Don’t ignore FOTAS contributions
In Gary Willoughby’s Oct. 30 column, Animal Connection, he talks about SPCA collaboration with the Aiken County Animal Control. He gives well deserved credit to Bobby Arthurs.
However, some of his statements need clarification. While the county provides badly needed funds for the spay and neuter voucher program, those funds are always inadequate and FOTAS has established their Spay-Neuter Assistance Program with private funds and all-volunteer staffing for targeted spay/neuter services throughout the county.
The transfer program that Willoughby talks about was started by, and continues to be managed by FOTAS volunteers with no involvement from the Aiken SPCA. The foster program is a collaborative venture between FOTAS and Aiken County Animal Shelter Staff and would be unmanageable by shelter staff alone as the shelter is already under-funded and under-staffed.
There is no overlap with similar programs the SPCA may run. By law, the county shelter must take in every animal dropped at their doorstep or brought in from the whole of Aiken County, resulting in more than 5,000 animals annually passing through the Aiken County Animal Shelter doors.
FOTAS encourages collaborative relationships and hopes to partner on future ventures with the SPCA, as they do with many local rescue groups like Equine Rescue of Aiken, Molly’s Militia, etc. To foster that spirit of cooperation, Willoughby would do well to honor, rather than ignore, the vast investment of time and energy FOTAS volunteers pour into the programs that serve the unwanted animals of Aiken County.