Pet Helpers - About

Mission, History, and Financial

Our Mission

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.


Founded in 1978 by President Carol Linville, Pet Helpers has become an integral part of the Charleston community by offering refuge and rehabilitation to thousands of animals each year through adoption, foster care, humane education, lost-and-found pet services, low-cost spay/neuter services, medical assistance, and more. Carol began rescuing dogs and cats from shelters where they were at-risk for euthanasia, and keeping them in her home or finding foster homes with friends and family.

In 1983, Pet Helpers moved into a renovated house on Folly Road in James Island, SC, and became Lowcountry’s first no-kill rescue and adoption center. Through Carol’s dedication and passionate energy, along with the generosity of many volunteers and donors, Pet Helpers was able to grow and develop. Pet Helpers expanded its services to assist authorities with animal cruelty cases, provide humane education, and continued work to reduce the pet overpopulation problem.

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.

Pet Helpers has saved more than 54,600 lives since its founding, and has provided critical services to the community of pet owners and animal lovers throughout Lowcountry. Today, it is only a matter of time before no adoptable animals are euthanized.
Together, we can continue to save the lives of so many!


2021 Annual Report

2021 990

2020 Annual Report

2020 990

2019 Annual Report

2019 990

*Audited financial statements available upon request.

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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