Over the next few weeks, we will be busier than ever at the new SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. As you are reading this article on Tuesday, My staff and I are en route to Columbia to transfer 33 dogs and one bird from an alleged puppy mill in Edgefield County.

Each of these animals needs to be fully examined by our medical staff, spayed or neutered, many need to be groomed, socialized and evaluated before being put up for adoption. Anyone wishing to help can donate dry or canned dog food, cleaning supplies or monetary donations to help us care for these deserving animals. We will keep our supporters updated on our Facebook and Twitter pages on the progress the animals are making and when they will be available for adoption. To find those pages, visit us online at www.spca-albrecht.org.

On a much happier note, this Sunday is our big grand opening celebration of our new facility. We will have Sunday adoptions, tours of the facility and lots of fun and entertainment for everyone. The event takes place at 199 Willow Run Road from 1-5 p.m. If you are interested in adopting on a Sunday, please give us a call at 648-6863 to learn what items you should bring along with you on Sunday. We’ll even have some adoption specials that day that will be shared with everyone who comes to visit in person.

As we move into October, we are very excited to announce the showing of “Paw Prints – Serena’s Story,” a documentary by Beech Island films, with proceeds to benefit the SPCA Albrecht Center. The film will be screened at the Aiken Center for the Arts and tickets are $45, with cocktails, coffee, dessert and lots more included.

Paw Prints is the story of Serena, a wonderful dog who was a stray with Aiken County Animal Shelter, transferred to Molly’s Militia and who for several years, has volunteered with the SPCA pet therapy program. You will meet Serena, her owners Steve and Doris Briggs, and Peter Whitehead, the Canadian filmmaker who conducted extensive interviews with many people whose lives have been improved by the work Serena does for children living with autism, returning injured war veterans, senior citizens and others who light up with her visits.

Two days later, we head back to the new shelter for our Tail Waggin’ Walk, the second annual walk for animals to benefit the SPCA. Last year’s Reindog Romp in December was a little chilly for dogs and their owners alike, so we moved the event up a couple of months to take advantage of our great fall days in Aiken. Next year we’ll bring back our Westmuttster event in the fall after a few years away, as we’ve had a dog show of some kind going back to the mid-1930s and our supporters have been asking us to bring it back.

The Tail Waggin’ Walk takes place Saturday, Oct. 13, from 9 a.m. to noon on the nearly 14-acre campus of the SPCA. Registration fee of $25 includes your entry, a T-shirt, doggie bag and a bandanna. Prizes will be awarded in a variety of categories including best look-a-like and best costume.

The walk will be one mile in length and you can sign up to walk as an individual or as part of a team. To learn more about the event and how you can participate, please call us at 648-6863 or email cmiller@aikenspca.org.

The past 14 months during our construction phase has been exciting and sometimes stressful, but we are now open thanks in large part to all of the support of animal lovers here in Aiken and all across the country. We hope you will attend the open house on Sunday to see the rewards of everyone’s dedication and hard work and hopefully even meet a nice cat or dog to take home with you.

We also hope to see you at the screening of Serena’s film and with your dog at our Tail Waggin’ Walk.