Horry County Animal Care Center rescued over 30% more animals in 2021

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) — The Horry County Animal Care Center rescued 2,550 animals in 2021, bringing its rescue rate to 83.6%, from 63.9% in 2020.

The non-profit group Best Friends Society publishes a set of vital data for pets every year. This year, the Horry County Animal Care Center ranked as the ninth most improved shelter in the nation.

A shelter’s rescue rate is calculated by finding the percentage of rescued animals out of all the animals that entered the shelter that year.

In South Carolina, a sanctuary must achieve a 90% save rate to be considered a “no-kill” sanctuary. At just 6.4% of goal, the Horry County Animal Care Center is working to meet that goal as soon as possible.

“That’s the goal of this refuge is to get to that 90% mark,” said captain Justin Wyatt, center manager. “There’s a whole other list of things we do to try to make sure we hit that 90% mark. Because that’s where we want to be.

One of the things on the list is to make free and discounted surgeries available. There is also a new emphasis on neutering and neutering.

The Horry County Animal Care Center works with shelters across the country to find the best fit for animals that need extra help.

“Instead of saying, ‘oh, well, we can’t adopt this dog. He’s been there a long time. Let’s go and euthanize him,’ we say, ‘OK, let’s find a rescue. this dog could fit in and where we can send him so he can,” Wyatt said.

He said the center had not had and would never euthanize an animal due to lack of time or space.

“We don’t euthanize healthy animals, make no mistake about it,” Wyatt said. “If they’re healthy and just aren’t adopted yet for some reason, they sit on our floor until we can find something else for them to do.”

Wyatt believes that with the right help and resources, the animal care center can achieve the 90% savings rate.

“I think we’ll get to that 90% mark through grants,” Wyatt said. “And because we can possibly consider an extension of the shelter in the future so that we can house more animals there.”

Benjamin M. Yerger