CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – August marks the official start of News 2’s Clear the Shelters initiative.

On Monday, News 2 visited the Charleston Animal Society to learn about the medical care that each animal receives while in the shelter.

Something that makes Charleston Animal Society unique, is the level of vet care, recognized by the American Animal Hospital Association, available right at their facility in North Charleston.

“What a lot of folks don’t know is that Charleston Animal Society was the first combined animal shelter and hospital in the entire south, with that accreditation,” President and CEO Joe Elmore explained.

Before animals are adopted out, each is assessed by a veterinarian, given necessary vaccinations, spayed or neutered, and given a behavioral assessment.

Elmore said that the organization performs around 10,000 sterilization surgeries each year, which helps control the population of homeless pets.

Courtney Larrier heads up the behavioral health department. She said the assessment is crucial to ensuring each pet gets matched to the perfect home:

“Every dog that comes through our door is dog to dog assessed, to see how they are going to do, we do some handling assessments, to see what best pairings we could make for the dog in their future home, but behavior assessments start from the moment they walk through the door, from the moment that they exit these doors.”

To celebrate our Clear the Shelters initiative, Charleston Animal Society will be waiving fees on adult cats and dogs throughout the month of August:

“This is the time of year when we need folks, to come out, and make room for one more, to bring animals in their homes and in their hearts, more than ever.”