Will Abbeville County animal shelter have to start euthanizing animals?
“We want to alarm the public.”
So said Greater Abbeville Humane Society president Ann Davis Wednesday in reference to the situation at the Abbeville County Animal Shelter.
“Overcrowding at the shelter is getting so serious that difficult decisions may have to be made,” she said. “They have dogs at the shelter that have been there over a year.”
“The longer they stay in this kennel situation, locked up, the more behavior problems develop,” she continued. “They don’t get the amount of time with adults or exercise to get out their energy.”
An excess of energy sometimes creates aggression, and dogs are by nature very loving creatures.
They are enormously social animals, needing to have interaction with human beings and with other animals.
Without this interaction, they can develop bad behavior problems.
“They go ‘kennel crazy’ after a long period of time,” she said.
Just imagine staying in solitary confinement for at least a year, she said. Wouldn’t that drive you just a little crazy?
Dogs are no different, according to Davis.
“This is the equivalent of being in doggie prison,” she said.
The Abbeville County animal shelter is a “no kill” shelter, meaning that Shelter personnel typically do not euthanize animals solely because of overcrowded conditions.
However, under “dire circumstances,” the Shelter may have to euthanize them.
The community “is just not stepping up to adopt these animals,” she said.
Davis is welcoming the community to either adopt the animals or foster them.
You may foster the animals by agreeing to take them home and keep them for a few days, getting them out of the shelter for a short time.
The numbers are simply not good. The shelter currently has 44 dogs, far above a capacity of 23.
“Please get out and help the shelter get the numbers down,” she said.
Davis described the adoption process. You pay a $50 fee to adopt an animal from the Shelter, with the money going to Abbeville County, which operates the shelter.
The animal you adopt is already either spayed or neutered, and it has been vaccinated for rabies and other conditions, and has been dewormed as well.
All in all, you pay $50 for about $300 worth of services.
“Adopting a shelter pet is a real bargain,” said Davis.
Pictures of Shelter dogs are on Petango.com, said Davis, noting that you do not necessarily have to adopt an animal immediately.
You can take an animal home for a couple of days to try it out.
“This is called ‘foster to adopt,’” she said.
More than 2,000 animal statewide were adopted during the recent Pick Me! event, designed to encourage adoptions. Here in Abbeville County, Davis said, five dogs and four cats were adopted.
While the shelter is enormously overcrowded, Abbeville County is also home to just too many animals on the loose.
“The stray problem in Abbeville County is just atrocious,” Davis said.
Above are three featured pets of the month of August from the shelter, available for adoption: (left to right) Snoopy, Trixi, and Mama Jazz.