Animal groups to get $600,000

Partnership with ASPCA aimed at saving area's unwanted pets

By Jenny Peterson
The Post and Courier
Charleston, South Carolina

Surrounded by dogs of all shapes and sizes, local animal welfare groups gathered Tuesday at the Charleston Animal Society shelter in North Charleston to accept a $600,000 pledge to help save more abandoned and unwanted pets.

The money, presented by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, will be used to help increase area shelter adoption rates by 10 percent within a year and reach a 75 percent save rate by 2011.

"This is not smoke and mirrors" said ASPCA President Ed Sayers. "These are real numbers the community can be accountable to." Charleston County is the eighth community in the nation to partner with the ASPCA on its "Mission: Orange" campaign.

The $600,000 can be used in a number of ways, including increasing adoption efforts, offering incentives for spaying and neutering and educating the public about the 10,668 homeless pets that local shelters took in last year alone.

As part of the campaign, the ASPCA has sent a team of six employees to Charleston County to help determine which areas need the most work.

"The concept is like training wheels. The idea is that you give the community the tools (it needs)," Sayers said, after the presentation.

To learn more about "Mission: Orange," go to

"It's unconscionable to have the thousands of animals killed every year," Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said. "We will be a model for the rest of the country."