AP NEWS

ANIMAL CONNECTION: Saving homeless pets, one step at a time

March 13, 2018

As an animal welfare organization, the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare is dedicated to improving the lives of companion animals by rehoming abused, abandoned and neglected pets while fighting for their well being through vigorous legislative efforts, humane education and by offering high-quality, affordable veterinary care for all. This is the mission our staff, volunteers, board members and supporters live and breath every day.

The Albrecht Center works hard to not only alleviate the issue of pet overpopulation, but we fight to get to the root of the problem. Finding loving, forever homes for our homeless pets is, without a doubt, priority. However, there are many elements that go into ensuring that the unwanted, homeless pet population decreases over time so companion animals are no longer in the hands of neglectful owners and shelters, and rescues are no longer overburdened.

The full-service Veterinary Care Center, thrift shops, adoptions, education, training, volunteer program, events and fundraisers, facility rentals and dog park are all pieces to the puzzle of the bigger picture of having a world where the unfailing love and devotion of a companion animal is valued by all. By being a resource center, finding homes for our homeless pets, building awareness, educating and raising monetary funds, we can begin to create a brighter future for companion animals.

But, we can’t do it alone. Our staff works around the clock to ensure these homeless pets have a comfortable, safe place to temporarily live. However, without the support of our incredible volunteers, devoted board members and generous, loyal contributors, the Albrecht Center would simply not be able to accomplish our goals.

On April 14, we will come together to celebrate the dedication and achievements of all of these working parts at our annual Walk for Animals. Beginning and ending at the Albrecht Center located at 199 Willow Run Road, this walk will help raise awareness for our organization and the homeless animals we care for, while honoring the continuous hard work of our staff, volunteers, board members and supporters.

The Walk for Animals will begin at 10 a.m. with registration at 9 a.m., and will end with a brunch and patio party as we continue to celebrate with food, drinks and music. While you’re here, be sure to visit our adoptable pets and facility and check out our dog park, which will be open free to the public.

Walkers have the option of registering in advance online at LetLoveLive.org/walk-for-animals, or by registering the day of the event. Register by March 26 to receive a Walk for Animals T-shirt with registration fee.

Supporters can also set up a team and fundraise in honor of a beloved pet, family member or friend, club or group, or simply in support of the Albrecht Center. The new, online fundraising platform is easy to use and instructs supporters step-by-step through creating a page.

Team leaders will earn incentives for each tier of fundraising they reach. Prizes range from a patio party meal ticket to a ticket to our new 2018 Barktober Fest to free dog washes during the entire dog wash season. The highest earning team leader will win a pet photo session with Pam Gleason, owner, editor and amazing photographer of The Dog & Hound and Aiken Horse magazines.

As a tax-exempt organization without government support, the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare will use 100 percent of the funds from registration fees and donations/fundraising for veterinary care and supplies for the homeless pets in our care. If we can reach our $20,000 goal, that could mean up to 250 spay/neuter surgeries, or 1,660 rabies vaccinations, or treating approximately 30 heartworm-positive dogs.

Thank you all for your undying, continued support, and desire to further our mission in making Aiken and beyond a safe, loving place for our companion animals. We hope you will join us on April 14 for our Walk for Animals as we celebrate you and raise awareness for the Albrecht Center.

If you have any questions about the Walk for Animals, email Claire Grimes, development director, at Claire@LetLoveLive.org or call 803-648-6863.

Claire R. Grimes is the SPCA Albrecht Center’s development director. She is an Aiken native, but spent some college years in Charleston, interning with Charleston Animal Society. She is excited to now be working in animal welfare in her hometown and is proud of the community efforts to better the lives of Aiken’s animals. Her family includes her husband, Logan, a SPCA adopted black lab, Ozzy, a SPCA adopted Siamese mix, Luna, and Claire’s first love, Anakin, a 17-pound rescued Maine coon mix.