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Oconee County shines a light on shelter cats

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Some county animal shelters in Upstate South Carolina keep cats in cages located in poorly-lit rooms, with no access by potential adopters, and boast high kill rates. Not so in the Golden Corner of Oconee County, South Carolina.

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The Oconee County Humane Society and Animal Shelter, located at 1925 Sandifer Boulevard, just a little west of Seneca, South Carolina, is a relatively new facility built in 2008 after the Camp Road location became too small, old, and run down to humanely house animals coming in from the county. Shared jointly between the Oconee County Humane Society and the Oconee County Animal Shelter, it boasts lots of windows, outdoor runs, and indoor/outdoor kennels so that pets housed there can see sunlight and get fresh air.

One of the best features of this shelter is the Cat Room, located just inside the Humane Society's entrance on the left side of the building. The glass double doors give visitors an immediate glance at the cats available for adoption, which are allowed to roam when volunteers are available in a large play area. Volunteers come by all day long and sit with, pet, play with and groom the cats, which are transferred from Animal Control as space allows.

The room has another set of large glass doors leading to an outdoor patio area, and cats enjoy sitting in front of these doors on furniture or laying on the cool tile floor and sunning themselves. There are cages in the room but they are light, airy two-story models that can be rolled and placed in different locations, giving the cats a varying view during the times they are placed inside. Luckily, most of the time they are allowed out to visit with humans and other cats and get the socialization they need to be adopted as a pet.

Boldly colored pictures and murals grace the walls, and cat toys are scattered across the floor. Cardboard boxes are here and there, in corners and out in the middle of the floor, and peeking inside might find a gorgeous tabby Maine Coon kitten catching a snooze.

If you visit today you may be greeted by Grey, a beautiful smoky-colored male tabby who looks like he used black eyeliner this morning! He's three years old and extremely friendly - so much so that visitors to the cat room are routinely met by him as they come in.

Hiding in the shadows is Mistique, a one-year-old Himalayan/siamese/calico/snowshoe mix who is a little shy but has an extremely loud purr. The amazing markings on this sweet girl's fur make her one gorgeous feline. She's like a little bit of the best of all the cat breeds!

Onyx is as lovely as her name. She's a tall, five-year-old tuxedo that loves nothing more than to be a lap cat and be stroked and brushed all day. She's extremely friendly and inquisitive, and will follow you around like a puppy if you let her. Don't let her ears fool you - they lay down like that all the time, making her a very different cat.

All of these beauties and more are waiting for their forever homes at the Oconee County Humane Society's adoption center. Their hours are Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., and some cats are also available at PetSmart on Highway 123 in Seneca. You can see these and many more cats and kittens by going to http://www.oconeehumane.org/cats-for-adoption.php. Drop by soon and find the wonderful friend you've been looking for.

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