Wednesday, August 25, 2027


Dear LASS members:
As January 2019 comes to a close, we have some wonderful news.   A new Lancaster County Animal Shelter and its budget has been approved by the Lancaster Council…A HUGH thanks to the Council and to all the LASS members who spent approximately three years trying to get this much needed Shelter approved.  It is my belief that with a new facility and additional trained staff, many animal lives will be saved.  Through aggressive spay and neuter programs along with an improved foster and adoption program, Lancaster will be able to reduce the number of animals that are euthanized.
Ann Richardson has been haunting the new PetCo store trying to get our application for weekend adoption events.  The amount of forms was daunting!  But she persevered and we are now in the partnership and in the queue for the date of our first LASS Adoptions Event.

Once again Councilman Terry Graham and his wife, Jeanie will allow us to hold our FOURTH ANNUAL LUNCHEON FUND RAISER FOR THE ANIMAL SHELTER at their wonderful home, The Ivy Place.
This is our big fund raiser for the year. We welcome and need as many volunteers as possible.
Please contact me at lassofsuncity@gmail and give some of your time for this great cause.
Finally, LASS now has a new chapter forming in TREE TOPS Community.  This is wonderful as we need
to spread to other communities who would be willing to foster and hopefully adopt one of our
wonderful shelter animals.  If you have never rescued an animal from a shelter you cannot know
what a wonderful feeling it is to see the love in their eyes…..they truly become your best friend.

Arlene McCarthy
President, LASS
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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Animal Shelter Funding Approved by County Council!

Success! January 28, 2019 was a joyful day for LASS members and other animal advocates in Lancaster County. On that day, County Council finally approved funding for a new animal shelter. The vote followed over two years of persistent lobbying by LASS members...emailing, calling, speaking at council meetings, letters to newspapers...any opportunity to speak for animals who cannot speak for themselves. 
The new shelter will be located on Pageland Highway, (Route 9), near the Farmers’ Market and the SC Division of Motor Vehicles. At 11,000 square feet, the shelter will be more than five times the size of our current facility. The design by local architects McMillan/Pazdan/Smith allows for significant expansion in the future. The shelter will have 46 dog runs, 15 more than the current shelter, and will have separate wings for adoptable dogs and for dogs being held for transport, or for health or legal issues. 
Shelter manager Alan Williams is confident that adoptions will increase when the bright new shelter opens its doors. It will be a pleasant, welcoming place for potential adopters to visit. The larger space will allow more volunteers to work at the same time, and the shelter itself will be a natural impetus for LASS fundraising.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

I & R Committee Approves Moving Ahead With Shelter

Thank you so much for everyone who attended the I & R meeting today in Lancaster.
Because of your support the committee has voted to move ahead on the building of the much needed Animal Shelter in Lancaster.
Thank you also to all of you who sent the council members emails and phone calls supporting your support for a new shelter.  They do listen to taxpayers.
Our next big step will be to attend the FULL Council meeting on January 28 at 6 pm in Lancaster City Hall..Let me know if you can make this very important meeting.  We will be car pooling.
Thank you again.....LASS cannot be effective without your support.
Arlene McCarthy
PS  Would be wonderful if you could email the I & R Committee and thank them.
Larry Honeycutt, Terry Graham, etc

Friday, January 11, 2019


Lancaster County Council has long been promising a new animalshelter for 2019. But last month, when bids for shelter construction came inhigher than expected, Council postponed the vote and indicated an unwillingnessto allocate extra money for the project. This coming week, they WILL vote onwhether to proceed with construction. 
PLEASE come to the County Council meetingon Monday evening, Jan. 14th, at 6:00 PM at the CountyAdministration Building, 101 N. Main Street, Lancaster, 2nd floor. Green sashes will be distributed for citizens to showthe council we are there.  A DISPLAY OFPUBLIC SUPPORT IS VITAL.
The shelter will not be discussed at the Monday meeting but it's our chance to show support in advance of the actual vote on Tuesday, the 15th,at the Infrastructure & Regulation meeting at 3 PM. Your attendance is needed at that as well. 

Please come to one or BOTH meetings.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Lancaster News Article About Shelter

By Kayla Vaughn
The Lancaster County Animal Shelter has seen a major influx of dogs over the past month, taking in an overwhelming 100 of them in just two weeks.
The shelter is set up with only 31 runs to hold dogs, and shelter Director Alan Williams said he tries not to double up the runs to keep the animals from passing along diseases. A distemper outbreak shut down the shelter in May 2017.
“We can’t work but so fast, and animal control is outrunning us,” Williams said. “It’s worse now than it’s been all year. We’ll probably wind up with close to 200 dogs just this month, double what it usually is.”
<div class="source">KAYLA VAUGHN/The Lancaster News</div><div class="image-desc">Buford looks through the door of his dog run Thursday as he waits for someone to choose him for their own. </div><div class="buy-pic"><a href="/photo_select/69935">Buy this photo</a></div>

