Families for furry friends

 Foothills Humane Society shelter manager Megan Brown holds a dog waiting to be adopted at the facility, located at 500 Five Forks Road in Liberty.

Foothills Humane Society finds

homes for unwanted animals

By Ben Robinson, Courier Staff

LIBERTY — The Foothills Humane Society animal shelter is under the leadership of a new director — Samantha Gamble, who began her duties in January of this year.

Gamble is already faced with a tough, overcrowded situation at the shelter.

During a recent day, the shelter was home to 39 cats, which is the shelter’s limit. New homes are needed for the animals before the shelter can accept more.

The shelter was also recently home to 38 dogs, which is close to its limit. Gamble said the shelter could probably handle up to 10 more dogs, depending upon their size.

Gamble, who worked for a veterinary clinic for 12 years, has an associate’s degree from Tri-County Technical College and a bachelor’s degree from Clemson University. She took the reins of the shelter after the long tenure of Carolyn Wemett, who led the shelter for 30 years.

The purpose of the shelter is to, quite simply, eliminate overpopulation of pets in Pickens County. The shelter wants to do so in an humane way, providing a home and nourishment for unwanted animals. The shelter also provides key medications, such as heartworm medication, to ensure the animals have every opportunity for a healthy life.

The shelter was opened in 1973 and is currently home to close to 80 animals.

To adopt a dog, a person must pay $70. To adopt a cat, it costs $65 for each pet. However, the adopted pet will have already been spayed or neutered and received all necessary vaccinations.

Humane Society employees — there are only three — also take every animal out for a walk twice each day, regardless of the weather, to keep the animals active despite living inside cages. They also do some basic training so the pet will be able to adapt to its new home more easily.

The shelter has taken in more than 175 animals so far this year, finding homes for more than 120 of them.

Adoptions occur through visitors to the shelter, located at 500 Five Forks Road in Liberty, and participation in numerous events, such as community fairs.

Gamble said the shelter is also thankful for donations from Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Tractor Supply and other businesses who help the shelter survive despite depending on donations.

Brian Clardy serves as full-time kennel caretaker, cleaning and feeding the animals and helping clean up after the animals.

Megan Brown, granddaughter of Wemett, grew up with the shelter as part of her life, so it makes sense that she serves as the shelter manager.

“We hope for a great year this year,” Gamble said. “These pets deserve the best.”