The Voice of the Animals: Hoof and Paws for a Good Cause

Shirley Locklear, president of the Hoof & Paw Benevolent Society, and Janice Emerson, Adoption Coordinator with Fairfield County Adoption Center, with some of the cats and puppies available for adoption at the Center.

I spent Monday evening with some very dedicated people. We have lots of folks dedicated to helping their fellow folks in need, but the people I met with are dedicated to helping the four-footed members of the community. They are the members of the Hoof and Paw Benevolent Society, created several years ago to support the work of the Fairfield County Adoption Center. Since then, their work has expanded to the surrounding areas including Blythewood.

Shirley Locklear, president of the Society, explained it like this: “We create opportunities to help animals in shelters and within our community,” Lockair said. “We host adoption events, sponsor spay and neuter clinics, help abused animals in whatever ways we can and we hold educational events and fund raisers to accomplish our goals.”

You might have seen their booth at Rock Around the Clock or other community festival.

Close to the Society’s collective heart is the Cat House at the Fairfield County Adoption Center where they make a special effort to find homes for cats who end up at the Cat House for whatever reason. And the group is always on the lookout for grants and funds to support their efforts. Member Doris Macomson, representing the Blind Dog Rescue organization in Rock Hill, reported that Fairfield County could be one of the beneficiaries of a $100,000 grant recently received by the Humane Society of Charlotte for a feral cat program. The trap-and-release program would include humanely trapping the county’s feral cat population, sending the cats to Charlotte to be spayed and neutered, then releasing them back to the areas where they were picked up.

The Society, along with the Fairfield Adoption Center, recently sponsored a low-cost spay and neuter clinic for Fairfield County and surrounding areas where some 200 animals have been spayed or neutered. The group is also planning to hold a rabies clinic in the community and, more immediately, go door to door to inform pet owners about a recent rabies scare in the county and about the dangers posed to their pets from rabid raccoons and other non-pet animal types.

“It’s important for pet owners to not leave water and feed bowls outside that could attract raccoons and other animals that might carry rabies,” Macomson said. “Eating from the infected bowls can lead to pets becoming infected.”

The Hoof and Paw organization is more than a little busy these days speaking for those who have no voice. They are dedicated to the welfare of the animals, and they need other animal lovers from Fairfield, Blythewood and surrounding areas to join their efforts. Membership in the Society costs only $12 per year (“just a dollar a month,” as Shirley Locklear points out.)

Check out the details of the Hoof and Paw Benevolent Society on their website, www.hoofandpawsc.org and see their Facebook page hoofandpaw(space)sc or contact Shirley Locklear at 803-633-0061.

The Hoof and Paw Benevolent Society meets the first Monday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at the Fairfield Memorial Hospital conference room.