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Charleston Animal Society

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animal Training, Animals, Veterinary Services

Mission: For 142 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: Charleston Animal Society, a nonprofit animal shelter founded in 1874, is located in beautiful, historic Charleston, South Carolina. In 2014, it sheltered 9,000 animals and provided care to an additional 9,000 in the community. In 2013, Charleston Animal Society launched “No Kill Charleston” an initiative to become the first no kill community in the Southeast. This goal was reached within the first year, and has been sustained a full two years since. The shelter went from saving just 34% of its animals back in 2007, to 95% today. Remaining no kill involves staying the course and sticking with what is working well. The vision is a community that is a No Kill / No Harm community – one in which cruelty of any kind is not tolerated. Furthermore, the vision includes the cultivation and collaboration of a no kill state, to further the success of all animal organizations in South Carolina and become a model for other communities. The shelter is open admission and holds the county’s animal care contract. In 2014 alone the shelter adopted 5,400 animals, 1,105 were reunited with their owners, and the in-house clinic spayed or neutered 12,000 animals. The community education outreach program delivered services to almost 450 classrooms, while additional efforts engaged 1,000 children onsite at the shelter. With over 90 employees, Charleston Animal Society’s annual operating budget is just under $5 million, of which a mere 3% goes towards administrative costs. The staff and board of Charleston Animal Society knows that they’re unable to do it alone, and in Charleston, the business of saving is lives is truly a community effort in which everyone who lives here plays a valuable part.

Target demographics: prevent cruelty to animals and create a community of no kill / no harm.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 9,000 sheltered animals while also providing care to an additional 9,000 community animals. 12,000 spay/neuter surgeries were performed. Humane and compassion education efforts served 450 local classrooms and over 1,000 children onsite at the shelter.

Geographic areas served: Charleston County and the Lowcountry of South Carolina

Programs: fighting animal cruelty wherever it exists , preventing births of unwanted animals through spay/neuter, finding homes for homeless animals, saving lives of abused and abandoned animals, fostering animals until they are healthy, reuniting loved ones through an in-depth lost and found program, reducing the number of free roaming cats, containing outbreaks of deadly diseases through communitywide rabies and infectious disease vaccinations, making children and families part of the solution through humane education, and helping families keep their pets for life through a network of support for underserved families

Community Stories

321 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

4 Wendy119

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm sure that you're being overwhelmed with responses after the world learning about Caitlyn. It's sad that such an unfortunate incident had to occur to bring to light what a wonderful gem you have in the Charleston Animal Society. As our societies slowly change and begin to realize that having opposable thumbs doesn't give us the right to inflict damage on the earth and its inhabitants, places like the Animal Society shine through as leaders. They walk the walk and talk the talk and the animals are the better off for them. Kudos CAS!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been a vokunteer advocate for nonprofit animal charities for over 20 years in various capacities - as a volunteer, board member, and selected freelance work. With that said, I believe Charleston Animal Society exemplifies what a mission-driven nonprofit should look like, in fulfilling its promise, raising public awareness of animals in need, directly impacting its entire community, and setting an example for best practices in animal welfare. It is too easy to become a charity, but the board, staff and volunteers at Charleston have shown how its hard work matters - in the metrics and tve smiles of the animals like Caitlin.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at Charleston Animal Society for eight years working with newly received dogs, so I have been able to observe how the shelter is run like a well-oiled machine. I have gotten to know many of the employees and see much of what they do, from receiving strays and owner surrenders - including any from the other shelters when they are at full capacity - to housing, feeding, neutering, and providing any needed medical treatment to received animals. I have met participants of their extensive foster program, as well, who help house and free up space for "overflow" animals from the shelter to assist in the saving of the thousands of animals that come to the facility each year. I am a "foster failure" myself who ending up adopting a dog I took in to free up space in the shelter when they rescued dozens of animals that were victims of massive flooding in Tennessee in 2011.
I am so impressed by their medical facility and staff, as well as the other employees who I see weekly. I do not see how any animal shelter can be better run than Charleston Animal Society. It's been great to watch their work with Charleston County and surrounding communities to help them turn the area into not just a single no-kill shelter but an entire no-kill community. I consider it a privilege to volunteer for them.

