Dorchester Paws in ‘dire need’ of adoptions and fosters

Local News

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD)- Community pet shelter Dorchester Paws has issued a temporary moratorium, closing their admissions department until Sunday.

According to Marketing and Development Director Danielle Zuck, the shelter has taken in 748 dogs and cats since September 1. That is an average of 15 animals per day, resulting in the shelter being at max capacity.

A full shelter means Dorchester Paws no longer has space for new animals and had to issue a temporary moratorium on animal intake on Tuesday, an action which Zuck said is the last resort.

“For us to have to say no as an open-admission shelter, it’s urgent,” Zuck said. “We are in dire need of adopters and fosters.”

Dorchester Paws is an open-admission shelter, meaning it takes in every lost, abandoned, or abused animal and houses them until they find a forever home. The shelter is also a partner in “No Kill South Carolina,” an initiative aimed at creating “an infrastructure for humane animal welfare organizations in order to optimize quality of care and maximize lifesaving of healthy, treatable canines and felines in South Carolina.”

Zuck noted that another challenge facing the shelter is funding. It costs an average of $35 per animal, the first day they are with Dorchester Paws. With 748 animals currently in its care, it costs $26,180 at a minimum to care for the animals.

“We don’t have the funding,” she said. “We get food donated and we get supplies as much as we can donated, but we’re still low on some things.”

Dorchester Paws is calling on Lowcountry residents to consider adoption or fostering. In an effort to encourage this, the shelter has launched a “Name Your Own Adoption Fee” campaign for all dogs, cats, and kittens, excluding puppies. Zuck said the shelter does ask for at least a minimum of $5 for adoptions. Until the shelter intake reopens, Dorchester Paws is offering supplies and resources for those who keep an animal.

“For you to get a $5, $10, $15 animal that’s ready to go, that’s awesome,” she said. “We are not closing our doors but we are literally SOSing, we don’t know what else to do.”

Currently, there are about a dozen seniors (dogs over the age of 7) on the shelter’s adoption floor. Senior dogs tend to be adopted at a 50% slower rate than any other age, according to Zuck.

“We are asking people to give the animals a shelter break, just foster them for a week or two,” she said. “Get them out because shelter life is no life for any animal.”

Dorchester Paws hopes to end the moratorium on Monday at 12 PM, but Zuck said they will need to clear out at least half of the shelter to do so.

Below are some of the animals currently available for adoption:

All photos courtesy of Dorchester Paws

The current “Name Your Own Adoption Fee” campaign will end on November 7.

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