JASPER COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) – An animal rescue in Jasper County has been in hot water recently.
You may have seen reports that it is unsafe for animals to be there.
However, the employees at Jasper Animal Rescue Mission say they are understaffed and under-resourced, and tell News 3 they’re doing their best to help these animals with what they have.
“We’ve been taking in anywhere from 150-200 animals a month, and our adoptions are only about 20-25 animals a month,” Kaitlyn Schake, executive director of Jasper Animal Rescue Mission said.
When you pull up to the shelter, you immediately hear dogs barking — a lot of them.
At the entrance, there’s a sign that reads: “Owner surrenders by appointment only.” Walk-ins will not be accepted.
That’s because employees at this animal rescue say they already have too many animals living there.
Previous reporting claimed volunteers described the rescue mission as unsafe and unsanitary.
Though employees say that isn’t the case. They say they have serious issues with overcrowding, but their staff works hard to keep the animals clean and safe, even with what they described as bare minimum resources and when the sheriff’s department just keeps bringing in more animals.
“Our staff is heartbroken. You know, we work hard every day. We do everything we can for these animals,” Schake said. “We know we’re doing the best we can and then some. So, you know we were heartbroken to hear these allegations. Like I said, we do everything we absolutely can. We never want to do any harm to these animals. So, to hear what people are saying, we almost feel defeated.”
The animal rescue is not run by Jasper County. Instead, the county gives them an appropriation that they can use at their discretion.
The county does handle building and grounds maintenance, but Jasper County Public Works says they can’t even do that right now. They say it’s hard to even get to the areas that need repair with so many animals in the building.
Schake tells me there are many areas that need repair, but it’s an uphill battle.
“We do the best we can with what we have, which is not a lot. We would love to make major improvements to the building, but we just don’t have the resources to do more than what we’re doing,” she said.
Multiple animal advocacy organizations are working with Jasper County Animal Rescue to move some of the animals to other rescues.