Joe Elmore Named President & CEO
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – Charleston Animal Society celebrated 145 years of preventing cruelty to animals on
Sunday, February 10, 2019 at Blackbaud World Headquarters. Before hundreds of supporters, the Animal Society
celebrated key accomplishments in 2018 and announced its aspirations for this year. Community leadership awards were
also presented to individuals and companies serving as role models in both actions and support. The event was chaired
by Gerri Greenwood, longtime Board Member and volunteer.
Hank Greer, President of the Animal Society, reflected on the significant outreach efforts to the inner city of North
Charleston and the rural areas of Charleston County through the Animal Society’s Pets for Life and Helping Hands for
Rural Paws programs intended to bring basic wellness and spay/neuter to dogs and cats living in underserved
Greer concluded his remarks with a major announcement that Joe Elmore, CEO of the organization, who announced last
April that he would be stepping down, will become the organization’s President and CEO, continuing to serve. The Board
of Directors will transition to a chairperson format of governance.
Joe Elmore laid out 2018’s accomplishments as –
1. Sustaining No Kill Charleston for 6 continuous years after the Animal Society built the first No Kill Community in
2. Earning South Carolina’s top-rated nonprofit out of over 22,000 SC nonprofits for 6 years in a row;
3. Organizing the South Carolina’s first statewide adoption event saving nearly 1,200 animals through the Animal
Society’s No Kill South Carolina initiative;
4. Launching the state’s first comprehensive rural outreach initiative to improve access to basic veterinary care;
5. Leading the Hurricane Florence response effort across South Carolina and into North Carolina.
Elmore also cited key statistics demonstrating the scale of services in 2018 –
1. Finding homes for homeless animals, over 5,000 of them.
2. Preventing the births of unwanted animals, 11,000 spay/neuter surgeries.
3. Reducing the free roaming cat population, 2,000 trap-neuter-return-to-habitats.
4. Fostering the most at-risk animals, 2,500 of these delicate and fragile creatures.
5. Reuniting over 1,000 loved ones with their families.
6. Containing outbreaks of deadly diseases by administering and distributing 70,000 vaccines.
7. Saving the lives of abused, abandoned and unwanted animals, over 9,000 of them.
8. Fighting animal cruelty wherever it exists, assisting law enforcement with 75 cruelty cases.
9. Helping families keep their pets for life, over 2,500.
10. Guiding children to grow into humanitarians, delivering upward of 25,000 individual lessons to children about
being compassionate to animals and each other.
11. Helping others evacuate from harm’s way, rescuing over 500 animals and rendering aid to both South Carolina
and North Carolina in response to Hurricane Florence, while deploying staff to help our Florida friends recover
from Hurricane Michael.
12. Building an organizational culture of leaders in the animal welfare profession, such as the Animal Society’s –
a. De Daltorio – President of the national Association of Professional Humane Educators
b. Pearl Sutton, President of South Carolina Animal Care and Control Association
c. Dr. Elizabeth Fuller, Member of the national Association of Shelter Veterinarians and Member of the
South Carolina Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
Elmore cited the organization’s continuing major priorities of (1) Eliminating unnecessary euthanasia, (2) Reducing
overpopulation and (3) Preventing animal cruelty. In the new 2019-2020 legislative session, the Animal Society is calling
on its supporters and legislators to advocate for stronger animal cruelty laws, such as increasing penalties for animal
cruelty, implementing minimum standards and reporting for all animal shelters, cracking down on puppy mills and reckless
breeding, tethering animals humanely and reducing the overpopulation of the most at-risk animals entering shelters
across the state.
Elmore stated, “While progress is being made in the saving of companion animals (dogs and cats), South Carolina,
including Charleston County, is far from providing a humane environment for animals. According to the Animal Legal
Defense Fund (ALDF), South Carolina is in the bottom tier of U.S. States and Territories for animal cruelty laws, ranking
39 th out of 56. According to The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), South Carolina is also in the bottom tier,
ranking 43 rd out of 50 U.S States. These rankings align with violent crimes (murder, rape, robbery and aggravated
assault) against humans in our state. This should come as no surprise since animal cruelty and human violence have
been linked to one another for over the past two decades.”
Community Ambassador Awards, recognizing exemplary support for the Animal Society’s lifesaving efforts, were
presented to Dr. Cam Wills of Coastal Pain Care and Joye Law Firm.
Over a decade of commitment and support for animals throughout the Lowcountry has been an integral part of Cam Will’s
character and purpose. Giving over $100,000 through several organizations, including the Animal Society, this man has
saved countless lives by providing the critical dollars for their medical treatment. A key sponsor of the Chili Cook-off,
which has become South Carolina’s largest animal event, Cam doesn’t stop there. He has rescued and fostered some of
the Animal Society’s most critically ill and injured animals. This “doctor” is a true healer of both humans and animals.
For the past 12 years, Joye Law Firm has supported the Animal Society’s lifesaving work impacting tens of thousands of
animals in our community. During this time, Joye Law Firm has contributed more than $50,000 toward a variety of
activities conducted by the Animal Society. In addition to their significant financial support, their attorneys have come to
the Animal Society each week for years to film animals available for adoption and publish them on their social media
channels. From their exuberant participation in the annual Chili Cook-off in its early days to promoting and sponsoring
adoptions in recent years, Joye Law Firm truly brings “Joye in the Community.”
In a surprise near the end of the meeting, South Carolina Federal Credit Union made a check presentation of $21,000 from their employees.
Deborah Chalsty received the Elizabeth Bradham Humanitarian Award. In late 2015, Chalsty made a $1 million dollar
investment into Charleston Animal Society to provide a financial pillar of strength as the organization traversed a 4-year
accelerated rate of growth, not only continuing the unprecedented No Kill Charleston success, but also positioning the
organization to launch No Kill South Carolina. Deborah made life better for tens of thousands of animals. During this
transformational phase of lifesaving, Deborah’s support provided Charleston Animal Society with the capacity to save
40,000 animals, spay/neuter 60,000 animals, and care for 75,000 animals.
The keynote address was given by Roger Haston, Ph.D., Chief Analytics Officer of PetSmart Charities. PetSmart
Charities has awarded $700,000 in grants to Charleston Animal Society’s lifesaving efforts over the past 12 years. Dr.
Haston presented a look at animal welfare in the past, present and future.
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