Ousted animal rescue group works to get pets out of shelter

Ousted animal rescue group works to get pets out of shelter

MARION, SC (WMBF) - Any animals left at the Marion County Animal Shelter on Monday will become property of the county, so Paws to the Rescue is determined to get them all out by Sunday.

About 140 dogs and 90 cats were in the shelter's care when the county announced it would be ending the contract with Paws to the Rescue a week ago. Nearly half of the dogs have rescue plans at this point, according to PttR's Facebook page.

The group is making use of a network of drivers to transport the animals for free to other rescues as far north as Canada.

"It's like an underground railroad is the best way to put it," said Susan Hinkle, a PttR volunteer. "Each driver goes from point A to point B. Dogs get walked, watered."

Paws to the Rescue's Lisa Walther said the organization's goal has been to save all of the animals before they turn over to the county, but they weren't sure if it would actually be possible.

However, the group secured a temporary facility Wednesday to use for the next two months as the rest of the animals get transported to other rescues.

"Just because of the coordination, the amount of drivers and what not, that was a big relief," Hinkle said.

Paws to the Rescue staff are at the animal shelter this week training county workers and volunteers to care for the animals.

Marion County Administrator Tim Harper said he will have more information on the county's plans once the transition ends Monday.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.