Humane Society asks council, community for funding help

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

COUNTY — There are many advantages to living in the more rural parts of Pickens County.

But when you’re trying to find forever homes for dogs and cats, a lack of visibility isn’t one of them.

The Pickens County Humane Society’s location, off the beaten path on Five Forks Road in Liberty, is one of the reasons the facility is known as one of the area’s “best-kept secrets.”

Pree Hamilton, president of the board of directors of the Pickens County Humane Society, spoke before Pickens County Council during their October meeting last week. She began by speaking of her own dogs, who sadly won’t be with her much longer.

“I can’t save my dogs,” she said. “I can make them comfortable. I can still try to save the dogs in Pickens County.”

Hamilton often updates county council members about the Pickens County Humane Society.

“We do desperately need money,” Hamilton said.

Current needs for the Pickens County Humane Society: Cat litter, Pine Sol, bleach, Aerosol Lysol/disinfectant sprays, dry puppy and kitten food, canned puppy and kitten food, cedar shavings, 30 and 50 gallon trash bags, cat littler, pet toys, collars, leashes, dish detergent, dry adult dog food (please no Alpo or Gravy Train), dry adult cat food, dog treats (no raw hide or pig ear type), stainless steel water pails, newspaper, towels, blankets (fleece is preferred), little boxes, grooming services, slip leads, gravel, pillow cases.
Facility supply needs include cleaners, bleach, Pine Sol, standing or box fans, baby gates, scrub brushes, baby gates, paint, paint brushes, plants for outside landscaping, chain link fence (new, not used), pooper scoopers, paper towels, bulletin boards (all sizes), shelving units, foam squeegee head replacements, ink cartridges for printers, office supplies (scotch tape, sharpies, highlighters, stamps, legal pads, white out, etc.), printer paper, automatic spray air freshener refills, Clorox/Lysol wipes, storage containers with lids (all sizes), step stools, brooms and dust pans on handles.

Hamilton urged council members to dip into the county’s emergency fund in order to assist the Humane Society. The county currently provides the society $70,000 annually, but it does not run the organization.

The funds provided by Pickens County are not enough to cover all the organization’s expenses. In an interview with the Pickens County Courier earlier this year, PCHS director Samantha Gamble said its operation costs are about $210,000 a year.

“If we didn’t receive the $70,000 that we receive from (the county), we would have to close our doors,” Gamble said. “We don’t have enough community support.”

The society receives support from Pickens and Liberty, but not from the other municipal governments in the county.

Several years ago, county officials cut the funding it allocates to the society from $120,000 annually to the current $70,000.

“Can y’all not dip in and help us out some?” Hamilton said. “I’m trying to save precious lives. We’re struggling. But we’re trying to keep that Humane Society open. I think it would be a shame if we had to close it.”

The society often holds benefits and fundraisers to help keep the doors open.

Hamilton said all the funding and donations they receive are appreciated.

“At this point in time, I need the county’s help,” Hamilton said. “Think about what I’m saying and try to please help us.”

The facility’s location can be a problem.

“So many people don’t know where Five Forks Road is,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton praised Gamble’s efforts.

“It’s not the same ballgame we were playing years ago,” Hamilton said. “Her and (manager Megan Brown) are working very hard.”

Junius Smith of the Conservatives of the Upstate echoed that call during last week’s council meeting. He and his wife were moved to donate to the Humane Society after Hamilton spoke at a previous meeting.

“I’m a big believer that God gave the responsibility and that we should be doing more to look after these animals,” he said. “People might say, ‘Well, there goes Junius, he doesn’t believe in any kind of spending money.’ But I do believe in doing what’s right, and what is right is looking after these animals like we’re supposed to. So I ask you to do that. They need to work, too, they need to get donations as much as they can, and they’re doing that. I hope you will change your budget and put the right amount of money in it so that we can look after these animals.”

The society will host an open house from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22. It will feature food, music, sno-cones, door prizes and a bouncy house. The facility will be open for adoptions that day.

The Pickens County Humane Society is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization. It is located at 500 Five Forks Road in Liberty. Its mailing address is P.O. Box 83, Liberty, SC, 29657. The facility can be reached at (864) 843-9693 or

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