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More than 600 animals have come through the ASPCA emergency shelter in Duncan since last week, just before Hurricane Irma slammed into Florida and parts of the coast.
The shelter was opened on the campus of Spartanburg Community College Tyger River Center for Business & Entrepreneurial Development ahead of the storm, said Kathryn Destreza, ASPCA director of investigations.
Destreza said the ASPCA partnered with the college to open the shelter early so animal shelters in Jasper and Beaufort counties could evacuate their animals before Irma arrived.
“Had a pre-evacuation not been done in those places, those animals would have been affected,” she said. “If you’re running a shelter, it’s your responsibility to have a plan in place.”
ASPCA employees spend hours each day walking every dog, feeding and cleaning animal cages and administering medical care when necessary, Destreza said. The number of cats and dogs currently housed there is fluid, she said, because they are constantly working to send animals to other shelters throughout the country and waiting on more to arrive from Florida.
On Wednesday, they received 46 animals from Florida and nearly 150 more on Thursday.
“We work with relocation teams to take them from here to partnering agencies and move them into permanent facilities,” Destreza said.
The facility is also serving as a distribution center for supplies the ASPCA is sending to affected shelters in Florida. They’re currently accepting donations of cat and dog food, pet carriers and crates, blankets and towels.
The ASPCA is taking donations for its emergency shelter in Duncan.
Donations of cat and dog food, towels, blankets and pet crates will be accepted. They can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Spartanburg Community College Tyger River CEBED, 1875 E. Main St., Duncan.
“The purpose is to get supplies down to those shelters because we need to get them back on their feet,” Destreza said. “This will stop the animals from coming in to us, and we need that, otherwise partnering agencies will become overburdened.”
The facility will remain on the SCC campus until Sept. 24, then will move to another location, Destreza said.
“We’ll have an emergency facility available for as long as it’s needed,” she said. “The goal is for our Florida teams to get shelters there up and running and self-sustained.”