Last summer, as the Woofstock Festival approached, as images of the new Aiken County Shelter appeared and as FOTAS kicked off its first community-based SNAP (Spay/Neuter Assistance Program), we invited elementary school children to write an essay for prizes.

In the essay contest fliers, Meg, the Woofstock Festival mascot, posed the question, “What can we do about all the unwanted puppies and kittens?” Children were given until Oct. 1 to submit their reply. Here are some highlights:

“We just adopted a fun loving puppy. That has given me more time to learn about dogs and how wonderful they are. ... I think it would a good idea if the FOTAS picked out some dogs that were calm. Then the dogs could go stay at a nursing home for a while because it is helpful for lonely people to have a dog to love. The more the dogs go out in the community the more people would see and want to adopt them.” Sophia, age 9, 4th grade.

“I think what you should do about the animals is try to get them adopted. I know that’s obvious, but you should try various locations at the same and at different times. … I think what you’re doing is the best! It’s what I want to do when I grow up.” Sofia, age 11, 6th grade.

“I’ve been to an animal shelter. I think that the animals need more space to run and play. They also need more food. … They also need toys to play with. I hope they get everything they need from a family that loves and cares for them.” Christian, age 7, second grade.

“I think we should give the puppies to the farmers around Aiken. … The farmers can train the puppies early because, you know, the puppies are very trainable. I think the farmers would be very happy to know that they are going to get a working dog.” Sydney, age 10, fifth grade.

“… I love animals, and I hate to see them on the streets and/or abandoned. Also, I don’t like seeing them in the kennels. … So I would love if people could help in two ways. 1. Donate to the FOTAS so if anything is wrong with the animals, they can fix them. 2. Adopt the animals. My family adopted their dogs.” Abby, age 10, fifth grade.

“When someone adopts a dog or a kitten, show them other cats or dogs that get along good and like each other. Or you could offer foster before someone thinks about adopting so they know how the dog behaves so they won’t get returned. Also you can get the cats and dogs spayed and neutered.” Macy, age 9, fourth grade.

Out of the mouths of babes, insights on responsible pet ownership and the many joys rescued animals can bring. Happy New Year to all.

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

By the Numbers

November 2012 vs 2011

Received 306 369

Adopted 60 72

Transferred 47 36

Euthanized 229 288

Aiken County Shelter “Pets of the Week!”

All adoptions price through tomorrow, 12/31!

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