Wednesday, April 3, 2013
At its 139th Annual Meeting on April 2, Charleston Animal Society launched No Kill Charleston 2015, the boldest animal care initiative ever undertaken in the Southeast. The vision of No Kill Charleston 2015 is to save every healthy and treatable animal in Charleston County and, most importantly, sustain it.
Since moving into its current facility on Remount Road in North Charleston five years ago, Charleston Animal Society has already made great strides towards this goal. In 2007, its Annual Live Release Rate stood at 34 percent. During the last 12 months the shelter’s Live Release Rate exceeded 75 percent, serving as a model for bringing the population of unwanted animals under control for all animal rescue organizations and shelters in the Southeast and beyond. Comparatively, most other areas of the state realize live release rates of 10 percent to 30 percent.
Much of No Kill Charleston 2015 involves staying the course and sticking with what is working well. Moving forward, Charleston Animal Society will lead the area through a 10-point plan, incorporating strategies and tactics that are difficult, yet proven and will facilitate the tough and honest conversations the Charleston community must have to make this vision a reality.
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 science through a nationally-recognized veterinary science initiative.
4. Containing outbreaks of deadly diseases through a communitywide rabies vaccination strategy.
5. Reuniting loved ones with their families through an in-depth lost and found program.
6. Saving the lives of abused and abandoned animals through individually customized treatment.
7. Preventing births of unwanted animals through a high volume, 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.
10. Reducing the number of free roaming cats through a trap-vaccinate-alter and return to habitat plan.
No Kill Charleston 2015 will require participation of each and every member of the community. “We’ll ask all citizens for a gift of their time, money and home. An army of volunteers will be needed for foster homes, adoption ambassadors, socialization and off-site education and adoption events. Money will be needed to pay for medications, specialized surgeries and treatment. Homes will be needed for adoptions and fostering,” said Joe Elmore, Charleston Animal Society Chief Executive Officer. “This will be a tremendous challenge for community, but it can be done. We believe in Charleston.”