Columbia Animal Services launched it’s Valentine sale this week to encourage adoption of shelter pets, including this domestic shorthair cat that is currently available for adoption. Photos by Sydney Pennington

Love is in the air at City of Columbia Animal Services.

The shelter is celebrating this Valentine’s season by offering an adoption special on its cats and dogs. 

Currently home to 99 animals, the shelter is running the special now until Feb. 14. All pets can be adopted for $14 instead of the usual $35 fee.  

Shelter officials said the shelter is providing this discount with the hope of finding homes for 59 cats and 40 dogs. 

“Animals just bring so much fun and life into environments and they’re fun to watch and spend time with and cuddle up with, so everybody should adopt,” Victoria Ryles, superintendent of Columbia Animal Services, said.  

Winter is a typically slow season for Columbia Animal Services and while the shelter offers specials throughout the year, the Valentine’s Day deal will hopefully increase adoption rates.

Some animals have been in the shelter for weeks or even months. The sale is their opportunity to get adopted, said Ryles. 

The shelter hopes that an increase in adoptions will make space for new animals that need help. 

“Our adoption program is vital for our facilities operation,” Ryles said. “We’ve got several rooms of cats and several halls of dogs as well, so there’s going to be a good bit of them finding a home.” 

Deals such as this allow adopters to take home a pet without the barrier of a high financial burden.  

“Every family has the right to own a pet and monetary boundaries should not stand in the way. This is an opportunity for families to have a very good, loving, adoptable pet,” Dawn Wilkinson, executive director of the Humane Society of South Carolina, said.

In addition to adoption, effective spay and neutering has also dramatically decreased the number of animals in shelters and animals euthanized. 

“There are not enough pet owners in this state for the number of animals we have currently,” Wilkinson said. “We cannot fix this problem overnight, so the benefit of adopting means less euthanization.” 

To adopt a pet at Columbia Animal Services, a potential owner must be 18 years old and bring a valid photo ID, proper payment and a leash for dogs or a carrier for cats. The leash or carrier can be bought onsite for an extra cost. 

Lex Snyder, 25, of Augusta, adopted a cat at Columbia Animal Services to bring home Monday. Snyder already owns a dog that she adopted from a different facility.  

“I believe in ‘adopt, not shop,’” Snyder said.  “Sheltered cats are the best cats because they need homes and black cats are the best cats because they’re adorable.”

Snyder took home her own black cat that afternoon.

Columbia Animal Services is located at 127 Humane Lane in Columbia, and is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.  

Valentine, a 3-year-old pit bull mix, is one of the 40 available dogs.

JJ, a 7-month-old domestic short hair kitten, is currently up for adoption.

 Lex Snyder, of Augusta, met several cats while searching for the perfect one.


Cora Stone

Cora Stone

Cora Stone is a senior multimedia journalism student from Lexington, South Carolina. With professional experience as an Account Manager with The Carolina Agency and as a News Writer for The Daily Gamecock, Stone’s broad range of interests allow her to tell stories with a diverse perspective. Post-graduation, she plans to teach secondary English in Providence, Rhode Island with Teach for America.

Sydney Pennington

Sydney Pennington

Sydney Pennington is an aspiring multimedia journalist with a passion for crime media. From Charleston, South Carolina, her favorite parts of the job are providing accurate information and connecting with people. At a young age, she developed an affinity for crime media with shows like Dateline and 48 hours. She is proficient in Adobe Creative Cloud and hopes to eventually work for a local police department as a communications liaison.