An Extraordinary Year Brings Extraordinary Triumphs for Vulnerable Animals
2020…. where do we start? It certainly was a year for the history books, in more ways than one, but the way we hope to remember 2020 is for the numerous steps forward our community took for the homeless and neglected animals in our area. Despite all odds, and a global pandemic, our supporters came together in a huge way to make sure the shelter pets in our care weren’t forgotten.
I remember back in March when we began preparations to face the pandemic, the reality of how this would affect the animals in need that would inevitably enter our doors hit us hard. How could we continue adoptions while limiting contact with the public? What are we going to do if our crucial team of volunteers can’t come in to assist throughout the day? How would we raise enough funds to continue caring for them without events and a closed Thrift Store that contributes significantly (NOW OPEN – Masks Required!)? How many animals are going to be surrendered as a result of people losing their jobs? Amongst countless other concerns.
We hoped for the best but prepared for the worst with a plea going out to the public immediately seeking assistance in the form of adoptions, fosters, donations and continued support of our Veterinary Care Center. In a time when many were fearful for their own future, we were over-the-moon surprised with the outpouring of love and support we received in return. We were happy to find many people were looking to adopt, as they had more time working from home to acclimate their new companion, or had the time to bring their pets in for procrastinated veterinary care, or continued to donate, or signed up to foster or volunteer to assist through this time.
From simply sharing our social media posts when we were seeking aid to giving a forever home to a homeless shelter pet, every ounce created another year of change for the most vulnerable…because of YOU!
In 2020, the SPCA Albrecht Center cared for a total of 1,182 animals (490 dogs, 671 cats & 21 small domestics) This is a slight decrease from our annual 1,300 animals due to our efforts to assist possible owner surrenders to help keep their pets in their home or find alternative methods of rehoming, and due to our limiting intakes as a response to COVID-19. By the end of 2020, 95.18% of these lives were SAVED because of your efforts!
Side Note: As a no-kill animal shelter, we do not euthanize for space. The additional percentage of animals unfortunately had significant illness or behavior issues that were well beyond our means to rehabilitate.
Not only were these animals saved, but their lives while in the shelter were met with quality care as our dedicated team of over 150 compassionate volunteers donated nearly 10,000 hours of their time to improving our animals’ lives. Additionally, 277 animals were fostered (11 dogs & 266 cats) because of our enhanced foster program and the numerous individuals who opened their homes to animals in need of 24/7 extensive care.
In our Veterinary Care Center, which not only cares for our shelter animals but also the public’s pets, milestones were met as well! Over 3,000 animals were spayed or neutered; 338 community cats were TNR’d (trapped-neutered-returned); 8,972 animals were seen for veterinary exams; 1,615 animals were microchipped; 2,433 animals were tested for heartworms; and, 15,907 vaccinations were administered.
Thinking back to March when we were preparing for an unprecedented year, I wasn’t sure we would be able to share any good news by the end of it all. Yet, I am constantly surprised by the support and love our community has for the animals. It makes me proud to be a part of my hometown’s group of animal supporters, who always keep animals in need at the forefront of their minds, and even prouder to report these amazing accomplishments to those that made it happen.
The SPCA Albrecht Center’s triumphs are the community’s triumphs, and we are proud to work alongside you each and every day on behalf of the most vulnerable animals.
An Aiken native and self-proclaimed cat lady, Claire Grimes is the SPCA Albrecht Center’s Communications Director, working in marketing, grant writing and media correspondence. She attended College of Charleston, where she graduated with a degree in Nonprofit Business and interned with Charleston Animal Society, the leader in No-Kill South Carolina. When not working, you can find Claire hanging out with her 18-pound Maine Coon mix, Anakin.