Frequently Asked Questions
A: Weekdays: Noon – 5pm
Weekends: 10am – 5pm
A. The Youth Engagement Program is designed for those age 10-18. There are currently no opportunities for children under 18 in the regular Volunteer Program. Please refer to the Education page on this site to learn about the Youth Engagement Program.
Q. If I have volunteered at other shelters, do I still have to attend orientation?
A. Yes, every shelter is different and it’s important to learn about our facility, animals, and guidelines. Please attend one of our upcoming Volunteer Orientations.
Q. Do I have to volunteer a specific number of hours each week?
A. No, we do not have requirements around time spent volunteering, although we would appreciate a commitment of 2-3 hours per week (or 8-12 hours per month). We do love to see you though, and always need help!
Q. Do I have to commit to one type of job or area of the shelter?
A. No, you are more than welcome to change jobs after trying out your first one! You might find that you would like to try a couple of different volunteer jobs before you find your favorite.
Q. Is there a dress code?
A. You will need to wear long pants and close-toed shoes to prevent injury. We will provide you with a volunteer t-shirt once you’ve volunteered 25 hours. If you would like a volunteer t-shirt sooner, you are welcome to purchase one for $10. (New t-shirts pending arrival)
Q. Can I complete court-ordered community service at Charleston Animal Society?
A. Sorry, but we do not participate in court-ordered community service programs at this time.
Q. Can I complete community service for a college or church requirement?
A. Absolutely, we are happy to help you fulfill those types of requirements. We hope that you stay on as a volunteer after you meet your required hours.
Q. Can my college/community/business group volunteer?
A. Sure! Just contact the Volunteer Director to get started.
A: Check with other local animal shelters to see if they have your pet:
Dorchester County shelter 843-871-3820; Berkeley County shelter 843-761-0683; and Pet Helpers 843-795-1110;
Call local vets and emergency clinics in your area:
North Charleston Emergency Vet: 744-3372, Mt. Pleasant Emergency Vet: 216-7554, Charleston Veterinary Referral Center: 614-8387
Talk to neighbors – neighborhood kids and trash collectors cover lots of territory in your neighborhood;
Check at school playgrounds, parks, churches and restaurants – places where people gather and where there are food sources;
Make flyers and post them in the neighborhood, grocery and retail stores and vet offices. Be sure to include a photo and your phone number;
Run an ad in the newspaper (Post & Courier phone number 843-722-6500). Be sure to check the found ads daily.
If your pet is microchipped, call the microchip company to be sure your phone number is correct.
Post a lost pet ad at Petfinder and Fidofinder.
Use social media! Post your lost pet on Facebook, you will be amazed at the response you get. If you don’t have a Facebook account, ask a friend or family member to do it for you.
Q: What do I do if I find a pet?
A: Charleston Animal Society is an open admissions animal shelter serving Charleston County. If you find a pet in Charleston County, you may bring it to Charleston Animal Society during our regular operating hours.
If you find a pet outside of Charleston County, please contact the animal shelter in that county. Charleston Animal Society cannot accept pets that are found outside of Charleston County.
If you find a pet after operating hours, please consider holding onto the pet until Charleston Animal Society opens the next day. If you cannot keep the animal overnight, please call your local police non-emergency number for guidance.
If you find an injured stray animal after Charleston Animal Society is closed for the day, you may take the animal to an Emergency Animal Clinic:
North Charleston: Veterinary Emergency Care 843-744-3372. Mount Pleasant Animal Emergency Clinic 843-216-7554.
You will not be charged for turning in a stray animal, but you will be asked to verify that the animal is stray, so please take your ID to provide necessary information.
A: Foster families need to call our foster coordinator immediately: Jodi Osborne at (843) 329-1543. They can communicate with our on-call veterinarian and shelter operations staff to treat the animal. Do not bring the animal to the emergency veterinarian without calling Charleston Animal Society first.
Q: My personal pet is having an emergency…what should I do?
A: You need to go to your regular veterinarian or emergency clinic. Charleston Animal Society does not offer public veterinary clinic services.
Q: Does Charleston Animal Society provide a clinic?
A: No. However, Charleston Animal Society has a low-cost spay neuter clinic that is available for any member of the public. Spaying and neutering your pet has many health benefits. We encourage you to take advantage of this service. If you need other services please contact your regular veterinarian.
A: Training & Enrichment Supplies Needed (ongoing basis)
Dog Food Rolls (i.e.Natural Balance)
CoreCat=LN_DogSupplies_DogFood_FoodRolls and see picture below)
Small Soft, Training Treats (i.e., Train Me Treats, Zukes)
Lunch Bags – paper, small & large
Bowls (plastic) – small & large
Cups (plastic) – small & large
Plastic Sandwich Bags – small
Chicken & Beef Broth or Bouillon Cubes
Shredded paper (non-crosscut)
Cardboard Boxes – small and medium
Furry Toys (with and without squeakers) – small & large
Plastic Toys (with and without squeakers) – small & large
Training & Enrichment Supplies Needed – for immediate use (none in stock or running very low on supplies)
CD Players (to play soothing music)
Through a Dog’s Ear – music specifically designed to sooth animals under stress
Wrist Coil (for holding clickers)
Squeeze Tubes – like used in camping
Small Half Cones
PVC Piping 2” or larger
PVC Joints – Elbow and T shapes
Any Agility Equipment at all whether new, used or homemade
Yes! We always need the following items:
Dog and Cat Food
Hot Dogs and Cheese (for medications)
Gently used children’s books (for our “Woof to Read Program”)
Exotic Animal Food (for guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, and birds)
Small blankets for cats
Electric Heating Pads/Blankets
Kongs and other enrichment toys
13 Gallon Trash Bags
Large alcohol based hand sanitizer
Large hand soap
Gift Cards (Walmart, Petsmart, Petco, etc)
Yes! We always need items for our kittens. Here are our current needs:
Non-Clumping Cat Litter
A: Yes! We offer a variety of classes to challenge your pet throughout the course of his or her life. We are home of the Canine College, where it’s “Cool to Drool, and Sit Happens!” Our classes range in topics from obedience training, behavior lecture series, how to deal with shy dogs, and even how to care for rabbits. From puppies to adult dogs, we can help! We have experts from all over the Lowcountry come to Charleston Animal Society to provide these valuable classes to the community. Just go to our Education Page for a complete listing of current classes.
Q: Why train my dog or cat?
A: Our four-legged friends are not born knowing how we want them to behave. They need to be given the opportunity to learn appropriate behaviors from us using positive, clear communication. Plus, training quickly builds a strong bond between you and your pet so it becomes even more fun to spend time together. Training helps both of you speak the same language while having fun learning cool and useful tricks.
Q: When is Puppy Club?
A: Every 2nd Saturday of the month, 10am – 11am. This is an excellent opportunity for you to socialize your puppy in a fun, controlled environment at the Animal Shelter. All we ask is a donation for the shelter each time you attend.