Dorchester Paws halts intakes, calls on community to help with crowded shelter
DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Dorchester Paws will host an adoption event Thursday afternoon at Ashley River Park in an effort to help lessen the burden on the crowded shelter.
The event corresponds with National Remember Me Thursday, which spotlights not only animals waiting in the shelter but also takes time to remember the ones that never made it out of the shelter. Dorchester Paws will have eight ready-to-adopt dogs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for a $25 adoption fee. The dogs are microchipped, vaccinated, spayed and neutered already.
April Howard is the Director of Shelter Operations at Dorchester Paws. She says it has been a rough summer for shelters across the country reaching and staying at full capacity.
“We’re seeing more and more pets come into the shelter, more and more requests for surrender and it’s a lot more than the shelter can manager,” Howard says.
She is urging people to foster animals and consider adopting if they are looking to get a pet. She says as strays and lost animals come in, the burden of care is also on the community of Dorchester County to help the animals.
“It is not only the shelter’s responsibility to house these animals to be responsible for these animals but it is also our community,” Howard says. “We desperately need to have the space so that we can keep taking in the ones that need us to be here for them. The ones that are truly lost or suffering.”
Having to stop intake operations is one of the hardest decisions the staff has made as a safe haven for animals, but Howard says they have reached their limit.
“We never want to have to say no to somebody who was just doing the right thing, who was picking up this animal that was in the middle of the highway,” Howard says. “They were their savior. So telling them, hey can you please just take this animal home with you for a few days is never the answer we want to give, but at this point in time we just cannot humanely care for another dog coming into our shelter.”
The shelter is also working on programs to help current pet owners continue to care for their animals.
“If you’re teetering on that decision to surrender your pet because you feel like you cannot care for them, please reach out to us,” Howard says. “We are going to go to bat for you.”
It is still in the grassroots phase, but the shelter has a pet food pantry up and running to help owners. They are working on a litter supply, transportation to the vet and other services to make sure pets can safely stay in their homes. Howard says if you are unable to foster, but want to make a donation to the pet food pantry or cost to run the shelter, that is another way to help.
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