Ward Reynolds

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Charleston Animal Society is the most impressive organization. From the Board of Directors, CEO Joe Elmore and all of the staff they are the most compassionate and hardworking people I have encountered. The scope of the services they provide is astounding from Foster Care, Community Outreach, Spay/Neuter clinics, a food bank and educational programs to mention a fraction of what they do. The mammoth task they have accomplished in becoming a No Kill Shelter has saved so many animal lives. But not stopping there, CAS is involved in helping more shelters in our state become No kill. I cherish their work for being a voice for our helpless creatures. Finally, Charleston Animal Society has tremendous financial momentum and is treasured by our community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with Charleston Animal Society has always been one of hope, love for animals and the community. I have had the pleasure to foster many dogs through them and always received amazing support. On a personal note , I have seen the length ( and expense) that they have gone to so that my foster Louis was saved. I love this organization for what they believe in but most of all, watching them stay true to their mission . It's easy to talk the talk , Charleston Animal Society walks the walk. I'm proud to be part of this upstanding and outstanding group of people .

Client Served

Rating: 5

My wife is very involved with this organization, and I often attend events with her. We have a team for the annual chili cook-off fundraiser and always attend the annual meeting celebration. A few years ago, after both of our older dogs had passed away, my wife wanted to start fostering right away. I didn't want any part of it because I didn't want it to feel like we were replacing our others. Well, she went to the shelter and came back with a shy puppy, Hannah, who was a handful, but fun to have around. I guess I can admit it was a little quiet not having any animals in the house so despite it all, it was nice to have the puppy energy around. Hannah was adopted by one of my wife's coworkers, so of course my wife headed back to the shelter to scoop up another. This time she came home with a staffie mix, Ginger, and we both fell for her pretty quickly. It didn't hurt that she was housetrained, knew basic commands, and was clearly well trained in a home (she didn't jump on the furniture until after we allowed it and ruined that). :-) Ginger had heartworms, but was treated by Charleston Animal Society and was now in good health. After a few people had expressed an interest in her, we pretty much knew we had to make it official because we couldn't part with her. It's been a few years now and I'm grateful Ginger came into our lives (and that my wife persisted in fostering). Sometimes, you don't know what you need until it shows up in your life, and that's our Ginger. We support Charleston Animal Society in all that they do and are really proud to be a part of a no-kill community. Charleston Animal Society isn't just a shelter for homeless animals; they do outreach to underserved communities, provide resources to pet owners, have tons of fun events and promotions, offer reduced cost spay/neuter for the community, and are all-around really friendly people who are passionate about what they do. But it doesn't stop there. They're also taking it a step further and working to help other communities across the state become no-kill, and are deeply invested in building and supporting a community in Charleston that is free from harm to both animals and humans. What's not to love?

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've adopted two dogs and one cat from the Charleston Animal society. All three animals are friendly and in great health. If you're looking for a pet, there are plenty of wonderful animals waiting for adoption.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My family and I had the unique opportunity of fostering a Chihuahua mix dog that was born with a cleft palet and had to have surgery to correct this condition. The surgeon coined him "Elvis" and we looked after him for two weeks. Charleston Animal Society was with us every step of the way during the fostering process. After our two weeks was up with "little man", we decided that we just could not part with our new furry friend and decided to adopt him. He has been with us now for over a year and has filled a great void in my life, in particular, that I never knew was there. Having been a cat person for all my life, little Elvis has shown me that dogs are truly man's best friend. I was blind, but now I see.
JL

