35 Other Communities Were Considered for the Award
Charleston Animal Society won the Pets for Life Champions Award on May 11th at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) Animal Expo in Florida. Charleston Animal Society’s program was chosen as having the biggest impact on the community, among 35 other communities around the country. The organization was recognized for its outreach to residents in the 29405 area of North Charleston (Chicora-Cherokee neighborhoods). “People who live in Charleston should be so proud of this group,” said Pets for Life National Director Amanda Arrington. “Charleston Animal Society has shown they are there for everyone, no matter where they live, no matter their income. They embraced the Pets for Life philosophy that every person and pet matters.”
Pets for Life is an outreach program that provides medical and other services for pets and their families in underserved areas of urban and rural areas around the country. Sponsored by HSUS, the Pets for Life guiding principle states that financial means are not an indicator of how much you love your pet or care about your pet or deserve to have the unconditional love a pet brings to a family.
When the program launched in North Charleston in 2014, only 12% of pets were spayed or neutered in the 29405 zip code. By 2016, Pets for Life outreach increased that number to 87%. Last year, Pets for Life served 1,144 families in North Charleston, including 2,104 pets, 3,312 medical services and 786 spay-neuter surgeries.
“People think we are only serving pets. But in reality, we are serving families. We are helping the pet as way to help people, who are our neighbors,” said Charleston Animal Society Anti-Cruelty and Outreach Director Aldwin Roman.
This is the 4th year for the Pets for Life Program in Charleston County and in June, the program will expand to help residents who live in the Hollywood-Ravenel area. “Our vision is that there will be a Pets for Life program in every underserved area of our county,” said Roman.