AIKEN, S.C. — During the first week of October, the Aiken County Animal Shelter received more than 73 animals. So far this month, they have taken in more than 364 animals. The shelter manager, Bobby Arthurs, believes they are on pace to surpass last year’s 5,000 pet intake if they don’t address the crisis.
“We’re on the pace of having over 400 animals, maybe more in October if we don’t slow down,” Bobby Arthurs.
Arthurs told NewsChannel 6 reporter, Devin Johnson, the shelter is getting so full, They’re almost at the point of dividing kennels to house more dogs. He says that option would make it uncomfortable for the animals as the weather starts to get colder.
“Out of all of the animals, the 5,000 animals that came in the shelter, only seven percent were returned to the owner,” explained Arthurs.
Arthurs says during the summer months is when the shelter gets an influx of animals, but this year’s extremely warm fall extended the breeding season.
“Every six months, they come in heat, and they have puppies,” said Arthurs. “Then those puppies grow up, and then they go into heat, 60 days later, they can have a litter of puppies. It just spirals out of control.”
Before you decide to bring in a stray dog with tags, Arthurs advises allowing the animal two days to find its home.
“Generally, a lot of the dogs that come in the shelter live in the neighborhood somewhere,” explained Arthurs.
The shelter manager says we can solve this crisis if we choose too.
“Even though you decided not to alter your pet, meaning neuter or spay, the owner has the ultimate responsibility to make sure the animal does not run at larger,” said Arthurs.
Bobby Arthurs adds the Aiken County Animal Shelter is looking at other solutions than euthanasia. The animal shelter is at no-kill numbers, with 5.3 percent of the animals that are euthanized.