By: Rhonda Howell, Events & Fundraising Manager

We have all seen it. The posts on social media from desperate pet owners who no longer have time to give their pets “their best life”. Tales of separation anxiety, behavior issues, and animals that don’t seem to be their normal, happy selves fill up the stories and feeds. During the Covid Pandemic, many people began to work from home and added furry family members to their households. As the return to in-person schooling, work, and social activities have returned to pre-pandemic guidelines, reality has set in and that reality is not pretty.

Dog rooms and kennels are full so overflow dogs must be housed in crates and placed hallways and other areas.

Animal shelters across the country are seeing an increase in the number of intake animals, at the same time experiencing staff and veterinary care shortages. These factors combined have caused severe overcrowding. The SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare is no exception.

As a private non-profit organization, the SPCA Albrecht Center envisions a world in which every animal has a safe and loving home, access to quality veterinary care, and where the unfailing love and devotion of a companion animal is valued by all. In our broken world, we provide a safe haven for displaced animals, show them how to be loved, and match them with their forever homes. These tasks are difficult enough on a regular day, but overcrowding stretches staff and resources thin.

Dog rooms and kennels are full so overflow dogs must be housed in crates and placed event space and other areas.

As we adjust to a new normal, there are many ways you can help. Even if you cannot open your home to a new family member, volunteering and fostering positively impact the animal welfare community tremendously. Foster programs are designed for individuals and families who want to help but cannot permanently accommodate a new pet. The foster is matched with an animal that will fit into their current family and pet situation, and provided all the necessary supplies to care for the pet while we continue to search for their forever families. Volunteering is another way to offer support. An hour or two a week can provide tremendous relief to shelter staff. Helping to care for the cats, walk the dogs, and provide enrichment opportunities also help socialize our adoptable pets and get them ready for their new homes.

Above all else, the SPCA Albrecht Center is an organization fighting for the welfare of animals. We continue to find homes for over 95% of the homeless animals that come to our facility, which is only attainable thanks to the incredible adopters that open their hearts and homes to the broken bodies and souls that pass through our doors. If you would like to help, please visit our website at and click the blue volunteer button at the top. If you have questions about any of these opportunities, please contact us at (803)648-6863 or by email at [email protected]. Together we can make a difference.


Rhonda Howell is the SPCA Albrecht Center’s Events & Fundraising Manager. A former educator, her passion is linking education and animal rescue. When not working, you can find Rhonda at home with her husband and two daughters, as well as a menagerie of rescued pets: Great Danes-Archie, Garth & Dempsey; Chihuahua mix, Cricket; and two hedgehogs-Maynard and Eddie.