Pet Helpers - About

Mission, History, and Financial

Our Mission

Pet Helpers’ is a 501(c)3 Adoption Center and Spay/Neuter Clinic that serves communities across the Lowcountry. Our mission is to end the euthanasia of all adoptable cats and dogs by keeping all animals until adopted; providing low cost spay/neuter surgeries; offering humane education programs; pursuing animal-cruelty prosecution; and initiating animal-welfare legislation.

What it Means to be No-Kill

No-kill means that we are committed to saving every adoptable cat and dog who can be saved. It means we heal animals who can be healed, address and treat behaviors that can be treated, and ensure that safety and high quality of life for both our pets, their adopters, and the people in our community, remain a priority.  

No-kill also means reducing the numbers of animals who enter shelters, through spay/neuter education and services, and through increasing the number of animals we adopt and/or find safe places to call home. 

Because Pet Helpers and the community we serve value these objectives, we only use euthanasia as a last resort, only when an animal is suffering from an irreparable medical or behavioral condition. 

No-kill means that an end-of-life decision for a pet is never done for convenience or lack of space, and only done as an act of mercy to end a pet’s suffering.


President Carol Linville founded Pet Helpers in 1978 to provide refuge and rehabilitation for animals in the Charleston community. Pet Helpers offers a range of services such as adoption, foster care, humane education, lost-and-found pet services, low-cost spay/neuter services, medical assistance, and more.

Carol’s vision for Pet Helpers began in 1976, after reading in the local newspaper that 95% of all animals in Charleston were euthanized after three days at the Charleston County Shelter. She started a weekly Pet of the Week column to promote pets for adoption at the county shelter. Soon after, Carol began taking in homeless cats and kittens, keeping them in her home or business office, and finding foster homes with friends and family.

In 1983, Carol’s husband, Bob, converted their business shop space into a small shelter primarily for cats. In 1992, Pet Helpers purchased a small house and three-bay garage, which they renovated with volunteers, at 1430 Folly Road on James Island, SC. Over the next 16 years, Pet Helpers became the Lowcountry’s first no-kill rescue and adoption center. Carol worked tirelessly to change and improve animal welfare protection laws both locally and statewide from 1984 through 2010, making many trips to Columbia, S.C. She received the S.C. Humanitarian of the Year Award from the S.C. Assoc of Veterinarians in 2004.

In 2008, Carol’s dream became a reality when the 14,000-square-foot Pet Helpers Adoption Center and Spay/Neuter Clinic was built at the current location on Folly Road. Pet Helpers added important programs including the ability to provide acute medical care to shelter animals, assisting low-income families through the Pet Food Bank, providing spay/neuter services to other rescue groups and feral cat colonies, offering public low-cost vaccine clinics, and building fences through the Unchain Charleston program.

Since its founding, Pet Helpers has saved more than 56,000 lives. Today, there is hope that it will only be a matter of time before no adoptable animals are euthanized. Join us in supporting Pet Helpers and help us continue to save the lives of so many!

Pet Helpers Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

At Pet Helpers, compassion and empathy are our core values. We extend this governing value by honoring our mission and developing diversity, equity and inclusion in our organization and community so that everyone can thrive. Through our policies, practices, and programs we strive to create a welcoming and supportive environment for humans and animals alike. 

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