The Humane Society of York County in Fort Mill Township is in danger of closing. The county's only no-kill shelter is behind on its rent and utility bills and is running perilously low on the supplies it needs to feed and care for the 80 cats and 20 dogs there waiting to be adopted.
In the best of times, the facility lives hand-to-mouth. A continued economic slump has sent an increasing number of residents to the unemployment rolls and although the foreclosure crisis engulfing the U.S. hasn't been as bad here, at least some homes are being lost. Couple that with rising food and fuel costs, and the result is pets are being jettisoned by owners who can no longer afford them. The HSYC reports an influx of animals - cats in particular - by residents whose neighbors have moved away but left their pets behind. Meanwhile, the HSYC says donations are down by about 80 percent. It wouldn't be as bad, HSYC workers and volunteers say, if people who bring in unwanted pets also dropped off some cash or supplies; Most do not, they say.
The shelter is counting on residents to come to the rescue. We'd like to suggest some ways the community can get involved, such as the town providing space for a donation booth at the new SpringFest May 3. Also, we recently heard that Fort Mill High School is not holding a spring talent show this year. It would be great if the school could donate its auditorium for a similar show.
The HSYC reports that a travel agent is using its Web site to donate a portion of its sales to the cause. Other businesses should do the same.
In the meantime, the shelter can always use equipment and supplies. Needs range from a dryer, to food, old linens and rugs, place mats, paper towels and laundry and dish soap to newspapers. Pet toys are always welcome, too, and they don't have to be new; Those long-forgotten stuffed animals cluttering closets are perfect.
Unlike the county-run animal control unit, which euthanizes unclaimed animals within five days, the HSYC houses them indefinitely. We need to keep this organization afloat.