Locals meet to discuss building animal shelter in North Augusta

Locals meet to discuss building animal shelter in North Augusta
Locals meet to discuss building animal shelter in North Augusta

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF)- A local group wants to build an animal shelter in North Augusta. The had a meeting about it Tuesday night at Grace United Methodist Church.

North Augusta only had one employee who works on animal control currently, and even that is just part-time.

A group of animal lovers is trying to create a more comprehensive local system to deal with strays and runaways, but they’re still trying to figure out how to do that.

North Augusta residents have raised tens of thousands of dollars for a “Bark Park.” Now, some animal activists are trying to galvanize support for an animal shelter.

“We’re hoping to get a lot of other people involved that can help us because we do have a lot of animal lovers,” said organizer Cynthia Gordon.

The idea grew out the Facebook group Paws and Claws, which has nearly 250 members, but only a handful of people came to this first meeting to discuss taking action.

“Tonight’s the planning process,” said Paws and Claws member Tyler Galles.

Right now, North Augusta’s animal control consists of a holding facility and a single employee. According to North Augusta’s website, animals not picked up within five working days become the property of the city, and therefore may be adopted or euthanized.

However, some at the meeting say that timeline may not always be enforced. Confusion about current policy and holding facility was a big talking point.

Organizer Cynthia Gordon says she’s hoping to create a public-private partnership between the city and volunteers to get a shelter off the ground.

“I know it’s going to be a difficult situation because of, you know, the city’s concentrating right now on finishing Project Jackson, but we’re hoping that there will be a little bit of money,” she said. “We’re going to try to get a 501c3, so we will be a non-profit.”

She says several local officials have shown interest in the project, including mayor-elect Bob Petit, who attended the meeting.

“I think the grassroots effort that you heard tonight of people interested in improving the situation for the pets, and I think that’s what we’re ultimately talking about is good,” Petit said.

No concrete steps forward were taken after the meeting. Organizers say the time and date for the next meeting will be posted on the Paws and Claws page.

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