AIKEN COUNTY, SC (WFXG) - The Aiken County Council voted unanimously to revise the Stray Hold Police at the council meeting on Tuesday, September 18. Now, pets will be held for five calendar days before being processed for adoption, instead of five business days. Jennifer Miller, President of Friends of the Animal Shelter, said, "It's a great day in Aiken County."
Nobody at the meeting had anything negative to say about the proposed policy. Miller spoke at the meeting, and listed why this was a win-win for the county. She explained, "Now, they don't count the day it comes in, and then they hold them for five business days, which doesn't include weekends or holidays." The shelter is open on some of those weekends and holidays, but since pets are not able to be picked up on those days, this can result in animals sitting in a kennel for 8 to 13 days before they are processed for adoption. Miller said that is the first problem. Miller said, "No matter how nice a kennel is, animals are not meant to be kenneled. They can become depressed, develop kennel aggression, and sometimes an adoptable animal can become unadoptable."
On top of this issue, she says that nine out of ten strays who come in are not claimed. With the new law, these pets will be put up for adoption six days after they come into the shelter. Miller says that is what's most important. She said, "These animals, the nine out of ten who are never claimed, they're going to be processed for adoption faster, put in the adoption kennels faster, and go home to your home faster." She added that since these animals will be out of the shelter faster, it also helps the county fiscally. She said, "We're saving money too, because it costs less to hold them."
Some people might be against the change because they say it will increase euthanizations, but Miller says it does the opposite. Miller said, "It saves lives.
It's a proven national life saving strategy, and shelters all over the U.S. are doing this." Miller said that with this revision, Aiken County is one step closer to having a no kill status.