Charleston Rallies to Rescue

Innocent Victims of Disasters

by Marylyn Haspel
Staff Writer

The recent natural disasters that have occurred globally over the last several months have left thousands experiencing excruciating hardship and heartbreak. And their pets are no exception.

Amazing efforts are underway to help the stranded dogs of Alabama’s and Tennessee’s disastrous floods, Joplin, Missouri’s horrific tornadoes and Japan’s devastating tsunamis.

Here’s what’s being done, and how you can help:

In Lowcountry, the Charleston Animal Society, along with Pet Helpers, has taken in scores of cats and dogs from the floods in Memphis. These adoptable animals have been transported to Charleston to make room for the relief efforts of displaced animals from the flood.

CAS has sent total of six staff members to Missouri, three of whom are working in Joplin in a shelter that currently houses 850  rescued animals. That number is expected to swell to 1200.

"The response to the rescue dogs here in Charleston has been overwhelming" says Kay Hyman

"The response to the rescue dogs here in Charleston has been overwhelming" says Kay Hyman, Director of Public Relations and Marketing at the Charleston Animal Society. The shelter received what Hyman terms "The perfect storm” of animals--as many as 701 rescues at one time, including 55 animals that were confiscated locally.

“It gives people a sense of fulfillment to know that this is a rescue,” she  says  and adds that many who have adopted the animals are older couples and single people who have had dogs and are now looking to fill the void in their lives. “They need them as much as the dogs need them.”

In order to encourage adoptions, the Society has waived fees to expedite and encourage adoptions.. In addition to that, the Charleston Animal Society is the recipient of a $100,000  grant donated by Pedigree Dog Food. The grant is designed to help at risk dogs get adopted by reducing adoption fees and giving free, mandatory “canine college.”

“Only ten receive this grant nationally and we are one of them,” says Hyman.

The Charleston Animal Society is located at 2455 Remount Road, North Charleston, SC. For more information, call 843-747-4849 or email.