FLORENCE, S.C. — The Darlington County Humane Society is raising money for a new van and members looked at a model on Saturday.
According to Kathy McDonald, a board member and treasurer for the group, the shelter is about $3,000 away from having the money to buy the van, but the shelter is hoping to purchase the van by the end of September.
“The bottom line is we are here to raise animal’s lives, which is why we’re buying the bus,” McDonald said.
Currently, the shelter uses one cargo van with more than 300,000 miles on it and two more rental vans, which costs them approximately $1,000 per trip.
With the addition of a new van, the shelter would save almost 60 percent of its expenses in trips. The new van will be able to carry about 45-50 animals on each trip, depending on the sizes of the kennels. Also, the new van will have a better air conditioning system to ensure that all animals have adequate air supply during the trips.
The shelter makes about two trips per month up to Virginia and New England, delivering animals to shelters with room for more animals.
McDonald said the shelter receives more than 3,000 animals a year, and it has only about 700 adoptions a year, leaving almost 2,300 unhoused animals. The biweekly trips prevent these animals from being killed.
The shelter is raising money through Re-Tail Therapy store in Hartsville, selling T-shirts and Facebook campaigns. It just finished its Grateful Dog fundraising event that helped with funding the bus.
“We are just so lucky to have people who are willing to help us,” McDonald said.
Linda Ingram, wife of a board member and advocate for the shelter, said she is excited to see the shelter get a new van.
“This is an exciting day for us,” Ingram said. “We’ve been talking about this for so many years, and it is exciting for it to be a possibility.”
In addition to transporting animals to other shelters, the Darlington County Humane Society also provides spaying and neutering services for stray animals, as well as rabies vaccinations, to help the maintain stray animal populations.
To donate to the Darlington County Humane Society, visit its website at darlingtonhumane.org, mail checks or make donations at the shelter in person.