Charleston Animal Society Overview
Profile ( less )
South Carolina 29406
Target demographics: prevent cruelty to animals and build safer and healthier families for both people and pets.
Someone who had 3 hours of volunteer time could: share their love with a homeless animal.
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.
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!