Saturday, April 5, 2014

Aiken County Animal Shelter

Animal shelter, FOTAS
This is a post about a group of people who loved animals enough to fight for a new facility to house the ones abandoned or surrendered.

The old animal shelter was twenty years old and designed to hold 100 dogs and cats.

The shelter is obligated to accept all strays and owner-surrendered animals.

The county shelter takes in over 5000 animals a year.

Yes, I typed the number correctly.

The old shelter building was not equipped to handle that many animals.

92% were euthanized each year.

Yes, 92%

Friends Of The Animal Shelter (FOTAS) is a private group formed to raise community awareness of the problem with our enormous overpopulation.

They are committed volunteers who fought hard for donations to build this beautiful new facility.

The euthanasia rate has dropped to under 75%.  Adoptions and fostering are up.

The grand opening was held recently.  Chucks and I attended and were amazed at the wonderful facility.

Dogs no longer crammed together in small cages.

Clean spacious dog runs with access to the inside and the outside.

Adoptable dogs are kept separate from the incoming dogs to prevent the spread of disease.


There are wide open spaces for outside exercise.

Volunteers come to walk the dogs.

The areas are kept clean and neat.

The kennels have self-filling water bowls.

The kennels are bright.

One or two dogs per kennel.

They can choose to stay inside or lounge in the outside area.

During the grand opening, over 300 people showed up.

I was struck by these two buddies.  

No loud barking.

No nervous pacing.

As if they were saying welcome to the new place.

There is a small building for the cat colony.

A group of cats who have inside and outside access.

They were all in lazy mode when I visited.

I have almost volunteered several times.

I applaud those who can come out to socialize the cats and walk the dogs.

I do not know how they can stand the day they go to walk "their" dog, and he is gone.

You hope he was adopted, but this is not a no-kill shelter.

So why did I tell you this long and rambling story?

Because each time a friend or family member loses a pet, we send a donation to FOTAS.

Some of you readers have received a tribute from them in honor of your pet.

I wanted to let you know the memory of your beloved cat or dog lives on in this new facility.

Please be kind and spay or neuter your pets.

Thank you.

See y'all!

PS  This is where I abandoned my art piece.  Where abandoned animals get a second chance.

If you would like to donate to FOTAS, go to their Facebook page here.

PS PS  - Not all the animals are dogs and cats.  They have to take whatever is abandoned or surrendered or mistreated - horses, goats, and pigs among the many that come through here.

Thank you, FOTAS!

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  1. What a great new facility, and that's a wonderful thing y'all do with the donations! I love that! Both our dogs are shelter dogs and they're awesome, I would adopt ten more if the annual "upkeep" wasn't so high.

  2. So happy to hear about the wonderful new facility. So much overpopulation among our companion animals and so much abandonment. I wish people made a thoughtful, educated decision before getting a puppy or kitten.

  3. I admire volunteers very much. I'm often wondering if I should do it here, but I'm afraid I'll bring all the dogs home...

  4. Such a wonderful place Donna. No animal deserves to be mistreated or abandoned. Three of our cats were abandoned strays, and one was a shelter cat. We support our local shelters as much as we can with donations of supplies and a few dollars (when we can spare it). Sadly, I just can't volunteer because I know my heart would be broken every day because I'd want to bring all the cats and dogs home with me, so we help how we can. I'm so grateful to the volunteers who can somehow deal with that. I was so touched by your donation to FOTAS when our Fluffy passed. It's clearly a very deserving place.

  5. Thank you for sharing this with us! I love it, and what a wonderful idea to donate in memory of your friends' lost pets. We adopted our dog from a rescue agency last summer and he is the best dog ever. I can't imagine our family without him.

  6. What a beautiful facility for sweet, mistreated and neglected animals. I can't stand the thought of poor animals being abused. Makes me so sad...:( It' such a shame that they can't all be adopted, but at least this shelter takes excellent care of them until they can no longer house them. Donating in memory of departed pets is an excellent idea and such a thoughtful gesture on your part. If I had more time and money, I would take in abused and neglected animals and care for them. I have the land to do it, but that's the only resource I have. Bless you for your kind and generous heart're such a good person! Have a blessed weekend....Vicky

  7. What a wonderful tribute, thanks for shedding light on it. All my pets are spayed/neutered, that is always priority #1. When I called our local shelter to get Josie, I couldn't even go back into the cages to pick her out. I said I wanted a cat and would they pick one out for me. They asked, "What kind of cat?" I said "Fluffy & cuddly". They nailed it. Josie is a precious gift, every day.

  8. Beautiful place for the animals ... so clean. Unlike a lot that you see. What a thoughtful gift of a donation there for your friends who have lots their pets. You are so kind Donna.
    Audrey Z.


I enjoy reading all of your comments and will always answer with email. I will try to track you down if you show up as a "no reply" commenter to let you know. Friends are like that!