By Steven Ardary|March 14, 2021 at 5:12 PM EDT - Updated March 15 at 12:18 AM
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston Animal Society says they plan to make South Carolina a no kill state by 2024.
At Charleston Animal Society’s 147th annual meeting on Sunday they announced its statewide “No Kill South Carolina” initiative now has a timeline and has been renamed “No Kill South Carolina 2024.”
Officials say the initiative is funded through a grant from the Petco Foundation. The foundation says with the goal in sight it’s making a $1 million challenge.
“If the organizations in South Carolina work together and achieve the goal of No Kill South Carolina by 2024 – the Petco Foundation will invest $1 million in the lifesaving work of organizations across South Carolina,” said Petco Foundation President Susanne Kogut. “These funds can be used to sustain No Kill South Carolina!”
Charleston Animal Society says animal shelters across the state have saved more than 500,000 animal lives since No Kill South Carolina began six years ago.
“Our efforts with No Kill South Carolina over the past six years have made tremendous gains in the fight to save animals in every corner of the state,” said Charleston Animal Society President and CEO Joe Elmore. “The trending shows that we can make this groundbreaking initiative a reality by 2024.”
The shelter says “no kill” is a term used in animal welfare that refers to the goal of saving “all healthy and treatable dogs and cats, typically about 90%.”
“No Kill was introduced in the collective sense, as in building a No Kill nation; however, some animal shelters co-opted the term and proclaimed themselves No Kill shelters for fundraising advantages, making the concept shelter-centric instead of community-centric, which has led to much division in the animal welfare community,” Elmore said. “Unnecessary euthanasia, like homelessness, illiteracy, hunger and other social issues are community, are community issues requiring everyone to work together to overcome.”
Charleston Animal Society says when No Kill South Carolina was started, 19% of dogs and 47% of cats were euthanized in shelters across the state. Now, they say, the euthanasia rate for dogs has dropped to 8% and the euthanasia rate for cats is down to 18%.
“The progress is amazing, but we still have substantial work to do, especially in saving more felines from euthanasia,” said No Kill South Carolina Program Director Abigail Appleton, PMP, CAWA. “None of this would be possible without the amazing input and efforts from shelters across South Carolina.”
Appleton says the No Kill South Carolina 2024 challenge is a great way to get involved in the effort.
“Go to your local shelter and let them know you’d like to help. You can adopt, volunteer or donate and help us all reach this tremendous achievement,” Appleton said.
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