Buford looks through the door of his dog run Thursday as he waits for someone to choose him for their own.
Legally, the shelter must hold dogs for at least five days to give owners time to pick them up, but Williams said he is struggling to keep up with that. After those five days, the dogs are put up for adoption or euthanized.
There were two days recently when the shelter took in 20 dogs each day, putting it well over the 31-run limit.
Over the summer, Williams said the shelter had to euthanize 21 dogs in three months. That number has increased this fall. Twenty-five have been euthanized just since Oct. 1 because of the massive intake.
“We get to where we just don’t have anywhere to put them,” Williams said Thursday. “We’ve got two portables out there that are open now, but those will probably be filled before the end of the day today.”
If dogs are owner-surrendered, they can be adopted out, sent to a rescue group or euthanized the same day they are brought in.
“It’s not really fair to them,” Williams said of the owner-surrendered dogs. “We had one come in on a Thursday, and I had to put him down on that Friday because we didn’t have nowhere to put him. I don’t want to have to put a dog down just because we don’t have the space to keep them here.
“This is a tough job,” he said. “People say sometimes that we’re a high-kill shelter. We’re not. We can’t handle all of these dogs coming in at one time right now, but before this past month a lot of the ones that were euthanized couldn’t have been adopted out anyways. They were just mean, injured or sick, and we just couldn’t do anything with them.”
Williams said he tries to look at the shelter’s positive results, like the number of dogs it adopts out.
That number has increased slightly since the shelter has started posting its animals on Facebook. Shelter Assistant Manager Carissa Valenti manages the Facebook posts and works with rescues around Lancaster that take in some of the dogs, including the Lancaster SPCA and Lancaster Animal Shelter Supporters (LASS).
Williams and Valenti are the only two staff members at the shelter, but they are trying to fill a new part-time position.
Williams said Valenti does everything she can to save every dog, but she’s learned in her three years there that not every animal can be saved.
Williams has worked at the shelter on and off for 10 years, with eight years prior experience at animal control. He said he remembers when the shelter used the gas chamber years ago and was euthanizing 80 to 90 percent more dogs than it does now.
“We have bad days, and I’m sure everybody does, but at the end of the day it’s better now than it ever has been,” he said. “It’s cleaner than it ever has been. We’re getting more dogs out than we’ve ever been, and our euthanizing rate is lower than it’s ever been.”
Williams said if the numbers are this high now, he worries what it will be after Christmas. A lot of people receive dogs as Christmas gifts, but then the animals end up in a shelter. And most of the rescues are full, so dogs can’t be moved.
The county is preparing to build a new $2.8 million animal shelter on Pageland Highway. Until then, Williams said, he will make do with what he has. The new shelter is expected to be complete by November 2019.
Designed by McMillan-Pazden-Smith Architecture, the shelter will include a 4,800-square-foot building for animal intake and holding, a medical area for treatment, offices, space for pet adoptions, and laundry and food-storage areas. It also has two rooms for cats and 46 runs for dogs.
Williams said those 15 extra dog runs will make all the difference in the world.
“We’re going to have to do our job as much then as we are now to find places for the dogs,” he said. “And Carissa does an amazing job at trying to get these dogs out of here.
“We get a bad rep sometimes, but if you took our numbers by the year we’re still in the 10 percent range,” he said of the shelter’s euthanizing rate. “We work hard to try to get these dogs out of here. That’s why we’re here. We’re improving every day.”
County council has been planning for the new shelter for more than a year. Council member Larry Honeycutt said he can’t wait until the new facility is ready.
“I’m just hoping when we get the new shelter in place we’ll continue to have all of these people who come in and take these animals,” he said. “And I know they will. The LSPCA is very good and LASS does a wonderful job at finding homes for them. But 100 dogs in two weeks is just too many.”
Honeycutt said the new shelter isn’t quite as big as some would like, but even a little more space should help with these numbers.
The new shelter will be built so the county can add on later if needed, Honeycutt said, and the current shelter will be fixed and used in case of sickness or infection.
“Me, among many others, will be glad to see it built,” he said.
The county is also working to get a trailer big enough to hold 20 dogs so that the animal shelter can transport animals for medical treatment and to adoption events.
The shelter posted to Facebook Thursday afternoon, asking for help from rescues and the public in moving the large number of dogs, saying “There is absolutely no way we can move dogs as fast as they are coming in.”
All animals adopted out of the shelter are spayed and neutered and up-to-date on all shots. Dog adoption fees are $100, and cats are $80.
For more information on the animals that are available, visit the shelter’s Facebook page at, or call (803) 286-8103.
Follow Kayla Vaughn on Twitter @kaybvaughn or contact her at (803) 416-8416.
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