Moving on Up
By Joanna Samson, FOTAS Director
as seen in the Aiken Standard 3/9/14 issue
It finally happened. As of last Sunday, County staff and FOTAS volunteers had completed the move from the small, outdated, dilapidated shelter to the beautiful new Aiken County Animal Shelter down the road.
The Cat House and the cats had been moved earlier in the week.
Then, on Sunday FOTAS volunteers walked many of the adoptable dogs the short distance to their new quarters in the Adoption Wing, while other FOTAS volunteers moved puppies and older dogs by truck. County staff moved all of the intake dogs by truck to the Animal Control Wing.
By 3:00 p.m., all the animals had been moved and were safely nestled in their new digs.
It was a glorious, euphoric moment. FOTAS volunteers and County staff were a little breathless with exertion, but they were all smiles.
And the four-legged residents? The change was astounding. The dogs wagged their tails and relaxed in their outdoor runs, enjoying the fresh air. Despite all the activity and all the people, the shelter was the closest thing to peaceful that a building housing that many animals can be. Really.
Oh sure, there was the occasional hoopla over the escape artist who jumped from kennel to kennel until finally cornered, or the puppies yipping for dinner, or the little Chihuahua cross barking for attention, but by and large, the anxious, high-pitched barking so common in the old shelter because the dogs were all crowded together in close, inside quarters was absent.
I knelt in front of the kennel of an 8-month-old, little white and red pit bull named Pete, who showered my outstretched hand with big, wet kisses. I thought: “You know what, Handsome? You’ll be okay in this place. Here you’ll have more time and a better chance for some lucky soul to overcome their uneasiness about pit bulls and fall madly in love with you.” I leaned my forehead against his cage and choked back tears.
But wait! We aren’t finished! Now that we’ve provided a clean, inspiring, happy community shelter for the animals, we need you, the community, to do your part.
Please: come to your community shelter and adopt your new pet. Don’t be afraid you will be overwhelmed by despair. On the contrary, you will be able to take your time and find that perfect animal in a hopeful, cheerful setting. Remember, every pet that finds a home makes space for another animal on the adoption floor, potentially saving two lives.
Please: volunteer your time with FOTAS. We desperately need volunteers to sit behind the desk to greet the public, answer the phone and help the Adoption Coordinator.
Okay, meet and greet not your thing? We will find a job for you that makes you happy: walking the dogs, playing with cats and puppies, grooming, helping with the gardens – there are so many possibilities.
Pick up the phone now and call the FOTAS hotline at (803) 514-4313 or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll get you started. I promise you’ll be glad you did.
FOTAS Volunteers work with the AIKEN COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER, 333 Wire Road. For more information, contact “email@example.com” or visit FOTAS on line at www.fotasaiken.org.
Aiken County Animal Shelter: “By the Numbers”
Feb. 24, 2014 - Mar. 1, 2014
9 dogs and 1 cats adopted
Year to Date:
81 terrific pets adopted
THANK YOU AIKEN COUNTY COMMUNITY!
Aiken County Shelter “Pets of the Week!”
**All adoption fees include: spay/neuter, heartworm test, all shots, worming, and microchip.
PETE Pit bull/boxer, male, 8 mos old, 43 lbs Only $70
SIMON COWELL Domestic short hair -- male -- 7 yrs. old, 10 lbs Only $35