Charmed by the Aiken community after a short visit here in 2005, I returned several months later to purchase a lot in Cedar Creek for my future move.
The lure of this area brought me sooner that I had expected and in 2007 Aiken became my home. Goodbye, Maryland, miss you, but I love it here.
Like many residents of Aiken, I became involved in volunteering with various organizations, but in 2011 I found a calling to get involved with FOTAS. I helped with fundraising and chaired two highly successful events for FOTAS.
My involvement was just to be assistance to the organization, but in 2013 I joined the FOTAS Board. Having had many pets prior to this, I thought my pet ownership days were over as I travel a lot and am also very busy here in Aiken.
Guess what – I adopted two County Shelter animals, Meg (a terrier mix, the poster “child” for several FOTAS Woofstocks) and Zeus (a shih tzu). These two abandoned animals caught my heart, and here we are.
Many of my neighbors also support FOTAS. Some are devoted dog socializers and go to the Shelter four days a week (one became FOTAS’ very first volunteer in 2009.) Others help in many, many other ways.
It occurred to me recently just how involved the Cedar Creek community is supporting FOTAS and volunteering at the County Shelter itself.
There are about 1,200 residents in Cedar Creek (in a little over 600 homes.) Many are retired and many still work (both full and part-time.)
Like Aiken itself, this is a very involved and giving community. Recently I reviewed the FOTAS supporter list and was surprised that more than 100 of them are Cedar Creek residents.
Not only do they go to the shelter to walk the dogs and socialize the cats, they staff the front desk, do administrative and database tasks, chair and volunteer at special events (both on-site and off-site), participate in the short-term foster program, take photographs of the animals, help with publicity, donate towels and toys for the animals, generously donate money that helps FOTAS supplement the limited resources of the County Shelter, make peanut butter/green bean treats for the dogs, as well as issue spay/neuter vouchers for those in need.
Some residents have had parties where they asked the attendees to bring donations for FOTAS instead of hostess gifts.
The Cedar Creek Ladies Club, a group of about 100 residents, has donated large amounts of money to FOTAS – we have honored them with a bench in their name at the new Shelter which we purchased from some of the funds they have donated.
You know, I wish I knew the number of County Shelter animals that the residents of this fine community have adopted.
This is a large number I’m sure – I often see them walking their dogs when I am walking mine, and enjoy their stories about how shelter pets have enriched their lives, become their best friends and make the best pets around!
So, I am celebrating what a great community I live in and what a great community “brigade” my Cedar Creek neighbors are. Thank you for all you do and have done for FOTAS and the County Shelter.
If you have a soft spot in your heart for our abandoned furry friends, please consider becoming a volunteer and supporter of FOTAS. We are especially in need of dog walkers right now. These beautiful souls can’t wait for human contact and for a daily much-needed outside break from their shelter kennels.
Here’s a great idea! Maybe you could rally your own neighbors and create a community brigade as well to help FOTAS and the Aiken County Animal Shelter. This work is rewarding, and you’ll make some new friends also.
For more information, call 803-514-4313 or email info@FOTASAiken.org
And last, but most important – please adopt a wonderful animal from the County Shelter. Remember, their lives are in our hands.
FOTAS volunteers work with the Aiken County Animal Shelter, 333 Wire Road. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.fotasaiken.org.
JUNE 2014 STATISTICS
FOR AIKEN COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER
DOGS CATS TOTAL
Received 300 268 568
Re-homed 65 80 (new county record) 215
Euthanized 43 292 435