more flow in every day and mothers like this find themselves in line to be euthanized if intake doesn’t go down.

“If you’re determined to surrender you’re animal at the shelter, just hold on a minute let me go to the back, back here and let me find a dog that we’ve had here,” Arthurs said, “that dog may have to be picked to be taken to the euthanization room.”

The shelter is currently at a 35 percent euthanization rate for the year, which is pretty good. And even with an extra 600 animals, they’ve been able to keep kill rates low in August at 26 percent. But that success is hanging by a thread.

“We can’t continue that at that low level if the in-takes continue to come in,” Arthurs said.

Adoptions are running well, but Traci Deadrick says it’s just not enough.

“When the numbers increase of in-take and we’re only having the same number of adoptions, we start to get backed up and get really full,” Deadrick said, the shelter’s adoption coordinator.

But families like Anthony and Shirley are stepping up with two dogs and another baby on the way.

“This is our little wolf pack and we want to make our pack bigger,” Anthony Montenes said.

Adoptions won’t cut it by themselves though.

“We need fosters, fosters are the key to keeping our shelter low in numbers,” Deadrick said, “the more fosters we have the more animals we can get out of the shelter.”

A couple things to remember if you are going to adopt if you are a renter then you need to bring your renter’s agreement, if you want a cat bring a carrier and a dog you will need a leash. The shelter is currently running adoption specials with cats and kittens at $15 and bully-breed dogs, like pit bulls, at $35. Other dogs are $70.


Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) — The Aiken County Animal Shelter has filled to maximum capacity after more than six hundred stray and homeless animals were brought there in August.

The Aiken County Animal Shelter (ACAS) adopted out 106 animals including 40 dogs and 66 cats in August. Over the same time period, 603 animals were dropped off at the shelter, either picked up as strays or surrendered by their owners.

For the month of September, the shelter asks County citizens to call the to make sure it has available space before bringing in pets to surrender. The dog adoption floor was reported full and many intake kennels were double stacked at the end of August.

The shelter has said they are in “crisis mode” which means when the shelter is that full, the odds of having to euthanize animals get much higher. Pet owners are urged to get their pets spayed or neutered.

The County offers a spay/neuter voucher program for citizens and FOTAS also has a “Fix-a-Pet” program to citizens in need of financial assistance. The FOTAS Fix-A-Pet hotline number is (803) 507-6315.

For more information, please visit the FOTAS website at fotasaiken.org or call the Aiken County Animal Shelter, (803) 642-1537.

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