This year, Friends of the Animal Shelter have much for which we can be grateful.

We are deeply indebted to individuals, families, neighborhoods, schools, clubs and communities throughout Aiken County who have given generously of their time and money to help the animals at the County Shelter.

We are grateful for our local business community’s ongoing support. Talent, expertise, professional services and resources, and dollars have been invested over and over in our cause.

FOTAS is a 100 percent volunteer organization, and we are so very grateful for that spirit which moves our volunteers to go out to the shelter day after day, week after week, to assure our adoptable dogs get the attention and exercise they need, to spend time with the cats and kittens so our homeless pets can be seen as potentially great family members.

Our volunteers plan and execute fundraisers like Woofstock, Breakfast at Fatz, the FOTAS Hunter Pace at Three Runs Plantation, golf tournaments and special “giving parties.” We have clubs like Future Farmers, Girl Scouts, Serteens and NROTC who dedicate themselves to advancing the FOTAS mission to help provide a community shelter in which we can all take pride. We are so thankful for all they do.

We have a state-of-the-art website because of a volunteer. We have broadcast email capabilities, keeping our membership 1,000-strong up to date on our progress, special needs and involvement opportunities – all because of a volunteer.

We are blessed with rarely talented volunteers who understand database management, how to maintain financial accounts, how to recruit and organize the right help at the right time, and those who can appreciate contributions in just the right way.

We are profoundly grateful for the volunteers who take on litter after litter of abandoned puppies and kittens, who find transfer partners at no-kill shelters and who see that some very lucky dogs and cats find their way to forever homes.

We have volunteers who are developing targeted spay/neuter programs across the county, who make the calls, who help the owners, rescuers, businesses do the right thing and spay/neuter as many dogs and cats as they can in their communities. We are so very thankful for all their combined efforts.

We are blessed with county staff and county officials who have joined us in one of the finest public-private partnerships ever seen in creating a better community. For the officers in the field and shelter staff dealing with daily heartbreak, to county administration and officials determined to find the optimal combination of resources and outcomes, we are thankful.

Perhaps there is nothing for which we in the FOTAS family can be more grateful than the miraculous creatures whose cause we champion day in and day out, our pets. Dog lover or cat lover, we know the loyalty, affection, entertainment they bring us.

If we let them, our pets can teach us about tolerance, patience, forgiveness, honesty and love. We are thankful always for them and the opportunity to live up to their image of us.

FOTAS volunteers work with the Aiken County Animal Shelter, 411 Wire Road. For more information, email or visit

Aiken County Animal Shelter: “By the Numbers”

For the week of Nov. 12-18

Received: 37 dogs and 46 cats

Adopted: 8 dogs and 1 cats

Euthanized: 48 dogs and 22 cats