Charleston Animal Society

Rating: 4.84 stars   67 reviews

Issues: Animals

Location: 2455 Remount Rd. North Charleston SC 29406 USA

Mission: For 139 years, Charleston Animal Society has worked to prevent cruelty to animals. We will not rest until every animal in need of a home finds one.
Results: At our 139th Annual Meeting last April, we launched No Kill Charleston 2015 – the boldest animal care initiative ever undertaken in the Southeast. The vision is to save every healthy and treatable animal and, most importantly, sustain it. Though some will dismiss this as unfeasible, the reality is that Charleston Animal Society has already made great strides towards this dream. Bold. Ambitious. Realistic. Five years ago, when we opened our new shelter and spay/neuter clinic, we told the community that the expanded facility would allow us to make our neighborhoods safer and healthier for both people and animals. This move, along with along with renewed investment from our community and beyond, was crucial to an expansion of our programs and services critical to saving lives – and helped us make good on our promise. Since moving into our current facility in 2008, we have served as a model for all animal rescue organizations and shelters in the Southeast and beyond. Though we care for 90% of the community’s unwanted animals - many of which are seriously injured or gravely ill – we have made remarkable strides in five years. By thinking out-of-the-box, using proven best practices from animal organizations across the nation and implementing research-based strategies, Charleston Animal Society has moved our community from an Annual Live Release Rate of 34% in 2007 to an 85% Annual Live Release Rate today, which is almost unheard of in the animal welfare world. Comparatively, other parts of the state realize low live release rates ranging from 10% to 40%. Most remarkably, we have been able to turn our Live Release Rates around even without full support of our local governments whose payment for services amount to a mere 25% of our operating costs. Though proud of our accomplishments, we are hardly satisfied, knowing that there is more to be done. This is what inspired Charleston Animal Society to introduce the concept of a No Kill community to Charleston County. First introduced in 1989 as a concept to build a no kill nation, the no kill philosophy targets the community at large rather than focusing inward on organizations. Communities are seeing that it is indeed a collective and collaborative effort having resulted in positive gains in health and safety for both animals and humans. Though groundbreaking in its scope, much of No Kill Charleston 2015 involves staying the course and sticking with what is working well. To move forward, however, we’ll lead the Charleston area toward strategies and tactics that are difficult, yet proven. Much of this will be challenging to implement, but well worth the tough and honest conversations we must have as a community to become the first one in the Southeast to achieve this. No Kill Charleston 2015 will be demanding on all of us, but what worthwhile venture is not? It is about our community, not about a single organization. It’s time for No Kill Charleston 2015!
Target demographics: prevent cruelty to animals and build safer and healthier families for both people and pets.
Geographic areas served: Charleston County and the Lowcountry of South Carolina
Programs: 1) Finding homes for homeless animals through adoptions and foster homes; (2) Fighting animal cruelty wherever it exists through assisting law enforcement and advocating for stronger laws; (3) Helping youth understand animal science through a nationally-recognized veterinary science initiative; (4) Containing outbreaks of deadly diseases through a communitywide rabies vaccination program; (5) Reuniting loved ones with their families through an in-depth lost and found service; (6) Saving the lives of abused and abandoned animal through individually customized treatment; (7) Preventing births of unwanted animals through a high volume and high quality, affordable spay/neuter strategy; (8) Guiding children to grow into humanitarians through a comprehensive humane education initiative; (9) Fighting hunger when food is unaffordable through a nonjudgmental pet-focused food bank; and, (10) Reducing the number of free roaming cats through a trap-vaccinate-alter & return-to-habitat plan.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been volunteering at the shelter for over four years and have enjoyed every minute of it. I have learned more information while volunteerting on the medical care of animals then I ever thought possible. All the staff members are so friendly and helpful in answering customer's quesions. It is great to see the community step forward and help the animals in finding new home and just by fostering. I also enjoy doing the off shelter adoption events and spreading the word out to the community about what the shelter does.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

