Today’s featured guest is Kay Hyman, Director of Community Engagement at Charleston Animal Society (CAS) in North Charleston, South Carolina. In 1874, CAS was formed as the first animal protection organization in South Carolina. Its purpose was then, and always has been, to prevent cruelty to animals. Originally, the organization was focused on the neglect of working animals, specifically horses, as well as the inhumane shipping of cattle and to resolve the epidemic of stray dogs.
The organization has experienced a number of changes over its years in operation. In 2008, they completed their move into a brand new state-of-the-art 31,000 square foot adoption center and veterinary medical facility. In 2012, CAS launched a three-year plan to make Charleston a No Kill Community. They accomplished this goal two years ahead of schedule and would like to see all of South Carolina become a No Kill State.
Kay Hyman has been with CAS for twenty-eight years and has seen dramatic changes in the animal welfare movement. Today’s initiatives at CAS are focused on fighting cruelty through their outreach and educational programs. One program focuses on the plight of the Charleston carriage horses. Although CAS is not opposed to working animals and has not called for a ban of the carriage industry, they do want to ensure that the working conditions for these animals are appropriate. Specific goals are to weigh the horse carriages before each trip to make sure the horse is not pulling too much weight. Another goal is to relocate the devise used to measure the temperature of Charleston from the top of a tall building to ground level where the readings will be more accurate and drivers will know when it is appropriate to take the horses off the street. CAS is asking for an independent, scientific per-reviewed study of horses and mules that live and work in Charleston in order to improve their working conditions.
CAS remains focused on traditional shelter issues as well including the spay and neuter of cats and dogs to reduce overpopulation and keep animals off the streets. They also provide vaccinations and medical care to under-served communities with their mobile veterinary unit. Another initiative focuses on stopping the sale of puppies at retail outlets.
The CAS website provides a wealth of information on the importance of spay/neuter, dog training, disaster preparedness and other animal related concerns. They even have a webpage specifically for children.
You can help CAS in a variety of ways. You can purchase items on their Amazon Wish List, make a cash donation or join a Chili Cook-Off Team. Their annual Chili Cookoff will air live on FaceBook on November 21, 2020. Leading the pack is CBS Dream Team Lucky Dog’s Brandon McMillan.
And of course, you can adopt or foster one of the many beautiful and worthy animals that CAS serves annually. “Until there are none, please adopt one,” is a phrase coined by my father, John A. Hoyt, former President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. It is a mantra I still believe in today.