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Orangeburg shelter receives hundreds of donations after thieves steal dog food

Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 4:11 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 6, 2021 at 8:03 PM EDT
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ORANGEBURG, S.C. (WCSC) - The Orangeburg County Animal Shelter is quickly recuperating after hundreds of pounds of dog food was stolen from a pair of locked storage units. Among the stolen supplies were also thousands of dollars in equipment. Rubber mats, brand new crates and even an extra dryer were all looted.

Shelter Volunteer Sabrina Faircloth says they were devastated when they found their storage unit locks had been cut and replaced with new locks and almost everything inside was taken.

“We were angry and shocked that anybody could possibly take all of this dog food. This is a county shelter that serves 1,100 square miles,” Faircloth said. “We are so overflowing, we actually have dogs right now in our bathrooms because we don’t have enough places to put them. When they take from the animals that can’t speak for themselves, that’s just terrible.”

The theft, which Faircloth says happened sometime last week, was discovered this weekend. There are no security cameras and Faircloth is not hopeful a suspect will be caught. She says it has forced them to make tough decisions about whether to buy medical supplies or food.

“This touches my heart because we have worked hard at becoming a shelter that doesn’t like to euthanize animals, and we don’t,” Faircloth said. “If we can’t feed them just the most basic thing that they need, then we. . .”

Luckily, Faircloth and the shelter did not have to go down that hypothetical road. Just hours after posting a statement to Facebook about the theft, donations began streaming in from all over the community.

“I think we probably have more than what was taken. It is just incredible,” Faircloth said. “At our local Tractor Supply Co., they have pallets waiting to be delivered. It is just amazing.”

Over the weekend, people have been dropping off 40-pound bags of dog food at the shelter or ordering it from Tractor Supply Co. Assistant Manager John Toli says he is overwhelmed by the by the number of orders and the generosity of his community.

“We have so many nice customers that come in and want to help. It’s just heartwarming,” Toli said. “I came in at 10 o’clock this morning and we already had 20 plus orders from people who wanted to help. You can’t beat that.”

Tractor Supply has chipped in with a pallet of dog food and another of pet bedding.

Faircloth says they probably have enough dry dog food, but they still need wet food for dogs, which is used to help them take medication. They also need cat and kitten food, and they need to replace the 30 crates that were stolen. Those crates were donated by FEMA and used for transporting animals out of the area in the case of major weather event.

However, Faircloth says what they need most right now is money to buy a shed that can be kept on their property, safely locked behind their fence and watched by their security cameras.

The shelter is advising people looking to donate to continue to purchase donations through Tractor Supply Co. They say if you’d like to help with the shed fund, you can donate a gift card from the company.

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