Carol Duty – Letter To The Editor

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Myrtle Beach SC
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Horry County Shelter

The Other Side of the Story

The Horry County Animal Care Center I know

Author, Carol Duty

There are two sides of every story and one was told in an article dated Jan 2, 2016 titled “Local Rescues 70 Animals Over Holidays through adoption refunds” that lead some readers to feel Horry County Animal Care Center did not care about the animals in their care.  Before I tell you about the shelter I know I need to disclose that I am not nor have I ever been an employee of Horry County or HCACC.  These are my words based on my personal experiences and observations.

Horry County Shelter

I’m co-admin of a Facebook page that specializes in lost/found pets for the Horry and Georgetown area.  Over the last several years a working relationship has been created with all of our local shelters especially HCACC.  In August, 2015, HCACC began posting stray intakes on a daily basis. Craigslist ads are created and the post is shared to multiple pages.  Reclaim rates improved and have continued to do so  as have adoptions.   In the fall of 2016, a modification was done to the HCACC website that added stray intakes in real time allowing owners to check for their pet throughout the day.   A low cost spay/neuter clinic opened.  The monthly low cost vaccination and chip clinics continue.   In December, 143 were adopted, 40 reclaimed, and 47 sent to rescue bringing the total to 220 lives saved in December alone.  By year end, 617 strays had been reclaimed at HCACC and 1,262 pets had been reunited with owners through the page I co-admin.  99.9% of those never set foot in a shelter.   The staff, AC Officers follow our page allowing pets home faster.   Does this sound like a shelter that doesn’t care?

Horry County Shelter

Then, there are the animals that there thrown away by their owners, for reasons from being too old, too young, a new baby is coming, moving can’t take with us, etc.  People bring in boxes full of puppies and kittens.  In 2015, over 3,800 dogs and cats were saved by rescues. The shelter works with numerous in state and out of state approved rescues to transfer animals. Local volunteer group consisting of over 60 volunteers to pull, transport and temp foster for rescues pulling from Horry County.   Does this sound like a shelter that doesn’t care?

Are you aware that HCACC can’t refuse an animal where others can?  That during Hurricane Matthew HCACC welcomed pets that needed a place to stay during and after the storm until they could return home and staff stayed there around the clock to keep them safe?  That you can foster a pet for adoption?

In closing, there is always room for improvement and I know that improvement is strived for every day.  However, until we as a society start treating our four legged friends as lifetime commitments, not “until” commitments, spay/neuter, and ID our pets nothing will change.  The issues all shelters face are not shelter issues but society issues. They are OUR issues and the change starts with us. Working together in a positive way will make these changes possible.

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