The Animal Advocates is a non-profit organization made up of a diverse group of people with the same common goal - to make a difference in the lives of the cats and dogs in our community. We have operated a thrift store, the Pick of the Litter Shoppe, since 2006. The proceeds from this store have allowed us to provide the following:
Realizing that our local county shelter often had a euthanasia rate as high as 98%, we knew something had to be done. Our Board of Directors decided that the best answer was to build a facility that would enable us to pull these helpless dogs and cats from the county shelter and into a safe haven. While being fostered there, we would be able to give them the medical attention that they need and deserve before being adopted into loving, furever homes.
Our first step was to open the Pick of the Litter Thrift Shoppe which was able to fund a No Cost/Low Cost spay and neuter program. We then began a capital building campaign and started applying for grants. It was a struggle because the median income in Barnwell County is $25,000.00. Our determination and hard work paid off and, in the spring of 2013 we not only opened our Friends for Life Center, but also formed a unique partnership with Allendale Correctional Institution (ACI), a Level 2 character-based institution. Since its inception, the MeowMates/MuttMates program at ACI has grown from an original 2 cats to where we are today, with 50 animals being housed, fostered, and trained by a select group of inmates that we affectionately refer to as “Pet Dads”. To date, over 500 dogs and cats have been fostered at ACI. This exceptional program has allowed us to expand the number of animals that we can foster, thus saving many more lives.
We contribute our success to our willingness to think “outside of the box” and be open to new and innovative ideas for our rescue organization and the precious animals that we serve.