Last month, the Wiseman family took a very pregnant, lovely yellow Lab named Annie home to have her puppies, whom the Wisemans would then foster as their umpteenth litter. Annie had seven healthy puppies on Election Day: a chocolate, a yellow, a chocolate, a yellow and then three dusty brown adorable mutts.

Two Saturdays later, right after another foster home agreed to take three litters to her farm, a family brought eight crying motherless puppies to the County Shelter. The puppies had not eaten for two days while their people waited for the mother dog to return. No mother dog leaves her babies for two days, not if she can return.

Shelter staff and FOTAS volunteers fed the starving babies immediately, while thinking what could be done to save them.

One of the volunteers present was another veteran foster parent and recalled that the Wiseman puppies were about the same age as the orphans. The Wisemans agreed to add the eight motherless puppies to the seven they already had, hoping that they could persuade Annie to feed all 15.

When the new batch arrived, each ball of fur was rubbed with bedding from Annie’s own litter and placed in their own puppy pen. Heather Wiseman sat on the floor and gently called to Annie, knowing she would come to her. That’s all it took.

For two weeks the mother dog has nursed her seven and then the batch of eight, seven of which are girls. The Wisemans have supervised and supported and supplemented Annie’s care. The 15 puppies are fat, healthy, affectionate and playful. Those that are not adopted in Aiken County will probably find a new home up north for Christmas.

Meanwhile, out in Windsor a small chestnut stray is raising her litter of eight in a drain pipe. She has moved the pups many times trying to avoid human interference. Time is running out to give any of them a chance at a good life in a caring home. Likely, their lives will be short and as miserable as their deaths.

Last weekend, Herbie Brown, the ’79 Airstream that FOTAS converted into a Rescue Waggin’, was parked on Church Street in Wagener waiting to be decorated for the Christmas parade the next day.

A car pulled up, and the driver, an older gentleman, asked about the FOTAS Spay/Neuter Assistance Program that had been running monthly in Wagener since the beginning of August.

“I live in Perry,” he said. “And there’s this neighborhood dog. She goes from house to house and everybody feeds her. Well,” he went on, “She’s pregnant.”

He wants to let her have her puppies. He believes they will find homes, and then they’ll get the mother spayed. And who will spay and neuter the puppies? He shrugged and smiled.

Please support Spay/Neuter. Please, remember that a Christmas puppy needs your love and care for at least another dozen Christmases. Please support FOTAS in any way you can: donate, foster, adopt or volunteer.

And have a wonderful Christmas!

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

Aiken County Animal Shelter: “By the Numbers”

November 19th thru 25th

Received: __ dogs and __ cats

Adopted: __ dogs and __ cats

Euthanized: __ dogs and __ cats

Aiken County Shelter “Pets of the Week!” So much LOVE for so little!

(See .jpg attachments for photos).

PAISLEY – 2yrs. Sweet American Bull Terrier mix. Gorgeous boy. $70

SPARKY – 8 yr. Apricot pretty boy. $35.

*All adoption fees include: Spay/Neuter, heartworm test, all shots, worming, and microchip.