Anderson shelter chief: Staff stretched thin caring for animals - FOX Carolina 21

Anderson shelter director: Staff stretched thin while apparent abused animals wait for court date

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Cowboy is one of the animals in limbo at P.A.W.S. while his case waits for it's court date. (8/8/2014: FOX Carolina) Cowboy is one of the animals in limbo at P.A.W.S. while his case waits for it's court date. (8/8/2014: FOX Carolina)
ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The Director of Anderson County P.A.W.S. shelter said her staff of about 20 has been stretched thin over the past six months as it's been caring for 140 extra animals that can't be put up for adoption.

"Because the owner of these animals did not sign them over to us, we have to hold them as living evidence. So unfortunately these animals are having to suffer approximately for six months now," said Jessica Cwynar, Director of P.A.W.S.

Back in February, P.A.W.S. took in its third big case of apparent animal abuse since last August.

An Easley rescue group owner, Debra Sheridan, was accused of mistreating the animals who are now in the shelter's care until the case goes to court on Aug. 26.

"It's very tough. It's very time consuming. It's emotionally draining. It's physically draining on all the staff," said Cwynar.

The staff is used to cleaning up after and feeding about 350 to400 animals, who are all getting ready for a new home.

"Currently we're housing between 500 and 600… It hurts the morale because a lot of them love seeing the animals go out the door and love seeing all the adopters and love when we're able to host the big events… and we haven't been able to do that," said Cwynar.

Some of the cats and dogs who came in with Cowboy have also reproduced.

"Unless a vet finds it medically necessary, we can't even spay and neuter them while they're sitting here in our care," said Cwynar.

Now, there are about 140 extra mouths to feed and cages to clean, and with a yearly budget of just more than $400,000, Cwynar said it could cost P.A.W.S.

"I know it's over $50,000 we have spent in medical supplies alone. But when you look at the overall bill, we're over $100,000 right now," said Cwynar.

If you're interested in adopting or donating time and/or supplies to P.A.W.S., click here.

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