Pee Dee animal advocates worry about pets being left as families face tough times

Pee Dee

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) — Some animal advocates in the Pee Dee are concerned about the pandemic’s impacts on pets, after observing some worrisome trends.

“It concerns us that there seems to be a definite increase in the number of animals just being found,” Florence Area Humane Society President Jayne Boswell said. “Don’t know where they came from. Don’t know their history.”

Take Highway, for example.

Highway is a one-year-old dog found a little over a week ago by a DOT worker along I-95 in Florence County, struggling to live.

“He touched our hearts from the time we first got the call about him,” Boswell said. He not only had a broken hip. It was dislocated. Also had a broken femur. And also the whole paw.”

Boswell said he seemed to have been hit by a car, and could only support himself on his front two legs due to the injuries. Rocks and dirt were in his stomach.

“That little fellow had a definite will to live.”

But needless to say, Highway was in bad shape. Thankfully, after an outpouring of support and donations, Highway had a successful surgery Tuesday and is on the road to recovery.

Boswell worries that Highway is part of a larger issue.

“It’s indicative that we are seeing more cases of where animals are just being left somewhere,” Boswell said. “We have had quite a few calls over the past several months of ‘Oh a puppy showed up in my yard. Or a kitten showed up.'”

She said times are tough for many families as the pandemic wears on.

“A lot of people are struggling during this whole COVID pandemic,” she said. “And a lot of families are struggling. Businesses are struggling. And we’re seeing that overflow into the animal population.”

Douglas Pernell with the Dillon County Animal Shelter says they used to get around four to five calls a month for abandoned animals. Now, they’re getting around 20 a month.

Boswell added that another challenge is the drop in donations during the pandemic. One positive, though, she says has been an increase in adoptions.

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