I just recently started volunteering here when I had to move to SC for the navy and I LOVE it. It's so great to work with all the animals. All the animals are treated so well and the shelter works so hard to adopt as many animals as possible. They're extremely clean and the staff is so sweet and helpful. Love volunteering here!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been volunteering at CAS for over two years. It is a modern, clean facility where both staff and volunteers take their mission of caring for the animals seriously. They go way beyond keeping the animals fed, watered, and the areas clean. They also make sure they have good human interaction and enrichment to keep them busy. All volunteers must take a 3 hour class on dog interaction which promotes safety. Beyond this, they operate bark camp at the shelter for middle school children during the summer, and a summer program for older children who may be interested in a veterinary career. Last year they also developed a training class that was attended by people from South Carolina as well as other states and provided enough training materials so that the attendees could go back and give this class to others. CAS is recognized nationally as one of the best organizations of its kind. Best of all, I found my constant companion, a two year old miniature poodle there!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

As the only No Kill shelter in the Southeast, the job the CAS is doing is absolutely amazing!!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

If you would like a truly rewarding experience, try volunteering at the CAS. The programs, staff, and fellow volunteers are outstanding. I assist in the veterinary dept by caring for the patients (dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens, and even one rabbit) after their spay or neuter surgery. The vets and vet techs are excellent technically but also show great care and concern for any medical issue they may find. I've observed full amputations, eye surgery, hernia repairs, and many other procedures provided to strays or unwanted pets which then led to a healthy life and adoption. This is a very deserving nonprofit with all the right goals.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None at this time.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I began volunteering for CAS last October after reading about the progress CAS had made toward becoming a "No Kill" shelter. I have participated in several events: dog walking at the shelter, sharing hurricane preparedness information with the community, an outreach to the North Charleston community with free rabies and distemper vaccines and the Summer Slam.

The staff has been most kind and helpful to me. Their dedication to the homeless animals is amazing. The remain courteous and cheerful no matter how busy they are. And I have thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the volunteers.

I can't enter high kill shelters. It is too depressing. No so at CAS. There is an air of optimism here even though there is much work left to do. CAS does an amazing job for the Charleston, SC community.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I think this organization runs pretty smoothly.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

The best part of my day is volunteering at CAS! The facility is far superior than any other I've seen, with great staff. Just the fact that CAS is no kill makes me want to support them. They care for and adopt out THOUSANDS of animals per year. Even as a volunteer, you have to go through orientation and an interview. I can't even begin to express how much I believe in Charleston Animal Society!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I could donate thousands of dollars, I would!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have only been volunteering at Charleston Animal Society for a short while, but I cannot begin to express how many hard working and compassionate staff members I have met. I have volunteered at other shelters and this one exceeds every one in so many ways. It is the highlight of my week to help out there and see these precious babies get adopted because of all of the hard work everyone is doing. They all deserve a chance!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Working as a Voleenteer (Foster Parent) at the Charleston Animal Society has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. There is no doubt that animals come first at this shelter. The amazing group of people that work here go far beyond any expectations in helping out in any way possible to save lives and make a no kill shelter possible. After over a year of being a foster voleenteer I have noticed the staff listens openly to any suggestions, go to any extreme to help provide answers, and will even cry along beside you if you lose a pet. I have never seen a place more dedicated and loving to each animal in the community. It is an honor to be apart of CAS and watch the amazing effect it has had on all the animals that come through the door. If you want to help just one rescue out this is the place to come to...it will not only save that animal but make it a continued reality that all animals are worth saving!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Call for more people in community to voleenteer!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with several nonprofits in my life and have never seen one with the dedication to mission and outcomes as the Charleston Animal Society. Their determination to become a No Kill shelter is amazing. They have an amazing presence in our community and deserve every recognition available, not only for the services they provide to deserving pets, but as an example to all nonprofits, whatever their mission.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful?