Rescue and Intake:
Why we can't take your pet right now.
When we started this rescue, times were good. We had great jobs, we made plenty of money and we were able to do this without asking anyone for any donations. We took in cats from individuals and shelters, and we adopted them out quickly. I worked with ferals as well to socialize them so they could be adopted, and was fine with pulling special needs cats because I had the resources to care for them. Adopting out four or five cats in a single weekend was not unheard of, and we did so well we didn't even bother to put out a donation jar.
Then the real estate bubble burst, we lost our good jobs and the jobs we were able to find didn't pay as well. Adoptions dropped off sharply, and are still low today. Where we used to count the adoptions by the weekend, now they are counted by the month. Yet cats, and now dogs, didn't just disappear. They still need homes, they still need to be fed and watered and their litter boxes cleaned and their cages cleaned and the carpet needs to be shampood and the dishes need to be washed...well, you get the idea.
At the same time, everyone was suffering and donations also dried up. When we did start asking for donations, no one had it to give, and even now, while people are more generous, it's still a struggle some months to make ends meet.
In 2010 we made the hard decision to stop pulling cats from shelters. We didn't want to, because here in South Carolina a cat that enters a shelter has less than a 1 in 10 average chance of making it out alive. Some places are better than others, and in some shelters, nothing makes it out alive. Yet we knew the only way we could continue to care for the cats we had was to stop taking cats in and focus on finding the cats we had good homes.
Easier said than done. When people find out you're a rescuer, you get on their speed dial. They come to your house at 11:00 at night with a screaming kitten that they got for their kid and because it isn't quiet and cooperative, or it scratched, they've changed their mind and need someplace for it to go right now. Sometimes they just leave a box or a crate on your doorstep, or in the bed of your truck. They send you emails. Someone has bottle feed kittens and they don't know how to do it. Whatever the case, despite our decision to do no intake after that, the number of animals we care for has grown. Now, we must say NO MORE. We simply cannot take another single cat into our rescue, so the only way we will accept a cat is if we have a foster in place for it.
In the case of the dogs, we pulled them as puppies from a shelter after forging an agreement with a rescue in Maryland that once they had been with us for two weeks, they would be going there for adoption. When the time came for the transfer, the rescue backed out of the deal, leaving us holding the bag on the puppies. We never take an animal to a kill shelter -- ever. So instead we worked hard to try to find homes for them ourselves. We pulled a total of 13, and as of December 2014 we still have five. Four went to another rescue, which means four got homes. So much for dogs being easier to find homes for.
Once we find homes for these great dogs, we will be out of the dog rescue business. We just don't have the resources for it.
So if you're here in hopes of finding a rescue to take your cat or dog, we must respectfully say no. It isn't fair to the ones we already have, and it certainly wouldn't be fair to the one you have.
What we can do for you and the animal you need to place:
First and foremost: If you are willing to be patient and continue to keep the pet, we will do everything in our power to help you find a new home for your animal. You are free to post pictures and information on our Facebook pages, expecially Dot's Place Animal Haven And The Nine Seneca SC Dogs. Friend me on Facebook (Denise Lane Painter) and feel free to post to my personal Facebook page as well. I will network your pet to any and all appropriate groups I can find and work hard to find a new home for them. If you aren't on Facebook, then you can email pictures and information to me at and I'll be happy to do it for you. With our approval, sign a foster agreement for your pet and we will help with any vetting that may need to be done such as spay/neuter, etc. (Signing a foster agreement means that you keep the pet for the time being but the pet now belongs to us. Once this is done, if you change your mind and decide to keep your pet you will be liable to us for any funds we have spent on your pet's behalf.)
If the problem is that you just can't afford to feed your pet, please contact us via email or our contact page here and we will help you find resources in your community that can help you.
If you have another problem, one that isn't covered here, please reach out to us via one of our contact methods listed. It may be that we are aware of resources that you may not be, and we will work diligently with you to find a solution to help you and your pet. Many people believe the only option they have is to get rid of their pet, when in reality there are solutions available.
We ask that you make the decision to take your pet to a kill shelter your very last option. They didn't ask to be born, and they deserve to be treated like family.
Thanks for caring about animals.