DISCLAIMER: These are the opinions of the writer and do not reflect the individual thoughts of any of the rescues listed within this article. Several who follow the local rescues have expressed concern over money being such an issue when an animals life is at stake.
There's a difficult situation taking place in Greenville, SC as the county shelter, Greenville County Animal Care Services struggles to house 142 dogs rescued last week in a puppy mill raid.
On June 26, more than a dozen super urgent list dogs were euthanized, while the Greenville Humane Society defends not being able to house them due to the county fee they must pay to pull (rescue) the dogs. Many of the rescue groups who are stepping forward to care for and rehome these dogs are upset with their attitude.
According to a news report by WYFF4, Greenville County charges the Greenville Humane Society $70 per puppy and $50 for adult dogs. The fee covers spay/neuter, heartworm test, vaccinations and microchipping. Kim Pitman with the Humane Society defended their position stating
"We wish that there was more of a partnership. But we can't afford those rates. To us that's wrong."
Pitman said the seven other upstate shelters they partner with don't charge nearly as much. Some don't charge the fee at all, and others charge $10 per dog. When the Greenville Humane Society moved to its new location two years ago, they asked for a partnership similar to that held with other shelters. They were denied and are still being told "no."
Several rescues in upstate SC have come forward to take the 142 dogs transported to the shelter after the raid. Unless theses fees were covered by a sponsor, these individual rescues had to pay the county fee, and did it willingly so these dogs could receive veterinary treatment and be placed in a home environment as quickly as possible.
While the Greenville Humane Society has a veterinarian, rescue groups are having to pay out of pocket for treatment of these neglected and abused puppy mill dogs. It's a safe estimate that many of the dogs will incur $2,000 minimum before treatment is finished. When you add food, bedding and transportation to the vet, you're looking at major expense to the rescue who pulled the dog.
Greenville County Governmental Affairs Coordinator Bob Mihalic said that none of the dogs were taken by Greenville Humane Society. The society didn't even offer to help. In an interview with WYFF4 Mihalic stated
"We work with more than 700 rescue groups. They could be one of them if they choose."
Greenville Humane Society has said it themselves that they have an image to project to the public. They want beautiful, healthy pets to put up for adoption so the public will feel good about adopting a pet from them.
The puppy mill rescues, as well as countless others who come through Greenville County Animal Care Services door are far from perfect. The shelter is well known for accepting animals in any condition, and doing their best to find that animal a home.
The Greenville Humane Society has major events throughout the year to solicit donations. They bring in major money from those in the community who support them. Is $70 to save a dog's life really going to break the bank? Oh, wait, the dog would have to be adoption material. Beautiful, healthy, and hopefully a pure-bred.
Local rescue groups like Abby's Animal Angels, Day Before the Rainbow and Lynn Fortheanimals Rescue Squad have to turn to social media to spread the word they need funds. These groups currently have rescues from GCACS that are racking up some major medical expenses.
Greenville County Animal Care Services also has to hold events to raise money and donations of food. The shelter also has a sponsorship program where animal lovers can pay the pull fee so those who rescue can put that money toward food and medical expenses.
Perhaps since the Greenville County Animal Care Services is working so hard to find every animal a home, and the rescues are taking as many as they can possibly care for, the public needs to change who they support.
Wouldn't your money be a lot better spent to donate to a cause that doesn't discriminate when offering a dog a chance at a new life?
Readers, were those of you in the Greenville area aware of this? It's certainly not information they like to make public, putting a price on a dogs life.
To their credit, GHS has offered to help GCACS, but say the pull fee stands in their way.
Thankfully, there are rescue groups out there who believe the life of a dog is worth $70. The community should support whatever area rescue they want to help. Rescues are about more than money. They're about love.
The Greenville Humane Society, although they do offer many important services to the Greenville area, has really damaged their public image over the past week by not stepping up to help. Money shouldn't have been their first concern.
If you really want to support someone who loves dogs, please read the articles suggested below. These three local rescues who have pulled dogs from GCACS are far more deserving of your donations.