Friends of the Animal Shelter will reach a 10-year milestone of volunteer service to the Aiken County Animal Shelter this weekend.

To celebrate, FOTAS is hosting a 10th Anniversary Party at the shelter Saturday. The community is invited to attend and bring dogs they've adopted from the shelter – provided they get along with other canines. 

“This is a celebration of collaboration," FOTAS Communications Director Bob Gordon said in a news release. “FOTAS’s success is due to so many people in this community working together for homeless pets in need, so we wanted to show our appreciation by hosting an anniversary party that everyone can enjoy.”

During the event, which lasts from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., there will be $10 adoption specials on all animals at the shelter (dogs normally cost $35), children's games, live DJ music and anniversary cupcakes. Aiken County Council representatives are expected to attend. 

All pets at the event must be leashed.

FOTAS serves as the volunteer arm of the shelter. It was formed in 2009 by concerned citizens who expressed worry about the "dismal" conditions at the previous shelter, according to a FOTAS press release. The effort was spearheaded by Jennifer Miller, who serves as the group's president today.

The euthanasia rate has dropped each year at the Aiken County Animal Shelter since the formation of FOTAS, reaching a historic low of 6% in 2018. FOTAS also played a major role in securing funds for construction of the current shelter on Wire Road.

In 2017, FOTAS received the Angel Award, which recognizes the most efficient and effective charities in the state.

The Aiken County Animal Shelter is located at 333 Wire Road. 

For more information, email or call 803-514-4313.

Kristina Rackley is a general assignment reporter with the Aiken Standard.