FOTAS: Spay/neuter program gaining in the Valley
Between April 1-28, 172 unwanted dogs were received at the Aiken County Shelter, and 96 throw-away cats. These numbers are one snapshot of the magnitude of the problem FOTAS is helping the county address.
Our Spay/Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP), launched last summer in Wagener as a pilot, is proving to be one of our most effective tools to reduce the numbers of unwanted litters of puppies and kittens.
On March 4, we opened another SNAP project in the Valley with the help of the Burnettown Mayor’s Office and the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. We had such an overwhelming response in Wagener that we thought the Burnettown operation would follow suit.
The Wagener program launched on Aug. 1, and within two days we had enough animals enrolled to fill three large transports. The participation exhausted the grant with Pawmetto Lifeline in Columbia in three trips. Thank God for the generosity of the SPCA, who picked up the program and enabled us to fix nearly 200 animals by the holidays.
Once the SPCA’s new Albrecht Center opened its high-capacity spay/neuter clinic on Willow Run Road, we had high hopes for SNAP to branch out to targeted areas throughout the county.
Chief Enforcement Officer Bobby Arthurs and his staff help target trouble spots with high numbers of strays and unwanted litters. The Valley qualified.
Understanding that we are trying to raise the funds to fit, furnish and finish the new count shelter, the SPCA has again been hugely generous with its resources. Already, they have allotted 75 surgeries for the program.
The Valley SNAP needs more help. Although the program opened officially on March 4, we have had trouble finding an effective means to communicate with Valley residents who need assistance to fix their pets.
We are delighted to have spayed or neutered 28 dogs and 15 cats to date, but we were hoping to do that many by April 1. We need more help.
The process is quite simple. If you or someone you know needs help getting your animals fixed, here are the steps:
• Go to Burnettown Municipal Building (Town Hall) and sign up.
• Fill out an enrollment form that tells us species, gender and a few pertinent facts.
• Wait to be called for a surgery date.
• Bring your animal to Burnettown Hall, or take it to the SPCA yourself (you must be enrolled to qualify).
It costs $15 for the surgery and another $5 for a rabies shot if it is not current. That’s it.
We also are looking for a local resident to volunteer with the administrative tasks: making calls, on-site registration and loading. You will get to meet the celebrity Herbie Brown who has been drafted by SNAP to transport participants.
FOTAS is profoundly grateful to the SPCA Albrecht Center, and we appreciate those who have already participated, or have given to this effort in other ways. We cannot build enough shelters. We cannot re-home enough animals. We have got to pool our time and resources and make SNAP, and equivalent efforts, WORK.
FOTAS volunteers work with the Aiken County Animal Shelter, 411 Wire Road. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.fotasaiken.org.
Aiken County Animal Shelter: “By the Numbers”
May 6 through 12,
Brought in: 81 dogs and 50 cats
Adopted: 6 dogs and 6 cats
Put down: 26 dogs and 78 cats!
Aiken County Shelter “Pets of the Week!” HALF PRICE!!
*All adoption fees include: Spay/Neuter, heartworm test, all shots, worming, and microchip