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Nonprofit of the Year, Pet Helpers

Nonprofit of the Year, Pet Helpers
November 2013
Mission: To end the euthanasia of all cats and dogs in the Lowcountry through adoption, education, and spay and neuter services

In 1978, Carol Linville was horrified when she found out that local shelters were euthanizing the vast majority of animals that came into them, so she started a “Pet of the Week” column in the James Island newspaper. This column grew into Pet Helpers, Charleston’s first no-kill shelter. In 2012, it took in 1,767 animals (a 40 percent increase from the year before), donated more than 50,000 pounds of food, gave away thousands of free vaccines, and fielded 20,000 calls from people concerned about their pets. “Because we have a limited amount of space, we say that an adoption saves two lives: the life of the adopted pet, and the life of the pet that replaces him in the shelter,” says Kevin Ryan, executive director. The nonprofit’s employees and volunteers painstakingly match animals with future owners, and their determination makes all the difference in the world to dogs like Emmy Lou, an abandoned hound mix, and to the adoptive family who now can’t imagine life without their beloved pet.