Lancaster shelter offers low-cost adoption program to avoid euthanizations

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LANCASTER COUNTY, SC (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Emmett lives in the Lancaster County Animal Shelter – and he and his next-door neighbors are desperately looking for homes, or they may be euthanized.

“Animal control never stops. It never stops so all the time we’re getting dogs in,” said Brittani Howington, Assistant Manager at Lancaster County Animal Shelter. 

And now the shelter has reached capacity. It had to stop taking animals in for at least a week.

“The beginning of this week we started out with all 46 runs full and we were doubled on four of them, so we had about 50 dogs… maybe 55,” she said. 

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Forecast: A dip in temps and a stormy stretch begins this weekend

Fridays are the busiest days for people to come in and adopt from the shelter.

Howington says adoptions from this week helped a lot.

“We had about 28 dogs get adopted and go to rescue this week and we’ve had 4 cats. So we’re on the mend here with not being overcrowded,” she continued. 

But on Monday when the shelter reopens – they’re anticipating hitting capacity again and dogs will need to be euthanized to make room for more animals.

“We’re trying to get to the no-kill South Carolina rule but sometimes it gets tough and we have to make decisions,” she said. 

To qualify as a no-kill shelter, all healthy and treatable dogs and cats cant be euthanized.

Best Friends Animal Society says the percentage of no-kill U.S. shelters doubled in the last five years from 24% in 2016 to 48% in 2020.  

42% of South Carolina’s shelters are considered no-kill shelters.

“We need the public to step up and get their animals spade and neutered. If we can get owners to reclaim their animals, it would be a lot easier on us too and keeping their dogs and cats contained,” she said. 

The shelter is running a low-cost adoption program right now. 

You can also purchase a spay and neuter voucher – $50 for dogs and $30 for cats – you must take your animal to a facility in Fort Mill. 

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