CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - It may be the Charleston Animal Society, but the group helps animals from all over the Lowcountry, which also means rural areas which can go underserved.
A new grant hopes to bring more attention to those rural areas. WaterShed Animal Fund recently awarded Charleston Animal Society $726,660 that will go toward a three-year rural animal welfare pilot program called "Helping Hands for Rural Paws."
"Accessible veterinary care in rural Charleston County is one of the most preventable threats facing companion animals. As more professionals move to cities, rural America suffers," CEO of Charleston Animal Society Joe Elmore said in a statement. "The folks we are aiming to serve are those that, for whatever the reason, do not seek basic veterinary care for their animals. Over the next three years, we intend to test how far and effective a population center can support rural veterinary outreach. WaterShed Animal Fund has made this effort a dream come true. Without WaterShed Animal Fund, we simply could not launch this groundbreaking effort to help our rural neighbors take care of their animals."
The program includes taking a mobile veterinary and spay/neuter clinic to targeted rural communities.
Rural animals are often forgotten about in the greater animal welfare movement and programs such as Helping Hands for Rural Paws will act as a model for other communities," WaterShed Animal Fund President Christy Counts said in a statement
The goal is to increase the standard of care in isolated areas. WaterShed claims the program is expected to serve over 1,100 animals per year in more rural areas such as McClellanville, Awendaw, Johns Island, Wadmalaw Island, Hollywood and Adams Run.