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Letter to the editor: Cat lovers of Abbeville, demand your voices be heard

Dear Editor,

As President of the Abbeville County Humane Society, I would like the citizens of Abbeville County to be aware of a situation that is growing more critical every day and that you as citizens are not receiving the animal services for which you are paying taxes. Every one of us is paying at present $9 on our tax bill that funds the operation of the Abbeville County Animal Shelter.

Would you not assume that the Shelter is providing services for both dogs and cats? Last fall the Animal Shelter stopped providing services for cats. Also, Animal Control will not trap cats or provide any assistance for citizens who need help if it is related to cats.

As mentioned earlier, the situation that is critical due to the shelter’s refusal to take cats, is the stray cat situation in the county. Many times, stray cats have kittens and people could catch the kittens before they became feral and wild and they would bring those kittens to the Animal Shelter where they could be adopted. Now those kittens have to grow up and become wild and have MORE kittens. You can’t imagine how fast cats can multiply. Therefore, Abbeville County has a terrible stray cat problem and it is getting much worse with NO HELP from the County.

We are not getting the Animal Services that were promised when the County took over Animal Services from the City and the services for which we are being taxed. Now they are requesting to raise that tax to $15. I don’t have a problem with the $15 if we were receiving the services for both dogs and cats as was originally planned. Meanwhile the stray cat problem continues to increase.

To clarify a point of confusion with many, the Abbeville County Humane Society and the Abbeville County Animal Shelter are two totally separate organizations. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is funded solely from donations from supporters and animal lovers.

The Abbeville County Humane Society provides TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) services to citizens who have stray cats or stray cat colonies that they may be feeding. These are the only services for cats in Abbeville County and our services are very limited due to lack of veterinary services and volunteers to help with the trapping and transporting of these cats. As you might expect, we have a long waiting list.

When the Humane Society traps cats we, many times, find mama cats with several babies that can be caught and domesticated and adopted into loving homes. At this point, we have nowhere to take them so they have to be left to grow up wild and have more babies unless we can TNR them before they have had more kittens.

Citizens of Abbeville County please speak up and reach out to your County Council. Tell them that they should not raise our Animal Shelter Tax unless they provide the services they made a commitment to provide. Write letters to your Councilman and visit County Council Meetings and speak for the CATS and for the families that are trying to take care of cats. Let the Council know you are outraged by them making the cat problem worse if they continue to refuse to provide cat services.

Please become outspoken on this issue. Demand that your voices be heard.

Ann Davis, President

Abbeville County Humane Society

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