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Charleston animal society does so many wonderful things in the community I am not sure where to start. The staff is priceless. They are no kill, and find home for all animals. They
Go above and beyond to save lives.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My mom tells my story on www.facebook.com/Rex's.journey2016 I would tell it myself but I lack oposable thumbs and I have a poor understanding of the English language. The short and sweet version is, a very nice man found me lying in a field fought, then discarded and left for dead with all kinds of terrible wounds. He was caring enough to feed me and make sure I was safe until someone who could take me to get the vast medical attention I needed showed up. I was taken to Charleston Animal Society where my missing ear was sewn up, the gaping wound on my front leg was treated, my facial wounds were cleaned and healed. I was neutered (not sure I am a huge fan of this, but the humans promise me it is good) I was given a microchip in case my future family lost me I could be easily found, then the most expensive care of all, I think. Heartworms. For sure, the most preventable. I was given very expensive antibiotics that are absolutely necessary prior to treatment. Then I was treated with two rounds of very expensive (and absolutely terrible, but necessary) treatment. I was sent to a foster home to help out during hurricane Matthew but my foster mom had been inquiring anyway because she had wound experience so I stayed after the storm and I was such an amazing guy that my foster family decided I should be a furever member. The best part? Many very loving dog and cat moms and dads may not otherwise consider taking on a pet in our condition. BUT, with the help of absolutely amazing not for profit organizations like Charleston Animal Society, the average animal lover can afford to love dogs like me and Catelyn and my mom's work friend's new baby Henry, who is also a victim of heartworms but we know he's going to be okay because he's also a patient of Charleston Animal Society's. As if CaS hasn't done enough for me, because I was recently under their care as a heartworm patient, mom got crazy cheap prevention meds for a full year! You really just can't beat the care we have gotten from them! Furthermore, granted, not all babies will be remembered by CAS staff, thankfully we aren't all Catelyn! Or Rex's for that matter, those of us with tough stories are personally remembered by staff you recognize at CAS! Mom ran into Ms. Kay at an event and introduced herself. She told Kay she had Rex. Mom said it only took Kay a second to recall and she asked for pics right away. That makes me happy! I loved her instantly! ❤️

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We used to live in the Charleston area. While there, we volunteered at several of the Charleston Animal Society. Kay Hyman and her crew do an amazing job. We also adopted our late Peggy Sue there. A more loving and loyal dog you could not find. My husband's favorite cat was also a CAS rescue. We now live in GA and are no longer able to assist CAS in their endeavors.

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been dealing and donating to this organization for years. They do wonderful work especially because of the "no harm no kill no more" plan that they initiated and achieved a few years ago.

Donor

Rating: 5

As a member of the Charleston, SC community, I am thankful for the hard work and dedication of the staff and volunteers at the Charleston Animal Society. I am honored to donate monthly to do my small part to help the Charleston Animal Society.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We were an active foster family for animals at Charleston Animal Society. Our most recent foster pup, was a 4 month old puppy, who we named Olive, had a few health issues. The foster program staff at the shelter were amazing to work with, scheduling check-ups, supplying medication, providing guidance and assistance to help us fully support this puppy who required a lot of love and patience. A couple of months into the fostering, my family decided that this foster pup really belonged with our family forever. The Charleston Animal Society continued to support us and our soon to be forever friend until Olive was fully recovered from her medical conditions. Once Olive was given a clean bill of health, the staff at Charleston Animal Society made the adoption process seamless. They provided lots of great information, pamphlets, and contacts in the local community to help us with every day dog ownership. We are so glad Olive is a part of our family and so thankful to Charleston Animal Society for giving Olive and so many other animals a second chance.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I got my Cat Dixie from CAS This year through Pounce cat Cafe Downtown . Best experance ever. Dixie continues to amaze me every day I've never had a cat that plays fetch before LOL she's a blast ...Thank You to CAS for helping me find my forever fur baby .... keep up the great work ...

Amanda279

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We found Jellybean running around our neighborhood in April 2014. No tags. No collar. No manners. I immediately took her to the emergency vet to get her scanned. No chip. So I brought her home while we figured out what to do, and she made herself right at home. After a couple of days, it was obvious that nobody was looking for her, and we'd fallen in love. We desperately wanted her, but we wanted to do it the right way. So we surrendered her to Charleston Animal Society, which was the hardest thing I've ever done, and we went ahead and filled out the adoption paperwork so that she could come home as soon as her stray hold was up. It was the longest five days of my life. They spayed her, gave her all of her shots, and treated her for heart worms, and handed her back to me. As happy as she was to see me again, it was obvious that she'd been the recipient of tons of love while we were apart. I'll never be able to repay them for saving my girl and making my family complete!

