The Daily Gamecock

In Our Opinion: Pets Inc. faces closure, but USC can help

Pets Inc., a West Columbia no-kill animal shelter, is facing closure as it battles debt, an undermanned staff and a stock of animals far beyond its capacity.

Fortunately for Pets Inc., they’ve got the support of their community; we think the USC community should join in the effort to keep the shelter open.

Emma Robl — along with hopefully many more that support Pets Inc.’s cause — is rallying in an effort to help get the shelter the funding needs to stay afloat. Robl’s efforts include a rent-a-dog day on campus so students can pay to hang out with an adoptable dog for a few hours, T-shirt sales and more. Naturally, all profits will go to the shelter and its tens of thousands of dollars of debt.

Though that may sound like a lot, the number’s bark is stronger than its bite.

As college students, we’re sometimes hard pressed to find the funds necessary to even keep ourselves going, but there are many other ways we can support the shelter in lieu of financial contributions. Pets Inc. has done a great deal for Columbia’s animal and human community alike; it’s time we give back.

For starters, it needs help alleviating its animal occupancy problem. The group is short-staffed, with more animals than it can handle, so adopting a pet from them or volunteering would go a long way.

If adoption is too large a commitment, there’s also the fostering option: Temporarily adopt the pet until the shelter has space and can bring the cat or dog back.

As for those that can’t have a pet at home, volunteering at the shelter is another great way to help out. Due to their lack of funding, they’re operating with about half the staff they need. And with a surplus in animals, their already thin staff is stretched even thinner. Your volunteer efforts will go a long way in keeping the shelter in business.

Columbia needs a no-kill shelter like Pets Inc., a fact that any animal enthusiasts can recognize. As it is, about 17,000 animals are euthanized in the Midlands annually. Without Pets Inc.’s adoptions and spaying to prevent reproduction, that number will go higher and higher.

Community service of the purest kind like this is where USC can really shine.

With our assistance, we can help a local charity that has done a great deal of good for the city stay in business and keep animals off the streets and in loving homes, all at the same time.
Whether it’s renting a dog to play with for the day, buying a T-shirt to show your support, donating, adopting, fostering or volunteering, there’s a great deal we can do to keep Pets Inc. from going to the dogs.