A Message from our President & CEO


Due to the national COVID-19 Health Emergency, we have made some adjustments to our procedures in accepting kittens from the public. Keep in mind, we are not turning kittens that might be in danger away. Our CEO and President Joe Elmore explains in the video below.

Please “Leave ’em Be!”

Because COVID-19 has caused us to change procedures at Charleston Animal Society, we are urging everyone to please make every effort to leave kittens with their mothers until after this National Health Emergency is over. Their mother will protect them, nourish them and teach them how to thrive.

This is why we are making this urgent plea:

1. Kittens are MUCH better off with their mothers: When you find kittens outdoors, your natural instinct is to bundle them up and bring them into an animal shelter. When actually, the BEST thing you can do, is leave them with their mother. They will get the proper nutrition, mom will protect them and she will train them to survive outdoors, until it’s time to bring them to us. As we say, “If you see, leave ‘em be!”

2.  Charleston Animal Society will NOT turn away sick, ill, or injured stray cats or kittens or animals that are in immediate danger: This commitment to our community will continue.

3. We have temporarily suspended Spay-Neuter: Due to medical supply shortages and guidance from national organizations, Charleston Animal Society has made the hard decision to stop all non-essential surgeries, so the medical supplies we typically use can instead be sent to hospitals battling the coronavirus outbreak.

4. Social Distancing Safety Measures: We hope everyone is practicing social distancing and in this regard, the shelter is taking every precaution possible to limit face-to-face contact with people. Reducing the traffic of people and animals coming to the shelter is us doing our part in this national crisis.

Charleston Animal Society will NOT turn away sick, ill, or injured stray cats or kittens in need as has been our commitment to our community.

What do you do if you find kittens?

1. Observe

If you find kittens who are alone, determine if the mother has abandoned them or if she is just off looking for food. The only way to find this out is to wait. Often times, she will return within a few hours. Observe from a distance or a hidden spot to be sure she is not returning before moving the kittens. Use common sense and be patient.

2. You See Mom!

Remember that the BEST option is to always leave the kittens with their mother.

The best thing for the family is to leave the kittens where they are for now as long as the location is safe. Remember, the mother is best able to care for her kittens. You can assist in providing food, water, and shelter. Monitor the family daily and make the environment as safe for them as you can.
When the kittens are out exploring on their own, this is the optimal age to bring them out of the field and to a shelter for socialization, health checkup and spay-neuter.

3. You Don’t See Mom.

If the mother cat doesn’t come back after 8 hours, and you think she has abandoned the kittens or they are in danger, you can choose one of several options.

  • Raise them yourself
  • Bring them to your local county shelter for fostering

*Please note at this time, we are urging you to help us by keeping the kittens until the National Health Emergency is over.