Local animal rescue groups saving dogs in Irma’s path

Stream loves attention. Snow is an “escape artist” who leaps short fences. Sleigh has a hurt left hind foot, but is getting better. Cierra and Kiara are sisters who share a crate and hope to be adopted together. Amore, true to his name, is “good with people.”


They’re just six of the 45 dogs evacuated from a pet rescue in Claxton, Ga., as Hurricane Irma bore down on the Georgia coast.

Team Stinkykiss, an Augusta area foster-based rescue, took them all. They’re at the Aiken County fairgrounds, waiting in their crates in the J. Lewis Wise Exhibition Building.

Every day, volunteers come to the fairgrounds to walk the dogs, pet them and play with them. Jenny Reese, a teacher at Dearing Elementary School who lives in Thomson, saw a Facebook post and drove up Monday to do her part. Savannah Zaveri, a North Augusta college student studying diagnostic medical sonography, and her grandmother, Terrie English, did the same.

From 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday, Team Stinkykiss volunteers will hold an adoption event at the fairgrounds, 1566 Columbia Highway, hoping more people come and eventually all 45 dogs will find new homes.

Since the dogs arrived, “the community has really stepped up,” said Becky Peita, a Team Stinkykiss volunteer.

People show up to help every day, usually after seeing a post on social media or being contacted by someone else who’s involved in rescues. After Stinkykiss put out a Facebook call for bedding, people started bringing it, meeting their needs and then some.

There’s a similar situation at Aiken’s SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. As a member of a larger effort called the SC No Kill Initiative, the Aiken shelter works with the Charleston Animal Society and others, helping each other, said Barbara Nelson, Albrecht Center CEO.

The Aiken shelter took 25 dogs and has already found homes for some of them. The rest will be made available at future adoption events, Nelson said.

Both Stinkykiss and the Albrecht Center also took in pets from evacuees who couldn’t keep them wherever they were staying. Other rescues across the Augusta area did the same, and all or nearly all those pets had been picked up by their homeward-bound owners Thursday.

The approximately 40 pets sheltered at Augusta Animal Services had all gone home Wednesday.

Columbia County Animal Services took in all the pets of evacuees staying at Patriots Park, which included people from Miami, Naples and Savannah.

One couple from Miami had been living in their car for three or four days with a 70-pound bulldog before they made it to Columbia County. At night, they blew up air mattresses and slept on the ground next to the car.

Volunteers deal with lots of hard luck cases – animal and human – every day, not just after storms like Irma.

Peita said one of the dogs brought to Team Stinkykiss from the city of Savannah’s animal control was 18 years old and in very poor health.

Her owner took the dog to the shelter in Savannah and asked that she be put down, but she wasn’t.

Once she got to Aiken, one of Team Stinkykiss’ volunteers took her in as a foster and will keep her, essentially in hospice care, until the inevitable.

“At least she’ll know love for however long she’s got,” Peita said.


Reach James Folker at (706) 823-3338 or james.folker@augustachronicle.com.

Most power to

be restored

by Saturday

Georgia Power said almost all of the power should be restored in Augusta by noon Saturday as the number without power dropped below 1,000 for customers in Richmond and Columbia counties.

The utility tweeted a list this afternoon that showed when power should be restored to the major cities in Georgia affected by Hurricane Irma. Athens was to have 95 percent of its power restored by 10 p.m. tonight, Atlanta by 10 p.m. Friday, Augusta by noon Saturday, and Savannah, Brunswick, Macon and Valdosta by 10 pm. Saturday. As of 6 p.m. today, there were still 112,000 of its customers statewide without power, including 811 in Richmond County and 861 in Columbia County, according to the outage map. There just over 65,000 more customers with the state’s 41 electric cooperatives who still needed to have their power restored.

Jefferson Energy Cooperative said it was down to three customers without power about 6 p.m. today, all in Burke County.

– Tom Corwin,

staff writer

Want to help?

Animal rescues always need donations. Here’s how to help:

TEAM STINKYKISS: Visit teamstinkykiss.com and click “Stinker Support.” Supplies can be dropped off at Ink Boy, 138 Davis Road in Augusta.

SPCA ALBRECHT CENTER FOR ANIMAL WELFARE: Visit letlovelive.org and click “Donate” button. There is also an option to give to the Tails of Hope fund, which pays for animals’ medical care.

Here’s a list of other groups that rescue animals:

CSRA HUMANE SOCIETY: 425 Wood St., Augusta, GA 30904, (706) 261-7387; info@csrahumanesociety.org ; www.csrahumanesociety.org

COLUMBIA COUNTY HUMANE SOCIETY: P.O. Box 204771, Martinez, Ga. 30917; 706-860-5020; www.columbiacountyhumanesociety.org

DOG NETWORKING AGENTS: Foster-based, no office; dognetworkingagents@gmail.com, www.dognetworkingagent.wix.com

MOLLY’S MILITIA: P.O. Box 6816, North Augusta, SC 29841, (803) 279-7003/(803) 640-2068; mollysmilitia@aol.com , www.mollysmilitia.org

FRIENDS OF NORTH AUGUSTA ANIMALS: (803) 426-9096; friendsofnorthaugustaanimals@gmail.com

SHELTER ANIMALS ADVOCATES: (803) 334-1219; shelteranimalsadvocates.org; onlywayout@outlook.com

FRIENDS OF THE ANIMAL SHELTER, AIKEN: PO Box 2207, Aiken SC 29802; info@fotasaiken.org; 803-514-4313

AUGUSTA ANIMAL RESCUE FRIENDS (AARF): P. O. Box 6824, Augusta, Ga. 30916; 706-364-4747; Itsmary2009@yahoo.com; www.aarf.net

HEARTSONG ANIMAL RESCUE: 421 S Belair Road, Martinez, Ga. 30907; 706-860-9300: www.heartsongspayneuter.com

STARS: P.O. Box 21236 , Augusta, GA 30907; (706) 592-4158, 706-231-4399; savetheanimalsrescue@comcast.net, www.starsrescue.org

CANINE SHELTER RESCUE: P. O. Box 7025, North Augusta, SC 29861-7025, (NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE); www.canineshelterrescue.org

OLD FELLA BURKE COUNTY ANIMAL RESCUE: P. O. Box 143, Waynesboro, GA 30830; www.oldfella.org

Adoption events

Besides the Team Stinkykiss adoption event from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the Aiken County Fairgrounds, PetSmart in Augusta and North Augusta is having a three-day “National Adoption Weekend” beginning Friday.

North Augusta hours are 5-7 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Shelter Animals Advocates and Molly’s Militia are among the participants.

Augusta PetSmart hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. all three days. Heartsong, Augusta Animal Services and Cat Networking Agents are participating.



Fri, 02/23/2018 - 19:39

Rants and raves