South Carolina faces overcrowding in animal shelters

Midlands animal shelters face overcrowding

(WIS) - Shelters across the Midlands work hard every day to get animals into loving homes, but a problem they're facing is overcrowding.

It's a problem not only in the Midlands, but state wide.

SQ Rescue Inc. of Columbia is a business that's been around for more than 30 years rescuing dogs and cats from the Columbia area shelters and surrounding county shelters.

They say for the past several months, they have been getting daily and weekly emails from local and rural shelters around the state, begging for help as they are all at maximum capacity and many of them with more dogs than they can house.

"Some shelters have crates lined in hallways for their overflow animals, while others are storing some even in bathrooms just to not turn these animals away," Patti O'Rourke, President of SQ Rescue, Inc. said.

Along with community shelters, both municipal shelters in the Midlands, Lexington County animal shelter and the City of Columbia Animal Shelter are at full capacity.

"This is the worst that we've ever seen it at rescues and shelters. Every shelter that I've dealt with in the last couple months is maintaining capacity or at over capacity. Every single week we get emails of pictures of the dogs that need rescuing daily or every other day and it's just non-stop. It just never ends," O'Rourke said.

Experts say the best way to avoid over population in shelters is by spay and neuter.

Many rescue groups, like PETSinc, offer discounted veterinary services like shots, checkups and spay and neuter.

City of Columbia and Richland County residents are eligible for a free spay/neuter voucher from The Animal Mission. Call (803) 776-7387.

Both Columbia and Lexington animal services will be hosting a clear the shelter adoption special on Saturday August 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

All animal adoptions will be FREE at both locations.

PETSinc is also holding an adoption special. Dogs over 6 months are $100. Puppies are $225. Cats over 6 months are $100, and kittens are $125.

The cost covers spay/neuter, microchip, and age appropriate vaccines.

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