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Writer Seeks Help for Animal Shelter

web posted October 11, 2011

Dear Editor,
How many folks in Edgefield County know where they send their abandoned dogs and cats? I understand that there are many, many terrific independent Rescue Groups out there to help find homes for animals. Some newcomers, may not be aware of the aversion to spaying and neutering that exists in this area and other parts of the south. It continues to cause a huge population of abandoned dogs and cats in SC.

However, the majority of the Edgefield County dogs and cats, through contract, end up in the Aiken County Animal Shelter. The Shelter is run by a competent and caring staff and is minimally supported by Aiken and Edgefield County funds. A fairly new group, Friends of the Aiken Animal Shelter or fotas as it is known, have stepped in to try to help this overcrowded, poorly structured, old facility and its inhabitants. (www.fotasaiken.org)

Yes, the County Shelter euthanizes animals, to the tune of over 5000 a year! Do they want to--no. But they must accept every animal dropped off at their Wire Rd Aiken facility. Unlike the city of Aiken, who contracts with and supports the next door Aiken SPCA that takes in 1/4 of the animals that the County facility does, they have no choice.

The facility was built to handle 100 animals. Cages are shared by many, many animals. Those that survive and don’t get adopted quickly, shipped out to a northern shelter willing to help out or die from disease they may have caught in the overcrowded facility, are put down with kindness and caring after one week.

Please read this article and consider them when you are writing checks for donations or feel a need to volunteer your time. Keep your good hearts open and also consider helping the dogs and cats in your own backyard who need a healthy place to stay while waiting for their forever home.

Linda Vola
Beech Island, SC

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