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Four-Legged Friends Head North

Dozens of Colleton County’s stray dogs and cats are headed for higher, safer ground as part of hurricane preparedness and evacuation efforts.

The Friends of the Colleton County Animal Shelter (FOCCAS) are helping to relocate a total of about 80 dogs and cats as part of the evacuation for Hurricane Irma. This relocation began on Friday morning.

FOCCAS is a local non-profit group that is working with several organizations in northern states as part of this process.

Specifically, however, FOCCAS has rescue partners with the Westchester SPCA out of New York; the Pet Tails Rescue group in New Hampshire; Happy Hounds Homeward Bound in Maryland; and “It’s a Ruff Life” in New Jersey. These three entities are a part of local efforts to put the county’s stray animals into safer areas. These same strays will ultimately be re-homed, according to Sarah Miller, a spokeswoman and vice-president for the FOCCAS group. Miller, who is also a Ph. D professor at the USC-Salkehatchie campus, was an active part of this weekend’s evacuation and re-homing efforts of the local animals. According to her, the animals were taken from the Colleton County Animal Shelter and transported by the other groups to the northern locations. FOCCAS assists these groups in their efforts by helping to pay for the costs and by prepping the animals for the trips.

On Friday, about eight dogs and eight cats were evacuated. This process continued through the weekend, bringing the grand total to about 80 animals that are being rescued and rehomed. “We cannot thank our rescue partners enough for helping to save these dogs and cats,” she said. “This is an amazing accomplishment and it would not have been achieved without the extra hours and hard work of shelter Manager Laura Clark, Dr. Lori Campbell and FoCCAS Rescue Coordinator Shelley Thomas.”

Since FOCCAS is a non-profit, the group’s members raise money annually for multiple mission efforts, which includes rehoming strays to other states.

Colleton County Shelter Manager Laura Clark says goodbye to a furry friend. Photo by Sarah Miller


Heather Walters (1304 Posts)