WaterShed Animal Fund Partners with Charleston Animal Society to Fund Rural Animal Welfare Program
OKLAHOMA CITY – WaterShed Animal Fund recently awarded Charleston Animal Society a $726,660 grant to fund a 3-year rural animal welfare pilot program throughout Charleston County called Helping Hands for Rural Paws.
Helping Hands for Rural Paws will deploy a mobile veterinary and spay/neuter clinic (“Simon’s Rig) to targeted rural communities as well as provide transportation services to those without, reaching the most remote companion animals. The targeted areas account for approximately 70 percent of Charleston County geography.
“Accessible veterinary care in rural Charleston County is one of the most preventable threats facing companion animals. As more professionals move to cities, rural America suffers,” said Joe Elmore, CEO of Charleston Animal Society. “The folks we are aiming to serve are those that, for whatever the reason, do not seek basic veterinary care for their animals. Over the next three years, we intend to test how far and effective a population center can support rural veterinary outreach. WaterShed Animal Fund has made this effort a dream come true. Without WaterShed Animal Fund, we simply could not launch this groundbreaking effort to help our rural neighbors take care of their animals.”
The goal of Helping Hands for Rural Paws is to enhance the standard of care in isolated areas through accessible, affordable veterinary care along with humane education. The success of the program will be determined by various annual measurements including elevated pet care, increased spay/neuter, increased access to preventive care and wellness, reduced animal cruelty and decreased pet overpopulation. The program is expected to serve over 1,100 animals per year in the southern and northern areas of Charleston County, focusing on the communities of McClellanville, Awendaw, Johns Island, Wadmalaw Island, Hollywood, Ravenel, Meggett, Rockville, Adams Run and Edisto Island.
“The WaterShed Animal Fund is pleased to support Charleston Animal Society in their quest to bring much needed services to animals in rural communities. Rural animals are often forgotten about in the greater animal welfare movement and programs such as Helping Hands for Rural Paws will act as a model for other communities,” said Christy Counts, President, WaterShed Animal Fund.
Established in 2015, the Arnall Family Foundation was founded by Sue Ann Arnall with the vision to create lasting, transformative improvements to the systems and programs that serve individuals and families involved in criminal justice and child welfare through results-driven investments.