WINNSBORO — Fairfield County Animal Control is adapting to the local environment to reach out not only to area animals but Fairfield County’s senior citizens.
The organization, which works in partnership with the Fairfield County Animal Shelter, is taking part in some innovative programs, according to report from Interim Animal Control Manager David Brown at the Sept. 24 county council meeting.
Thanks to a partnership with Doris Macomson director of Blind Dog Rescue in York County, there is an outlet to care for animals that are blind or need extensive medical treatment that county residents cannot afford to provide.
Brown said Macomson’s assistance has helped lower the county’s euthanasia rate.
Thanks to networking via that partnership, the animal shelter found a veterinarian that could come to Fairfield County and perform low cost spay/neutering on Fridays at the Fairfield County Adoption Center.
Brown also thanked council for supporting the animal shelter’s senior citizens program. Under the program, a senior who is 60 and above can select a pet from the Adoption Center at no cost.
The county follows up on the seniors to make sure the pet is a beneficial companion animal.
“We discovered that companion animals help people to live longer and it gives them something to wake up to,” Brown said.
Brown reported that 68 dogs have been adopted, 23 dogs are in the senior citizens program and that 173 animals have been rescued in thee past year.
Of those, 47 were returned to their owners, 15 cats were adopted and 19 cats were placed in the senior program.
He also told council about an innovative catch and release program aimed at the feral, or wild, cat population in the county.
“Catch and release is done at no cost the county,” Brown said. “We utilize the voucher that has been provided for us through Animal Missions.”
Feral cats are captured, taken to the veterinarian, and the feral cats are spayed/neutered. A limited number, say five from a feral cat colony, will be released back into the wild in the area from which they were collected.
Brown said the program helps by putting an animal into circulation who has been fixed which prevents other animals from moving in. The feral cats have the tip of one ear removed to mark them as being members of the program, which occurs at no cost the county.
“We are excited about the Animal Missions vouchers that they provide for us every year to get those out as many as we can to the public to let them know for those who really cannot afford to get their animal spayed or neutered,” Brown said.
Brown reminded those present of the need to vaccinate their animals against rabies. If a person’s animal is captured and winds up at the animal control center, proof of rabies vaccination must be provided before the animal can be released.
He also thanked Tractor Supply in Blythewood for its partnership to allow animal control to set up displays and let people know that an animal shelter exists in Fairfield County.