SUMTER, S.C. — Sat in a grassy field at 1230 Winkles Road in Sumter is a red and grey brick “labor of love.”
The new Saving Sumter’s Strays facility is almost ready to open. And the dogs and cats are already settling into their new home.
“We’ve dreamed of this facility for years,” Nina Stroebel, one of the organization's founders, said, “and it took a lot of work and a lot of fundraising.”
She and Lauren Cunningham, the other founder, have been friends for decades. Their love for pets brought them closer together over the years.
“We saw a need, after volunteering at animal control, that so many adoptable dogs would not make it into loving homes,” Cunningham said. “So, we created a 501(c)(3) in 2016 and we were able to make connections with other rescue partners and get many dogs saved.”
With financial assistance from Sumter County, the 40-kennel facility broke ground.
“We are not an open-intake facility,” Cunningham said. “Every dog or cat that is in our facility has come through the Sumter Animal Control - we are giving them… a chance at a better life.”
They hope to open fully in the months ahead. Volunteers are still needed to help with operations. For now, they’re taking applications for the pets and meeting with potential parents by appointment.
“We will make sure that dog has been spayed, neutered, and up-to-date on vaccinations and, for a small fee, will be a part of their family,” Cunningham said. “…hopefully have a lot of local adopters come in and see the dogs and adopt them,” Stroebel said.