Meet Terrance - a big name for such a little boy. He's described as tolerant and getting along with everyone. Cleo and Nikki are a little more shy. And they're also a ways away from home. That "E" on their ID slips mean they're from Edgefield County, but a wait a minute - this is the -Aiken- county animal shelter.
"They probably take it for granted because they call the sheriff's office and the issue is taken care of," says Edgefield County Administrator Lynn Strom.
That's right, Edgefield does not an animal shelter. So what happens to those stray pets?
"It may take hour for her to drive here, then unload her animals here, then do her paperwork," Aiken County Animal Control Director Bobby Arthur says.
The Edgefield County animal control officer has to pick up calls, then pick up the stray animals from all 506 square miles of Edgefield County, then truck them over to Aiken. That's a major time drain that can take hours out of her day - in fact, she couldn't meet today because she was out on multiple calls to get animals from the west side of Edgefield County over to Aiken County. That also takes her out of the county for emergency calls. With as many as 100 or 150 pets coming over a month, that means it can be close quarters in Aiken.
"If Edgefield County had their own shelter it would really help us with overcrowding, so we could house more animals in a more humane way," Arthur says.
Those Edgefield animals are in addition to hundreds of Aiken County animals each month. And while they adopt and transfer them, only half find a home:
"You're still looking at half, what happens to the other half," Arthur says.
Edgefield County leaders are working to dip into reserves to build a shelter; that will take around $200,000. Tuesday evening they will be taking the first steps by walking county properties to start selecting a site - perhaps the old chain gang site, or this abandoned nursing home, well-worn and over grown, could give these little guys a home until they find a home.
1336 Augusta West Parkway
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