The founder of Eunoia Rescue, Alicia Williams, began her budding career in animal rescue during her freshman year of college after her beloved childhood dog, Lucky, crossed the rainbow bridge. She became very active in the rescue scenes of Charleston and Clemson, SC. Fostering animals throughout college stoked the flames of what would soon become a burning passion. After graduation, Alicia knew that her heart would never be in her chosen field, but always with the animals that had taught her what unconditional love truly meant. On a whim, she decided to open her own rescue.
Our very first pull, from Pawmetto Lifeline in Columbia, SC, was a momma (now affectionally known as Sunshine) and her two pups. Sunshine had been used as a breeding female for years, and was a difficult case from the start. With a lot of socialization, and after an amazing turn around in her disposition, the skittish momma began to gain a lot of interest with potential adopters. Ultimately, Alicia knew in her heart that she couldn’t let her go, and she has since become the Eunoia mascot, our first of many success stories.
In the four years since then, Eunoia Rescue has saved over 900 animals and counting. Through many blessings and the support of countless fosters, veterinarians, donors, and the wonderful rescue community of South Carolina, Eunoia has flourished into the rescue we know and love today.
We typically pull from high kill shelters, in an effort to give the animals that most have given up on a second chance at the life they deserve. Given the compassionate nature of this field, rescue inherently comes with a lot of heartbreak, and we have had our share of struggles and triumph. However, our successes have far outweighed the difficult and time consuming, but ultimately rewarding work. In the early days, we never would have imagined that Eunoia would grow to heights we have achieved to date.
Nicki joined Eunoia Rescue in November 2018 where she started off simply as a foster. However, her love for rescues started much earlier in life. As far as she can remember, Nicki has always had a deep love for animals, especially dogs. It all began, at only 10 years old, where she started a dog nanny job in her neighborhood. She loved caring for her neighbors dogs. Her family has always adopted dogs from her local animal shelters in Illinois & are firm believers in adopting the “nobody-wants-him” kind of dogs — que Ozzie & Chipper.
Nicki went to college at Eastern Illinois University, where she graduated with a Bachelors in Hospitality Management and Business. As a junior, Nicki started her own little family, and adopted Mali, a Husky / Carolina dog mix. Nicki graduated & then moved to Charleston, South Carolina in May 2016 to pursue her dream goal of becoming a wedding planner. After moving to Charleston, she adopted Chloe, a rescue golden retriever who passed from cancer on January 5, 2019. Nicki was devastated, and naturally to heal her broken heart, went and adopted two more goldens — que Tanner and Teddy, a red and white golden retriever.
Nicki has now taken on the role of Eunoia Rescue’s Adoption Coordinator position, however, she does many other things behind the scenes — like scheduling transports, medical appointments, pulling new intakes, facilitating Pampered Pup Days, updating the website, posting on social media, and reviewing the many amazing adoption applications we receive. When she’s not doing all of that, she’s busy running her own business — a wedding planning business located here in Charleston, South Carolina called Nicki Paige Collection. Working from home allows her to take care of the many fosters she has at her house. Between 6-10 dogs always reside in her home and is also where the new intakes are dropped off, before moving to their foster families. Nicki has fostered 18 dogs with 13 of them that have found their forever homes!
Hali has been with Eunoia Rescue since it was first founded in 2015. She was the organization’s first foster and slowly took on more responsibility; in 2017 she became the official Vice President of Eunoia Rescue. Hali has always had a passion for helping animals. When she was little, she would save the turtles that were caught in her grandpa’s commercial fishing net, and as a teenager she would bring home any stray dog she could find. It was her dream to become a veterinarian to help animals everyday.
Unfortunately, Bio 101 at the University of South Carolina quickly opened her eyes to the fact that her dream wouldn’t come true. She instead graduated with Bachelors Degrees in Criminal Justice and Political Science in 2016, and graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree in 2019. She now works as a Judicial Law Clerk based in Columbia, South Carolina. She hopes that once her clerkship is over, she can move back to her home of Charleston and be closer to the majority of the rescue’s fosters and pets.
The Vice President role covers almost every aspect of rescue. Hali spends most of her days pulling new animals into the rescue, coordinating and attending vet appointments, fundraising, managing some of the rescue’s social media, keeping the Petfinder platform up to date, and screening applicants for adoptive and foster homes. She really enjoys the medical aspect of rescue and spends as much time as possible in the veterinary clinics learning about the injuries, ailments, and treatments the rescue dogs encounter. When she isn’t handling rescue matters, Hali enjoys spending her days on the boat with her boyfriend Tal, who is a huge supporter of the rescue, and her two pups! Winnie is an American Staffordshire Terrier whom she foster-failed in 2016, and Ripley is a Chocolate Lab who has the energy of a small nuclear plant. Winnie and Ripley aren’t the biggest fans of sharing their home with foster dogs, but Hali has fostered upwards of 30 dogs!
Kelsey joined Eunoia Rescue in November of 2018 as a foster parent. But her journey to Eunoia first started in December of 2016. Kelsey grew up in a home without any pets and didn't quiet understand the allure of the crazy dog mom life; in December of 2016 she met Bella (German Shepherd; bottom picture). Bella was her husbands dog and was the most goodest girl there ever was. Bella convinced Kelsey to get a her a baby brother and in came Percy (Beagle; both pictures). Unfortunately, in October of 2018 Bella passed away from cancer. At this point Kelsey was hooked and joined Eunoia Rescue as a way to love as many dogs as possible, the way Bella loved her.
Kelsey went to the College of Charleston and graduated in 2014 with a degree in special education, and now teaches at Fort Dorchester High School. About a year ago Kelsey and her husband welcomed another boy, Jack (German Shepherd; top picture) to the family. When not planning and organizing events for Eunoia, Kelsey coaches Bocce with the Special Olympics and practices yoga. Kelsey and her husband, Ren, met playing kickball and can be found on the field many nights a week.
Kelsey is now the Events Coordinator for Eunoia Rescue. Putting her organization and communication skills to work! Most recently Kelsey and Ren have discovered they love fostering and training the youngest dogs Eunoia takes in, the puppies. Kelsey loves helping all these babies find their furever homes.