This is the Year for NKSC 2024

By Abigail Appleton, PMP, CAWA, Chief Project Officer, No Kill South Carolina 2024

This is the year! No Kill South Carolina 2024 is in our final year as we create a statewide, sustainable, and compassionate approach to lifesaving. Our initiative has been a beacon of hope not just for the countless dogs and cats given the chance for life, but for the people who work and care for them as well.

We’ve seen shelters, communities, and volunteers coming together to save and improve the lives of animals. The journey to No Kill has been challenging, but the progress we’ve made together has been nothing short of remarkable.

The numbers speak volumes about the change that’s happening in South Carolina. The reduction in euthanasia rates, increased adoption numbers, and decrease in the number of animals entering shelters in the first place are
all signs that our No Kill South Carolina 2024 initiative is on the cusp of achieving our monumental goal.

We’ve done more than we ever thought possible. Can you believe together we’ve saved more than 780,000 lives since our project launched in 2016? That’s more than 3⁄4 of a million pets who were given the chance for life, and who enriched the lives of the people who love them.

Even more amazing, for the very first time in South Carolina history, less than 10% of cats entering SC shelters were euthanized last year. We’ve decreased feline euthanasia by an astounding 85%! South Carolina is officially No Kill for cats.

In essence, the answer to saving cats is easy: keep them out of shelters in the first place. We’re spaying and neutering cats that live or spend time outdoors and returning them to their outdoor homes. Over and over communities have adopted these strategies – over 80% of our communities have now eschewed the old trap-and-kill method of cat management because it doesn’t actually work to keep populations down. Trap- vaccinate-alter-return is the answer and there are over 300,000 cats whose lives were saved that can attest to that.


For the remainder of 2024 we’ll be focusing on canine lifesaving. Did you know that in 2020 and 2021 less than 10% of dogs entering SC shellers were euthanized? We know that No Kill for dogs is possible because we’ve already achieved it! In the post-pandemic world, we’re seeing an increasing proportion of canines entering shelters with medical or behavioral challenges. This isn’t a bad thing! It means that the animals coming to us are ones that truly need our help.

In our final project year, we’re wrestling with increasing challenges around adoptions, access to veterinary care, and economic worries — but we remain committed.

Keeping us motivated is the generous $1 million challenge offered by Petco Love. If South Carolina becomes a
No Kill State this year, Petco Love will donate $1 million to shelters around the Palmetto State!

Our amazing friends at Petco Love have made No Kill South Carolina possible from the very beginning and they’re standing shoulder to shoulder with us as we save more lives.

This homestretch represents a final opportunity for communities to unite, support local shelters, and make a
lasting impact on the lives of animals in need. Through adopting, volunteering, spreading awareness, or donating, everyone has a role to play in ensuring the success of No Kill South Carolina 2024.

Let’s keep the momentum going. The final chapter of our inspiring tale is still being written. South Carolina is leading the way and each one of us has the power to shape a brighter future for the animals who call our beautiful state home.

Together, we can make the dream a reality by the end of 2024.