Today’s guest was Sean Hawkins, Chief Advancement Officer of the Charleston Animal Society. Sean began his career in animal welfare as a thirteen-year-old young man when he began volunteering at an animal shelter in the Bahamas. From there he went on to Houston where he was instrumental in creating the first free spay neuter program for qualified income families. Little did he know these efforts would result in a career path that has now spanned more than 25 years.
Sean has served animals at some of the most prestigious animal welfare organizations in the United States. He has worked with Cleveland Amory at The Fund for Animals, the American Humane Association, Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, Second Chance Center for Animals, the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society and now at Charleston Animal Society.
The Charleston Animal Society is committed to the lifelong care of loved pets through their Pet Safe Program. This Program allows pet parents to enroll in a guaranteed acceptance program for the lifetime care of their pets. A minimum donation is requested. Once enrolled, pets will be accepted at the death or disability of the pet parent regardless of space in the shelter, or the health or behaviors of the pet. Sean shares my personal passion for keeping loved pets in loving homes and never wants to see a cherished pet end up in a shelter.
Animal shelters serve a vital purpose in the rehoming of animals. However, for loved pets, a shelter can be a terrifying experience with unfamiliar sights, sounds, people, and of course, a cage. Even shelters that are “no kill” may not be able to guarantee that a sick or behaviorally challenged animal may not be euthanized. Not so with the Pet Safe Program. Charleston Animal Society has the financial and human resources (including veterinary services and behavior training) necessary to provide pet parents with the assurance they need their pet will be cared for, for the balance of their lifetime.
Animal welfare policies have changed over the years. It is no longer a policing model but instead a social service model with progressive policies so organizations can meet people where they are and help them to be better pet owners. It might mean helping a pet parent through a period of unemployment by providing food and veterinary services or perhaps providing guidance and training for animals with behavior issues. Sometimes it might be helping a family by building a fence to contain a wandering dog. The Pet Safe Program is just one more element of this pet parent centered approach to providing services that benefit loved pets.
We also discussed the program at the Stevenson Companions animal Life-Care Center at Texas A & M veterinary college. Here loved pets can live in a home-like environment with veterinary students. The center was established in 1993 and partially funded by a generous donation from Madlin Stevenson who recognized that animals are important to seniors. At the time of her death in 2000, Mrs. Stevenson had 4 cats, 7 dogs, a pony and a llama who became residents at the center.
We appreciate Sean Hawkins and the work he is doing at Charleston Animal Society.
If you have a loved pet and want to make sure your pet receives lifetime love and care, consider a Pet Trust with Animal Care Trust USA, where our mission is to keep loved pets in loving homes.