WJBF EXTRA: Authorities Kill Thousands of Dogs and Cats Each Year in Georgia and South Carolina

WJBF EXTRA: Authorities Kill Thousands of Dogs and Cats Each Year in Georgia and South Carolina (Image 1)

By Jenna Lee Wright

Samantha Holton, Animal rescue: “This is Spangle. Spangle-Button! Yes, that's a pretty boy…this is Hope, she was hit by a car. She's been here quite a while now…this is Lacey, she's on Petfinder. She's been here for a while.”

Samantha Holton rescues dogs and cats in Girard, GA. she says she's full right now with 50 dogs and one cat.

Samantha: “All the shelters are full right now, we're full. We're packed full.”

And that's exactly what sisters Lynsie and Ansley Morris were afraid they'd hear after they found eight abandoned puppies on the side of a Burke County road…dehydrated and full of worms.

Jenna Lee Thomas: “What do you think you're going to do with these eight dogs?”

Lynsie Morris, Burke County resident: “I have no idea. I don't know. I guess find somebody that's got a good home that really wants one.”

“We really need an animal shelter here. Some kind of animal patrol. Burke County doesn't have anything like that. You see puppies and dogs all up and down the road, so we need some kind of funding for it.”

Burke County isn't the only place with stories like this…

Priscilla Crisler, Augusta Animal Control: “Animals, especially cats, are predisposed to be breeding machines. And in just a very short amount of time they can create thousands of unwanted animals.”

Thousands of animals that Priscilla Crisler, says are likely to die. Some by car, some by poisin, others euthanzed.

Priscilla: “A lot of the community views animals as disposable commodities. If their animal runs away they just assume somebody stole it, and they don't bother looking for it. And they think of it as something they'll just get another one tomorrow.”

Jenna Lee thomas: “Once an animal is picked up or surrendered most shelters hold it five days before having to put it down.”

Last year thousands of animals were euthanized in CSRA centers.

Bobby Arthurs is an animal control officer in Aiken County. He says killing animals is not the only option.

Bobby Arthurs, Aiken Animal Control: “The reality is you do have a choice and it all starts with being a responsible pet owner. Having your animal vaccinated against rabies, having it spayed and neutered, and being a responsible owner.”

Now that she has to find homes for eight puppies Lynsie Morris would agree.

Lynsie: “I mean somebody's got to take them they're too small, you can't leave them out. You see them on the side of the road. People poison them, people just throw them out. You can't expect just to drop them off at somebody's house and for them to take care of them. I mean if you know you can't afford it, if you don't want any more and you know you can't afford it. Spay and neuter them. That's the biggest thing.”

Spaying and neutering does not have to be a huge expense for pet owners. Many counties provide vouchers to cover most or all of the operation. Last year Augusta Animal Control alone put down over 7,000 animals. They told me about 80 percent of their animals are euthanized and that the number could go down a lot more if more people spay and neuter their pets.

Find more information about animal shelters in your area:

Georgia Animal Laws

South Carolina Animal Laws


Aiken County:

Aiken County Animal Services

Barnwell County:

Animal Shelter

Columbia County:

Animal Services

McCormick County:

McCormick Humane Society

Orangeburg County:

Animal Control Shelter

Richmond County:

Augusta Animal Control

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