Aiken County Friends of the Animal Shelter to celebrate 10 years

Friday, November 1, 2019
News 12 at 6 a.m.

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Aiken County Animal Shelter looks a bit different than it did a decade ago.

"I would leave the shelter crying," said Ellie Joos, a Friends of the Animal Shelter board member. "It was so dismal. It was overcrowded."

The nonprofit, FOTAS, started 10 years ago to work hand in hand with the shelter.

"The need was to save lives of the animals," Joos said. "We did not want to be associated with a kill shelter."

So, that's been FOTAS' goal ever since: getting volunteers, foster families, and saving animals. It's working.

"When we started in 2009, the shelter was euthanizing over 90 percent of the animals that came in, and here we are 10 years later saving 90 percent," Joos said.

That's reason to celebrate. FOTAS will this weekend by thanking the community for their 10-year anniversary. There will be food vendors, music, fun and games and even $10 adoptions.

It's also a reminder for the community.

"We are here today. We've achieved these goals," she said. "There's still more to do. There's still more education that needs to be done."

Joos says that spay and neuter is still a big issue, and education is the key to solving that problem. Recently, they took 100 animals in a week.

But, with FOTAS raising money to help build a facility, paying for shots and getting the animals ready for adoption, they say things are moving in the right direction.

"Definitely people see it as a happy place now," Joos said.

It's a happier place for the animals too.

This weekend's anniversary celebration will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Aiken County Animal Shelter.

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