The Abbeville County Animal Shelter has inadequate staffing, Greater Abbeville Humane Society president Ann Davis told Abbeville County Council last week.
Davis spoke to Council during the public comment section of the Feb. 14 County Council meeting.
“One of the major problems we see with the Animal Shelter is inadequate staffing,” Davis told Council.
“I want to be clear that this is by no means a fault of the staff,” she continued. “The few staff that are there, two full-time and three part-time with very limited hours, do the best they can under the circumstances. They are overwhelmed and overworked. If someone is out sick, there may be no one to cover. With only two full-time people, when one is out on a call or transporting animals to the veterinarian and the other person is out sick there is no one to cover the shelter.
“The staff and the animals are being put at risk because of this. The situation at the shelter is critical and dangerous and needs to be addressed immediately.”
During the pandemic the animal shelter lost its sources for spaying and neutering the animals in their care, and more than 50 animals were sent to homes without being spayed or neutered in a “foster to adopt” situation.
The adoptions cannot be finalized until the animals are spayed or neutered, she continued.
“Our goal is to finalize the adoption of these dogs so they can be removed from the active rolls of the Abbeville County Animal Shelter.
The Humane Society, she said, has implemented a program in which the Society has asked local veterinarians to provide services for these foster to adopt animals.
“We currently have three veterinarians who have volunteered their time and facility to this project,” she said.
The project began in late December, and at press time 26 shelter dogs and cats had been spayed and neutered.
“The inadequate staffing (at the Animal Shelter) puts the recovery of the animals that are having surgery at even greater risk “because they are not receiving the aftercare for proper healing, and several have had to be placed on antibiotics because of this.”
Davis and Jim Stamey of the Society met with County Director David Garner recently.
She noted that the Society is planning an Adoption Event is planned for April 9, with details to be announced.
She indicated that the Society would also like to see an exhaust fan installed to help with the odor in the shelter, and informed Garner of this.
Davis indicated that the County’s Department of Public Works is expected to be contacted to see “if they might have a bush hog that could take care of the field behind the Shelter so the dog walkers will have a safer place for both the dogs and the volunteers walking them instead of walking down the road.”