2 Elena L.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Charleston Animal Society is an AMAZING organization! We have adopted 2 animals from the shelter and we could not be more grateful for our furry friends! The staff is so helpful and we had a great experience all around! :) We highly recommend that if you are looking for a pet the first place you stop is Charleston Animal Society!!

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a lifelong animal lover and avid supporter of the Charleston Animal Society for several years and have had many family members adopt wonderful pets from this organization. I am proud to be friends with the Director of Administration as she is an exceptional example of the kind of person that you would want to work there and who should work there. She has rescued and provided many pets with a beautiful life in a loving home and has made a life's commitment to provide for the abandoned or abused. She truly "walks the walk and talks the talk." I am thankful for her and the entire staff of this no kill shelter.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

CAS does phenomenal work for those who can't speak for themselves!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

If I ever win the lottery, I will pay for every animal to have a forever home!!! Well, that won't happen but I can wish that every animal at the Charleston Animal Society will find their forever home. It is such a great place!

As a donor and a volunteer for the Charleston Animal Society, I want everyone to know what a super staff runs the Charleston Animal Society. I write for the internal newsletter and a lot of what I write is staff interviews ... so I get to ask personal questions and write about the individuals. Almost to a person, every staffer is happy in their job, happy with where they work, and happy to be working with animals. It is kind of incredible that so many staffers plan to be at the Charleston Animal Society in 5 years!!!

It's a great place to work (obviously!) and a wonderful progressive animal shelter. Charleston Animal Society is a No Kill shelter and has now become a No Harm shelter. They do great things!! Nuff said!!!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Well, I'm probably the only volunteer who can't go in the building!! You see, the combination of dander, chemicals, and pet food makes it impossible for me to breathe in the building. So I do fundraising. A very important and very needed function. I love to talk to people and "NO" doesn't bother me.

Some of the things the Charleston Animal Society does includes: The Charleston Animal Society (CAS) doesn't turn away ANY hurt or abused or abandoned animal from our doors and medical treatment is funded through our Toby Fund. You can imagine the magnitude of medical treatment needed by thousands of animals. CAS offers low-cost (or free) spay/neuter clinics to the public. CAS runs a 'no judgment' pet food bank so people can keep their pets rather than abandoning them. (Cost of food is the number one reason pets are abandoned.) This food bank is community involvement at its finest because, you see, the public donates all food for the food bank! Neighbors truly helping neighbors. We also have a large network of foster homes where animals stay while recuperating from treatment or until they are adopted. In our network of foster homes, we actually have 'hospice' foster homes where sick or otherwise unadoptable senior animals can live out the remaining years of their lives in a warm loving home.

Our goal was to be a No-Kill Community by 2015. We met that goal in late 2013 and have been 'No Kill" for 16 months. But it was expensive. Many 'no-fee' adoption events were held. It takes over $250 to get an animal ready for the adoption floor ... adoption fees only reduce that amount, not pay for it. We've been offering adult cats at no-fee for over a year. As part of our No-Kill Community effort, we routinely trap feral cats, spay/neuter, and release the cats back where they lived. Yes, expensive. But very necessary.

Perhaps I'm prejudiced ... but I am certainly proud to be associated with the Charleston Animal Society. I consider the Charleston Animal Society to be one of the most progressive shelters in the Southeast ... but perhaps I'm prejudiced.



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2 dkrosse

Advisor

Rating: 5

There are many things about Charleston Animal Society that I think are very admirable. But the one I will focus on here is their transparency. On their website, (www.charlestonanimalsociety.org/important-documents) you will find their tax returns, audits, annual reports and other information that is designed to keep donors and supporters completely informed as to the operation of the organization. All nonprofits should be this open!