Darlington County Humane Society fights overcrowding

By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, slyles@newsandpress.net

The Darlington County Humane Society has a message for pet owners: please spay and neuter your dogs and cats, and do your part to help reduce the number of unwanted animals being turned in to the shelter.

A recent spike in animal intake – especially cats – at the Darlington County Humane Society (DCHS) Animal Shelter has cast more light on this problem, and increased the probability that more animals will need to be euthanized if they are not adopted or rescued.

In a recent 22-day period, DCHS took in 186 kittens.

“We need more people to spay and neuter their pets, because just bringing them to the shelter when they get outnumbered at home is not the answer,” says DCHS Board member Kathy McDonald. “We can’t just stack puppies and kittens on top of each other. People don’t want us to put them to sleep, but what are you going to do with a hundred and eighty-six kittens? Even a five-day hold period is difficult for us to do when there are so many.”

McDonald says foster volunteers are sometimes taking on numerous mother cats and their litters to spare them from euthanasia and give them a chance to be adopted, but their efforts cannot keep up with the ever-growing numbers of animals turned in to the shelter.

From July 1 to July 17, DCHS has received 55 dogs, 55 puppies, 21 cats, and 65 kittens. The shelter must provide these animals with housing, medical care, and food for a mandatory five-day hold period. If they are not reclaimed by their owners, adopted, or shipped out to a rescue organization, the animals are subject to being euthanized.

It is estimated by the Humane Society of the United States that between 6 to 8 million dogs and cats end up in shelters every year in the United States, and approximately 2.4 million healthy and adoptable cats, dogs, kittens and puppies are euthanized each year because they don’t have a home.

To learn more about affordable options for spaying and neutering dogs and cats, visit the Spay and Neuter Intervention of the Pee Dee at www.snipclinic.org, or call them at 843-407-7981. To learn more about how you can adopt a pet or donate to the Darlington County Animal Shelter, visit www.darlingtonhumane.org or call 843-398-4402.

Author: Duane Childers

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