Defender Ready to Save Lives

A new lifesaving machine is ready to hit the roads thanks to everyone who voted for Charleston Animal Society in the 2023 Defender Service Awards! The contest included nonprofits from the U.S. and Canada.

In February, Charleston Animal Society received a customized Land Rover Defender 130 SUV from Land Rover after winning one of six categories in the 2023 Defender Service Awards presented by CHASE. The organization was given the “Defender Service Honorees Award,” which recognized previous finalists from 2021 and 2022 that didn’t originally win their categories, but were truly deserving with all they do to benefit their local communities.

“We are all grateful to Land Rover for its generosity in providing us with a vehicle so that we can more effectively navigate challenging situations and save more animals in harm’s way,” said Charleston Animal Society President and CEO Joe Elmore, CAWA, CFRE.


Charleston Animal Society has the reputation as “road warriors,” responding to emergency calls for help in hurricanes, flooding, and horrific large scale cruelty operations. Time and again, national organizations and local shelters across the region call the Animal Society, especially when no one else will respond. Since 2020, Charleston

Animal Society has rescued 648 animals across seven states through 48 emergency transports.

“Even with that success – we are still challenged with situations where we don’t have the vehicles we need,” said Charleston Animal Society’s Bryant Taylor who oversees the shelter’s emergency transports. He recalls a puppy mill rescue where 150 dogs were trapped in a bad situation.

The rescue vehicles couldn’t reach the scene, so the dog carriers had to be taken to the animals on foot. A Defender will help in these kinds of situations, where every second counts.

“A Defender will increase our capacity to save lives by allowing us to drive through floodwaters, navigate tough terrain with its four-wheel drive capabilities and act as a mobile command station,” said Charleston

Animal Society Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Aldwin Roman, CAWA. “The Defender will allow us to carry more lifesaving supplies to more animals in more places.”

As Charleston Animal Society celebrates its 150-year Legacy of Care, the Land Rover Defender will allow for even more lives to be saved. “Land Rover is a model for corporate philanthropy. It is an honor to partner with Land Rover and fully engage in both our missions. We are very grateful,” said Elmore.