FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – Animals in a Pee Dee are in need of a loving home due to a local shelter overcrowding.
The Florence Area Humane Society has a lot more animals to care for and fewer resources with which to do so. They are overwhelmed during the summer because warmer weather means a growth in the animal population in Florence.
The Humane Society receives the greatest number of animals in need of adoption during the summer months. Dealing with limited space, they are occasionally forced to ask people who have animals they would like to give up for adoption to come back at a later date.
The animals already in the shelter are breeding, which contributes to the overcrowding.
As the number of animals in the shelter goes up, the number actually being adopted has dropped. Director Jayne Boswell, of the Florence Area Humane Society says it has to do, in part, with the fact that many people who would normally take in animals are out of town during the summer.
Still, Boswell says the season isn't the only cause for the decline in animal adoptions.
"I think it's an ongoing problem with the economy," Boswell said. "I think people are on tighter budgets."
A growing number of the animals the shelter is receiving are from families that simply can't afford to keep their pets. But with more animals to feed and fewer donations, the Humane Society is cutting back in an effort to make ends meets.
"One of the things we're not able to do is have the staffing that we actually need," Boswell said. "We've kind of just had to keep close tabs on the number of employees so that we can kind of keep control of the amount of money we spend."
The Florence Area Humane Society receives and annual budget of $50,000 from the county, but they spend close to $160,000 each year. They earn a fair amount of the difference through fundraising efforts. They also rely heavily on good will.
"We are really dependant on donations because the purchase of food adds up and we don't have a very large budget," Boswell said.
She believes the best way to bring down the number of unwanted animals is to get involved with is to spay and neuter animals in the shelter.
"These animals were born through no fault of their own, and I really think it's a community's responsibility to care for them."
In response to the growing animal population, the Florence Area Humane Society is planning to open a new clinic called SNIP, which stands for Spay Neuter Intervention of the Pee Dee. Boswell says the SNIP will be a low-cost clinic and serve Florence and the surrounding counties. They hope to open the doors to the public by October 1.
In the interim, the shelter continues to ask the public for desperately needed food and monetary donations. They also encourage people to volunteer their time to help care for the animals if they can't give money.