New program offers education, pet healthcare to North Charleston community
The Charleston Animal Society is working to keep pets out of its shelter, and safe at home.
In April, the group has launched its new program "Pets for Life" program, part of a nationwide effort funded by The Humane Society of the United States.
To date, the program targets North Charleston's Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood. Close to 60% of its pets have never been seen by a veterinarian, with over 75%, that have never been spayed or neutered.
"What we've found in this program is many of the people in this community want to get their pets spayed and neutered, they just didn't know that we would provide it for them," said Charleston Animal Society Anti-Cruelty and Outreach Director Aldwin Roman.
Among the services offered are free spay and neuter surgeries, vaccinations, basic grooming, food, and micro-chip insertion.
"At one point we literally just looked at a map and said we're going to start here," Roman said.
"We knew it was a neighborhood that was under-served and it wasn't getting some of the services that other parts of the city and other parts of Charleston get."
In its first few months, the program has proven a huge success. Over 100 pets have been spayed and neutered, with even more receiving vaccinations.
Terry Quarles-Brown lived in Chicora-Cherokee for over 30 years, but was shocked to receive the knock on her door offering free care.
"I didn't expect it, but I was gladly appreciative that he came out," she said.
"I greatly appreciated it because I don't want anymore unwanted pets."
"We've been doing outreach for many years with the Charleston Animal society, but this is the next step," Roman added.
"It's time for us to get ahead of it, and get there before the animals end up at our front door."
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