Number of lost and surrendered pets rises in wake of ice storm

News 12 at 6 o' clock/ February 19, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga.--The ice storm has caused a lot of unexpected problems for many of us, but it's also been tough on our four legged friends.

The Aiken County Animal Shelter has been without power since the ice storm started, and eight days without power is not easy when you're dealing with a shelter full of pets.

Bobby Arthurs, the Chief Enforcement Officer with Aiken County Animal Services says, "It's been hard. We have water. We don't have any heat. We don't have electricity for the washer and dryer to wash all our laundry. At night these animals need the bedding to cuddle up and sleep."

To add to the list of problem, shelter is at capacity. They're seeing a lot of lost pets and surrendered pets from the ice storm.

"We've had a couple of people surrender because of the problems with the back yard. Keeping animals confined on the property," he explains.

A horse transportation company from up north helped alleviate some of the overcrowding today. Fairway Horse Transport picked up several dogs to take back to shelters in the New England area.

Curtis Jean drives for the company, and he says, "We end up coming to Aiken a lot for our regular customers. Anytime we have room in the trailer heading north, we try to rescue as many dogs as possible."

A lot of families lost their pets during the ice storm. Fortunately, good Samaritans like Lauren Brinson have been able to help out.

"It was Saturday night I found the dog up in Lincolnton. He was very well behaved and very sweet, so I knew he had to belong to somebody," she explains.

She posted his picture online, and the pet was reunited with his owner.

"He had gotten out during the ice storm and went 5 miles down the road into a different neighborhood," she said.

Adoptions have also been down thanks to the weather, but now that the sunshine is out, there's no better time to stop by your local shelter and find your new best friend.