Fort Mill Times

Humane Society on its last legs

Lisa Wood holds a 7-week-old red pit bull puppy named Gracie at the Humane Society shelter. Behind her, David Headrick holds Bossier, a black lab that's also 7 weeks old. The no-kill shelter needs money, supplies and volunteers to remain open.
Lisa Wood holds a 7-week-old red pit bull puppy named Gracie at the Humane Society shelter. Behind her, David Headrick holds Bossier, a black lab that's also 7 weeks old. The no-kill shelter needs money, supplies and volunteers to remain open.

Without help soon, the Humane Society of York County may have to close its doors.

In recent months the nonprofit, no-kill shelter has been bringing in between $6,000 and $7,000 through adoptions and donations, but its monthly bills add up to around $15,000, according to Director Kathy Sowell.

"The amount of dogs and cats coming through the shelter has increased, but the donations have decreased 80 percent," Sowell said. "We just can't bring any more (pets) in. There's just no money."

The shelter on Carolina Place, near the Lowes Home Improvement off Hwy. 160 West, needs volunteers, a steady stream of donations and supplies to stay afloat. A tightening economy have hurt donations, including supplies of pet food provided by manufacturers, she said.

Overdue on its rent for March, the shelter managed to pay it late last week, Sowell said, praising the shelter's landlord for being patient.

Several of the cages at the shelter have been empty for months because Sowell can't afford to bring in any new pets, and they will stay that way until Sowell is sure the shelter can remain open for at least the next six months.

"I'm not going to put any of my babies down," she said. "There are enough other local adoption services to take care of them."

However, it would be sad to lose the Humane Society, she said, because it helps approximately 1,300 animals each year. All are spayed or neutered and brought up to date with their shots before being adopted. The Humane Society also helps pet owners who can't afford vet bills with reduced-cost veterinary care.

Besides money and supplies, new volunteers are always welcome. It has two fundraisers tentatively planned for April - a yard sale and a baby shower for the kittens and puppies there.

Donations should be made payable to the Humane Society of York County and sent to 2036 Carolina Place, Fort Mill, S.C. 29708. Volunteers or those dropping off supplies should stop by the shelter office between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. any day. The shelter is open seven days a week.

Adoption hours are 1-4 p.m. Puppies and kittens cost $60, adult dogs and cats usually cost $80 and adult cats that come into the shelter already declawed cost $100.

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