Her name is Linda. We like to honor our special volunteers by highlighting them here. These are Linda’s own words in response to, “Who are you, and why do you do it?”

“I manage the ever-changing FOTAS website and its sidekick, Facebook. I have a marketing background and have created a few websites in the past, plus I have numerous dogs, cats and equines in a happy jumble. I am disabled so must limit my activities, especially those that require concentration.

“I moved south hoping to heal some, better care for myself and not do the volume of volunteer work I did previously while still working. It can be overwhelming, yet the most rewarding experience. Just find a cause that really matters to you.

“What is it about the South? I love it here so much and thank God every day I look out my window. I find such peace, happiness and beauty here. Yet I have never seen such an overwhelming number of abandoned animals, obviously intact or having had several litters of pups. It’s like the Caribbean used to be 20 years ago. FOTAS taught me that Aiken County Animal Shelter alone takes in over 5,000 unwanted animals a year!

“One encounter with the president of FOTAS, and I was hooked by such positivity and willingness to help an anxious soul who had, yet again, found several dogs along the road. Already overwhelmed with animals, what could I do?

“The officers of FOTAS have inspired me, I have worked with two regularly, sometimes side-by-side at events. How could I not volunteer when they give countless hours, day and night, dedicated to the abandoned and neglected animals of Aiken County? They will do anything to help save a life. They are intelligent, driven, energetic and, above all, positive about the changes they can make. They are the women I want to be when I grow up.

“Yes, I take care of the website, try to make it easy to follow, hope to encourage people to donate or give of their time. I have set up donate buttons for one-time or monthly donations hoping that people will have $5 or $10 a month deducted automatically from their account dedicated to our new shelter, spay/neuter, transport north. They can even get a documentary DVD about an Aiken Shelter therapy dog just by donating $10 to FOTAS.

“Why do I devote so many hours to do this cause? Is it because, once I start something I enjoy doing, I can’t stop until I get it right? Am I avoiding finishing my taxes or doing housework? I could be reading a book, talking on the phone, checking Facebook or riding my horse! I do all those things anyway, but when FOTAS calls, I drop everything I can and give my best. My commitment to FOTAS volunteers and our FOTAS community is with me constantly because there is always the chance, if I do my best, that one more life will be saved.”

Please, find your own way to help.

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

Aiken County Animal Shelter: “By the Numbers”

April 8 through 14

Received: 28 dogs and 26 cats

Adopted: 15 dogs and 2 cat

Euthanized: 39 dogs and 21 cats

*All adoption fees include spay/neuter, heartworm test, all shots, worming, and microchip.