State of Emergency at South Carolina animal shelters

Greenville County Animal Care is almost at capacity with about 350 animals in their care.
Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 8:00 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Animal shelters across the state are running out of space to care for animals. So much so, that for the first time ever a State of Emergency is declared for all South Carolina shelters.

Greenville County Animal Care, a no kill shelter, currently has about 350 animals at their shelter. They estimate every day they take in another 18 to 20 dogs, in addition to cats.

Shelter workers say they’re tired and need help from the community to ensure no pet is turned away.

If you’ve been looking to add a new member to the family, drop by the shelter Monday through Saturday from noon to five. Through September 10, all adoptions are free. The shelter says once you’ve found your furry friend, the adoption process takes just about 20 minutes.

If you aren’t able to adopt, you can still help. The shelter is in need of fosters, volunteers and donations.

For those with animals at home, you can help by keeping those pets out of a shelter.

Before surrendering an animal, Greenville County Animal Care has several resources available for pet owners in need of a helping hand.

“We have a food bank. We have ways that we can help with any medical issues that you may be having with your pet,” said Paula Church, the community relations coordinator for Greenville County Animal Care. “There are resources available for everybody to really be able to responsibly care for their animal”

Church says part of that medical assistance includes free spay and neuters for large breed dogs. The shelter also helps with various medication including heartworm and tick preventatives.

She adds if you find a lost dog, it’s not always helpful to bring it to the shelter.

“If you find a pet, keep it in that neighborhood,” Church explained. “Go door to door, see if it belongs to somebody, post it on social media. We have a finder-to-foster program if you want to hang on to that dog and look for the owner.”

Church says a dog is 85% more likely to find its home and owners when it stays near where its found. Once at the shelter, the number drops down to about 15% as not everyone thinks to go look at a shelter.

Greenville County Animal Care does have a doggy day out program for those wanting to shower a shelter pup with some love and attention.

For more information on resources available and ways to help, click here.