State of Emergency Hits Shelters Across State in Summer

No Kill South Carolina 2024 led launch of “Summer Slam Emergency Rescue” Operation

The lives of thousands of animals in shelters across South Carolina were at stake, as homeless animals poured into shelters over the summer.

“Nearly every shelter in the state, including the largest shelters [Greenville County Animal Care, Charleston Animal Society, Horry County Animal Care Center and Columbia Animal Services] were
at the breaking point and needed immediate help,” said No Kill South Carolina 2024 Chief Project Officer Abigail Appleton, CAWA, PMP. “These lifesaving organizations were critically overcapacity because folks were not getting out as much as they did earlier this summer”

To solve this unprecedented crisis in South Carolina, shelters across the state joined together to launch “Summer Slam Emergency Rescue Operation.” This emergency event was
led by No Kill South Carolina 2024 (a program of Charleston Animal Society) and the South Carolina Animal Care and Control Association (SCACCA). “We were in unchartered waters, in a perfect storm. We had the end of summer slowdown in adoptions, the peak of hurricane season and the pandemic resurgence,” stated Shelly Simmons, President of SCACCA.


To help with the emergency, No Kill South Carolina 2024 encouraged shelters across the state to offer low-cost adoption deals. No Kill South Carolina 2024 also placed thousands of dollars in advertising buys across every major region of the state. As a result, the lifesaving call to action was on Facebook, TV, radio and across the internet.

People were encouraged to visit their local shelters to adopt or foster at-risk animals. “This was a community crisis, not just an animal shelter crisis, just as COVID is a community crisis, not only a hospital crisis. Everyone had a role to play,” stated Simmons.

At the same time, businesses, veterinarians, rescue groups, governments, shelters and media were also encouraged to help.

• Citizens were urged to adopt or foster
• Businesses could become adoption ambassadors for animals
• Veterinarians were asked to help shelters through the backlog of animals with spay/neuter
• Rescue groups could take in additional at-risk animals
• Government shelters and animal control agencies could implement managed moratoriums (intake only at-risk animals)

After the dust settled, countless lives had been saved. In spite of the ongoing veterinarian shortage (pg. 13), the “Emergency Summer Slam” was a success.

“Everyone wants to save lives and No Kill South Carolina 2024 is a vehicle for connecting people and shelters and solving crises like this that impact us all,” said Appleton.