News 12 at 11 o'clock / Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013
EDGEFIELD, S.C. (WRDW) -- Plans are slowly moving along for a new animal shelter in Edgefield County. Council members got the first update on progress on the shelter since it was approved a year ago in January, but they say it's still going to be a while before it's completed.
They say they're moving along, drawing plans and finding a location for the shelter, but every day they wait they are sending more animals to Aiken County shelters, which are already overflowing.
"There's just that many animals out there that need help," said Kathleen Nohe, who has adopted five stray dogs from Edgefield County.
It's a growing problem all over and so is the lack of places to house them.
"I think they could have a shelter every 50 miles and they would all be full," Nohe said.
"One thing that happens out in the country is you get a lot of people who take their dog, if they don't want it anymore, they take it out in the country and they let it go," said Dr. Clarence Bagshaw, who has been a vet for 16 years in Edgefield County.
"We see a lot of strays," he said. "Over the years, I've had stray animals tied to my front porch. I've had people coming in with kittens and puppies and they don't know what to do with them."
That's why Edgefield County is working to build its first shelter.
"We've accomplished a lot in the past few months as far as hammering out some details so we're moving forward," said County Administrator Lynn Strom.
Those details include finding and testing a possible location off Highway 25 on Simmons Road, studying operating budgets and safety concerns.
Strom says there's still a lot to do before construction can begin.
"We wanna be sure it's done right before we do anything," she said.
Right now the county sends around a thousand animals a year to Aiken County. It's a place Nohe knows can be the end of the line.
"They just can't handle them all," she said. "Then they are euthanized and it's a shame."
They say they hope a new shelter will also help address some other issues they've been having like puppy mills. Right now, they spend around $70,000 a year on the services of Aiken County. The new building would cost $200,000, so they say it would basically pay for itself within six to seven years.