NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston Animal Society launched a landmark initiative during its 139th annual meeting on Tuesday.
The society launched No Kill Charleston 2015, which will seek to save and sustain every healthy and treatable animal in Charleston County. The group says the initiative is the boldest ever undertaken into the Southeast.
The society says they have made great strides towards the goal since they opened their Remount Road facility in North Charleston. In 2007, its Annual Live Release Rate stood at 34%.
During the last twelve months the shelter's Live Release Rate exceeded 75%, 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% - 30%.
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.
The plan includes:
- Finding homes for homeless animals through adoptions and foster homes
- Fighting animal cruelty wherever it exists through assisting law enforcement and advocating for stronger laws
- Helping youth understand science through a nationally-recognized veterinary science initiative
- Containing outbreaks of deadly diseases through a communitywide rabies vaccination strategy
- Reuniting loved ones with their families through an in-depth lost and found program
- Saving the lives of abused and abandoned animals through individually customized treatment
- Preventing births of unwanted animals through a high volume, high quality, affordable spay/neuter strategy
- Guiding children to grow into humanitarians through a comprehensive humane education initiative
- Fighting Hunger When Food Is Unaffordable through a nonjudgmental pet-focused food bank
- Reducing the number of free roaming cats through a trap-vaccinate-alter & return to habitat plan
- The group says No Kill Charleston 2015 will require participation of each and every member of thecommunity
"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."