PICKENS COUNTY — The Pickens County Humane Society, also known as Foothills Humane, launched an eleventh hour social media campaign to save the shelter after abruptly losing a significant portion of their funding last year. The gofundme fundraiser went viral — raising the required $70,000 — and allowed many involved to breathe a sigh of relief.
Still, the question loomed: what next?
“When we saved the shelter, everyone was thrilled,” said executive director Samantha Gamble at a recent Pickens Rotary Club meeting. “But now we need a way to remain sustainable — that’s where the clinic comes in.”
Foothills has doubled down on the success of the fundraiser and is hoping to raise enough to start a low cost spay and neuter clinic — something the county has been lacking for some time.
“A clinic like this serves two purposes, first off, it helps to decrease the number of surplus animals in the area — of which there are a lot,” Gamble said. “Secondly, it would provide the shelter with a steady stream of income.”
Gamble said although the county facility, Pickens County SPCA, was helping to get animals off the street, Foothills Humane still had an important purpose: unlike the county, they are a no kill facility.
“We don’t euthanize healthy, adoptable dogs and cats, it’s that simple,” she said. “When they come here, they’re here until they find a home or we place them with one of our partnering organizations. We don’t have ‘time limits’ and we don’t euthanize because we run out of room — we’re here for the animals.”
Gamble explained the only exceptions were animals who were put down were ones whose health problems were not survivable and those with temperaments that made them dangerous.
With two full time shelters now up and running in Pickens County, one might be surprised to hear they nearly always run at full capacity.
“Over population is a serious problem here,” said Gamble. “A spay and neuter clinic is the perfect solution.”
According to the Humane Society of the United States, an average cat has 1-8 kittens per litter and 2-3 litters per year.
That means during her productive life, one female cat could have more than 100 kittens. Add in what her offspring can do, and that mean a single pair of cats — and their kittens — can produce as many as 420,000 kittens in just 7 years.
It’s just as bad for dogs.
Besides overpopulation, the HSUS states spaying or neutering your pet can provide them with significant health benefits as well including a longer, healthier life.
“Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors, which are malignant or cancerous in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats,” they said. “Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.”
Altering a male dog makes it less likely to roam away from home and may discourage “spraying” by male cats.
The Pickens County Humane Society has raised over $81,000 of their $375,000 goal.
To make a donation, visit www.pickenscountyhumanesociety.com.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.