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Best COVID-19 Silver Lining 
Thousands of Pet Adoptions at Charleston Animal Society

The last year has been filled with grim news and bleak numbers, and finding the silver lining has surely been difficult. But, The Charleston Animal Society’s (CAS) day-to-day work often sees people and animals at their happiest, even during the pandemic. 

“The pandemic didn’t stop our community from saving thousands of homeless animals,” said president and CEO Joe Elmore. CAS takes in over 90% of the county’s homeless and lost animals, Elmore said, and they do what they can to help other communities in distress to save their animals as well.

In 2020, CAS helped find homes for 4,248 animals and reunited 664 lost animals with their families. 

And, this rush of adoptions wasn’t unique to Charleston. An August 2020 report from The Washington Post detailed what began in March as a sudden surge in demand became by mid-July a bona fide boom for shelters. Animal societies, nonprofit rescues, private breeders and pet stores alike all reported more consumer demand than there were cats and dogs to fill it. 

While cats remained the most popular pet to adopt, followed closely by dogs, the shelter also found homes for barnyard animals, birds, rodents, ferrets and at least one reptile.