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Midlands animal shelter doubles in population because of Florence. It needs your help

Evacuating Hurricane Florence with pets? Here are the SC shelters you can go to

Pets will be accepted at four open SC shelters, says SC Department of Social Services acting Director Joan Meachum at Gov. Henry McMaster's press conference September 13, 2018.
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Pets will be accepted at four open SC shelters, says SC Department of Social Services acting Director Joan Meachum at Gov. Henry McMaster's press conference September 13, 2018.

Crates. Cat litter. Wet food. Trash bags.

If you’ve got them, bring them to a couple area animal shelters.

Located at 1275 Bower Parkway in Columbia, Pawmetto Lifeline has welcomed an extra 106 animals through its doors this week as the threat of Hurricane Florence looms. They’ve arrived from Grand Strand Humane Society in Myrtle Beach, said Heather Williamson, a Pawmetto Lifeline director who spoke to The State on Thursday afternoon.

“(Grand Strand) contacted us in the early part of this week,” Williamson said, “and said, ‘Hey, we’re dead middle of getting hit by the storm. We don’t have anywhere to go. Can you guys help us?’

“We built this building to be an evacuation site for other shelters that may be in need. So being part of a community and this great state that we’re in, we want to help them help out their pets, too. So they brought 85 cats and 21 dogs. And they’ve been fantastic. Their staff is here. They evacuated with their personal pets.

“It’s been a lot, but it’s been great.”

Williamson said Pawmetto Lifeline typically houses 150 animals. The increased population means more resources are needed.

“We are in need of crates, we are in need of cat litter, wet food, particularly for cats and dogs,” she said. “We also need trash bags because we are going through those like crazy.”

Pawmetto Lifeline’s hours are 8:30 a.m.-7 pm, Monday though Saturday. On Sunday, it’s open from noon-5 p.m.

For continued updates regarding Palmetto Lifeline’s situation throughout the storm, Williamson has encouraged others to follow the shelter’s Facebook page.

“The pets that are here from Myrtle Beach will be with us through the duration of the storm,” Williamson said. “And then after the storm, they’ll evaluate their shelter and damage and then we’ll see how long they’ll be here. But we’re here to support them.”

A similar scene is playing out at Pets Inc. at 300 Orchard Drive in West Columbia, where population has “increased dramatically,” said Jessica Roland, the shelter’s front office administrator.

“We are hosting three separate shelters, from the coast,” Roland said, “and we are very, very crowded.”

Pets Inc.’s Facebook page has posted a need for volunteer walkers, liquid laundry soap, bottled water (gallon & regular), bleach, dog and cat food, 42-gallon trash bags, paper towels and toilet paper, liquid hand soap, hand sanitizer and snacks for volunteers

Pets Inc. hours are 10 a.m.- 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. It’s open from noon-6 p.m. on Sunday. General donations can be made online at https://www.petsinc.org/donate-to.

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