AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – Aiken County broke its own record of animal surrenders this summer.
Summer is peak time for animal drop-offs and the county shelter has maxed-out intake.
June was a record-setting month for animal surrenders at the Aiken County Animal Shelter.
In an effort to adopt out the animals the staff held a “Clear the Shelter” event that worked exactly how it was supposed to. Little did they know the worst of the animal surrenders was yet to come because animals sharing small spaces is becoming the norm at the Aiken County Animal Shelter.
“The problem we have is… we have more animals coming in, than [animals] are going out.” Aiken County Animal Shelter Manager, Bobby Arthurs told WJBF NewsChannel 6.
Arthurs says his staff tallied the number of animals surrendered in August at more than 600 and drop-offs aren’t slowing down. “Just to give you an idea of what we took in this morning. We took in 3 adult dogs, 18 puppies, 1 adult cat, and 3 kittens,” Arthurs said.
25 animals were surrendered by noon on Tuesday, but only one had been adopted out, by a couple from Minnesota who made the 1,300 mile trip to Aiken County to adopt a puppy. The Gobel’s say rescuing the newest member of their family from a shelter in crisis is a reward in itself.
“She was the one,” said Heidi Gobel.
Even the smallest Aiken County resident is doing his part to help the animals of his community.
Neighbors of a North Augusta subdivision carried in bag after bag of food, treats, and cat litter. One of them even left with a foster to relieve the overcrowded shelter.
“There’s such a need with them taking in over 600 animals this past month,” Lauren Kilbreath said. “I knew they needed food so we just, a neighbor and I got the idea together. Put flyers out on mailboxes and we collected yesterday.”
While the staff does make accommodations for all the animals it can, the shelter manager says sometimes to take-in one animal, means to put down another.
“We don’t want to do that, but we let people know that those are options that we may have to do, in order to provide space,” Arthurs said.
This month the Aiken County Animal Shelter is holding a special – all cats are $15 dollar and any Pit Bull mixes are $35.