Shortage of adoptions in South Carolina animal shelters

Published: Nov. 18, 2018 at 5:05 PM EST
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Friday, November 16, 2018

News 12 at 11

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Kim and her grandson Kingston are welcoming a new member to their family.

"Jeffy. We're glad we have Jeffy!" Kingston Parrott said.

They're saving Jeffy, but there's so many more just like him without a home.

'It's just, trying to save one and keep it from bad things happening to them that we don't like to talk about," Kim Dixon said.

Shelters all over South Carolina are facing a critical problem. Not enough people are adopting and shelters are way over capacity.

"We've have 712 animals surrendered in 6 weeks. Last year it was 393," Jennifer Miller, President of FOTAS said. "We don't have the room."

Just in October, FOTAS took in 500 new animals. They say they're running out of options.

"We don't want to have to euthanize for space, but if animals keep coming in day after day, we have no choice."

The SPCA is a no-kill shelter, and they say they've tried everything. When they're full, they transport some to other shelters. But all the other shelters are full too.

"We've even lined animals up down the hall in kennels right now," Claire Grimes, Development Director at SPCA Albrecht Center said. "We've put some dogs in cat adoption. We've had to kind of make do. We've doubled up a lot of our kennels."

Conditions that take a toll on the animals mentally and physically.

"What people don't understand is that when a dog is surrendered to a shelter, it's the dogs worst nightmare and they just totally shut down," Miller said.

Both shelters say they haven't seen this trend in years, especially during the holiday season.

"At this time of the year, it shouldn't be like that. At this time of the year we should walk in and see empty kennels And we're just not," Ellie Joos, FOTAS board secretary said.

Kim and Kingston say they hope others open their homes and hearts.

"Christmas season is a time and Thanksgiving we can be thankful for things that we have and to try and help give these animals a loving home," Dixon said.

FOTAS says they're trying to get more adoptions by offering discounts and holding events. If it continues to go the way it's going, they say they're going to have to euthanize the animals, which breaks their hearts.

SPCA says they're going to try and transport some animals up North. They've never done it before, but that's the last thing they can think to do.