Q. Is it true that Horry County Council has passed an ordinance to make Horry County Animal Care Center a no-kill shelter? How many dogs and cats are normally turned in to the shelter on a monthly basis, and how many are adopted? Does the shelter have the capacity to house all of these animals? What does the shelter plan to do with animals that they don’t have room for?

A. Horry County Public Information Officer Kelly Moore sent along these answers.

“We’re not aware of any ordinance like that passed by County Council, although we are working towards the goal of becoming a ‘no kill shelter’ and continue to improve our live release rate. As has been widely reported recently, the Animal Care Center is currently at capacity.

“This is something many of the shelters in our area are currently facing and we’re working closely together with those folks and our rescue partners as we navigate this challenging time.”

The rest of this information was gleaned from a report given to Horry County Council by the Animal Care Center.

The Animal Care Center during May of this year took in 41 dogs through clinic, 27 through owner surrender, 14 through returns, 17 through seized/custody, 23 through service in, 79 strays and two that were transferred in for a total of 203.

For cats, the numbers are 12 clinics, 52 surrendered by owners, one was returned, 20 through service in and 93 were strays, for a total of 178.

Through the end of May, just one month short of the end of the fiscal year, the totals were 142 by clinic, 1,308 surrendered by their owners, 83 were returned, 237 were seized or in custody, 597 were serviced in, 2,486 were strays, two were transferred in and one was an unidentified wildlife critter. That totals 4,856 animals that made their way through the animal shelter in 11 months.

Of those, 1,051 or about 22 percent, were euthanized. The dispersal of the others was 97 missing, died or dead on arrival at the shelter; 910 were adopted; 143 were clinic out; 376 were returned to their owners; 798 were serviced out; and 1,457 were transferred out.

For the complete fiscal year of July 2019-June of 2020, there were 2,144 animals euthanized at the animal shelter. Of those, 368 were dogs and 1,776 were cats.

For the first 11 months of this fiscal year, the breakdown of reasons for euthanasia is 63 dogs and 232 cats because they were aggressive or feral; 39 dogs and seven cats because they had behavioral problems or were antisocial; 4 dogs and 273 cats because they had parvo, distemper/URI; 10 dogs and 93 cats for FTT (failure to thrive), 11 dogs and no cats because they were old; eight dogs and 60 cats because the had heartworms/FIV/FELV/FIP (viral diseases); 32 dogs and 114 cats because they had non treatable medical problems; one dog and no cats because it had mange; 64 dogs and 17 cats because the owners requested it; one dog and 10 cats because they had ringworms; and five dogs and no cats because there was not enough room for them.

The shelter’s website says, “This facility is not a no-kill facility. While we offer every opportunity to find homes for all the animals, there aren't enough homes for all that come in. Euthanasia decisions are based on health, temperament, and the amount of space we have available.”

Q. When can I trim back my knockout roses?

A. We turned to Chris Burtt, urban horticulturist with the Clemson Extension Service for an expert’s answer to your question.

 Burrt says he usually recommends pruning roses around February. However, he said, there’s really not a bad time to cut back your roses.

Keep in mind that if you want a good flush of roses and you choose to cut them this time of year, you need to just shape them and always cut above the node, rather than pruning them. He recommends that if you want to cut them now that you do it within the next couple of weeks.

If you choose to wait until February, you will want to thin them out to allow for sunlight and airflow.

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I'm the editor of the Horry Independent, a weekly newspaper in Conway, South Carolina. I cover city hall and courts, among many other subjects. Know of a good story? Call me at 843-488-7241.

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