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Volunteers honored at annual FoCCAS volunteer dinner

Dr. James Cooler was presented the “Heart of Gold” Award by Laura Clark for his dedication to the animals of Colleton County.

Friends of the Colleton County Animal Shelter, FoCCAS, is an organization founded in 2009. They are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which provides volunteers and fundraising to supplement the Colleton County Animal Shelter. Since their creation in 2009, the group has grown in leaps and bounds bringing endless opportunities to the lost, abandon, and unloved animals of Colleton County. FoCCAS is strictly made of volunteers, most who have full-time jobs.
This year alone the animal loving group has managed to achieve many great things for Colleton County. The nonprofit group has provided upwards of $30,000 for their spay/neuter program, supplement the Colleton County Animal Shelter with right over $21,000, and continue to grow the Colleton Animal Commitment Program to almost every elementary school in the district. The volunteers have also started a new community cat program and managed to raise the live release rate of animals that enter the animal shelter to 65 percent. So far in 2017, 822 animals have found themselves at the animal shelter. Through hours of volunteer work 55 have been adopted, 100 were returned to their homes and 331 have been sent to animal rescues. Hard work pays off and the numbers prove it. Just a few years ago the live release rate was only at 11 percent. The group also helped out animals from Jasper County this past fall when Hurricane Matthew had Jasper County in its path of destruction. The group who spent the evening praising its volunteers also received praise from Colleton County Administrator, Kevin Griffin. When addressing the group, Griffin said “We are thankful for what you do for the animal shelter. I was amazed to learn at a recent training session that I attended how far beyond other larger counties that we are and that is partly because of having a group like FoCCAS in our area.” Griffin went on to say “FoCCAS is one of the strongest volunteer groups in the county.”
Volunteers were recognized on June 28, 2017, at a dinner held at the Farmers Market. Those in attendance have helped in various different ways. Some volunteer at the shelter, a few are part of the transport team and drive animals sometimes as far away as Maine to other rescue groups, others help organize and throw fundraisers. The message was clear, each volunteer is important to the animals no matter what their role may be. The night would not have been complete without a few fun awards. Those who won awards are listed below:
Honored with a plaque to name a kennel:
• Scott and Margo Brennen and the Going to the Dogs Band
• Treasure Chest Gold Co. (Abbie, Deni, Criss, and Ashleigh)
Recognized with our Heart of Gold Award:
• Dr. James Cooler for his dedication to helping the animals of Colleton County
Volunteer Awards:
• Betsy Ingersoll, “The Fixer” Award for her dedication to community spay/neuter programs
• Tamara Lake, “The Mid-Woof” Award because she has fostered many momma dogs and their newborn puppies
• Pam Baer, “I Would Take Them All If I Could” Award for her amazing dedication to fostering young kittens
• Skip and Selina Taft, both recognized for their efforts in fostering and transporting shelter animals. Selina received the “I Don’t Know How It Got Here” Award and Skip was recognized with the “More Than Just the Driver” Award
• Pat Morris, a shelter volunteer, was recognized for always pitching in at the shelter with the “Working For Bones” Award
• Steve Cinader and his therapy dogs Mojo and Lucky Blu were given the “Back To School” Award for his work with the Colleton Animal Commitment Education program.
• Johnny Thomas, who is always willing to help with fostering received the “Just Tell Me How Many” Award.
• Since fostering depends on support from the family, Bella Thomas, a black lab, received the “Mi Castillo, tu castillo, mi Sangre, tu sangre” Award. Bella not only shares her home with many fosters but even donated blood to save the life of a sick puppy.
If you are interested in becoming a supporter of or volunteer with FoCCAS send them a message on Facebook or email them at Foccas.sc@gmail.com.

Christie Slocum (545 Posts)