Space is running short at the Charleston Animal Society's (CAS) 31,000-square-foot facility on Remount Road, as a predictably busy summer season of fostered pets has been augmented by a pair of issues no one saw coming. A collection of 10 dogs, a horse, a goat, a pig, and a number of chickens seized from an Awendaw man accused of animal cruelty have complicated things, as has the massive flooding in the Midwest.
The effect of the flooding on the CAS has been double-edged. Not only has the center taken in a number of pets displaced by the disaster, Charleston Animal Society donated three of its full-time employees to the relief effort in Joplin, Mo. Although the Joplin Humane Society is just a 10-mile drive from the center of the Missouri town that was flattened by a May 22 tornado, the facility was left untouched by the storm.
To Kay Hyman, director of marketing for the Charleston Animal Society, the impact has been significant, and it couldn't have come at a worse time. "We're packed," says Hyman. "I've been doing this for 20 years, and this is the biggest jump in the number of pets we've had come through our doors I've ever seen. It's like a 'perfect storm' of issues we're dealing with."
According to Hyman, 701 animals have been taken in by the CAS over the past two weeks.
The economic climate has apparently been complicating the situation as well. Recently, Charleston Animal Society employees witnessed a man in the process of tying his dog to the facility's perimeter fencing. The man later told animal society staffers that he was suffering from chest pains and was trying to find a place to house his dog for a short period while he went to the hospital to be treated. He added that he couldn't afford to house the dog in a paid facility, a matter that CAS resolved by relocating the dog to the nearby Charleston Dog House, a doggie daycare and kennel.
The plight of the organization has not gone entirely unnoticed, however. In one case, a local resident brought a dog she'd found lost in her neighborhood to the facility, but wanted only to have it scanned for a microchip. She told facility employees that she'd take the dog back if the owner couldn't be located using the microchip. Luckily for her, he was.
The Charleston Animal Society is located at 2455 Remount Road in North Charleston. For more information on the Charleston Animal Society or to learn more about adopting a foster pet, see the organization's website at charlestonanimalsociety.org.