Shelter adopts out 102 pets

A dog waits in a kennel as Charleston Animal Society shelter workers process a number of animals seized from a rural house in Huger late Tuesday, including dogs, a cat, geese, ducks, chickens, a goat, a horse and a pig.

The Charleston Animal Society adopted out 102 animals over the weekend, but still needs many more adoptions by Wednesday to avoid having to euthanize animals to make space.

CAS President Charlie Karesh said the shelter had made great progress Saturday and Sunday, but took in 44 more strays. He said the decision to euthanize will be based on how many animals come in after July 4th -- many are scared away from their homes by fireworks -- and how many people adopt by Wednesday, when the veternarian arrives.

Kay Hyman, the shelter's spokeswoman, said the organization had not met its goal yet but lauded the progress as "phenomenal."

"Of course, we need to do more but we're very, very happy with the turnout," Hyman said. "It was literally like a hurricane inside the shelter on Saturday and Sunday. Yesterday, all day long I saw this string of dogs coming in from the back."

Hyman said the shelter's volunteers stayed late over the weekend and averaged seven adoptions per hour. Adoptions usually take about 30 minutes.

Hyman also told of a woman who was persuaded to adopt by the photograph of the kitten that appeared in Saturday's newspaper.

"She had lost her cat, it was 18 years old and she just had to put it to sleep a month ago," Hyman said. "She told herself she was never going through that pain again. When she saw that photo, she saw it wasn't about her, it was about saving a life."

Karesh said the shelter never wants to be forced to euthanize healthy animals with good temperaments simply for lack of room. "I'm just hoping not a lot come in tomorrow and we have a big day," Karesh said.

Adult cats can be adopted for free. Kittens and dogs can be adopted for $45 each. These prices are limited-time offers.

All the animals are up-to-date on their vaccinations, spayed or neutered and microchipped, and they come with a free health exam by your veterinarian and a bag of food. The dogs come with a free scholarship to Canine College, a six-week bond-building program between dogs and their owners.

Call 747-4849 or visit charlestonanimalsociety.org for more details.