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Issue No. 17  •   JUNE/JULY 2018     •  DIGITAL

Charlie The Hero Dog

Saints of Service


2018 Annual Cover Contest

Meet the Pack PUBLISHER Brian Foster CHIEF CANINE OFFICER Peanut EDITORIAL COLUMNIST Alicia Williams SOCIAL MEDIA ASSISTANT Izzy Selert STAFF WRITERS Julie Murray Kelly Glasson COPY EDITOR Chelsea Bradford PHOTOGRAPHER Southern Vintage Photography RESCUE SPOTLIGHT PRODUCER Palmetto Coast Media WEB DEVELOPER & CONSULTANT Laura Olsen CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dr. Janet McKim Mara DeMauro Stacy Pearsall

We believe that our dogs are our best friends, and that’s why we need a reliable source to turn to for information on all things “dog” in our community. Our mission is to be the number one Charleston area resource for dog owners regarding regional dog-centric and dogwelcoming events, health & wellness information, dog training, trends, and local news. We also strive to be a mouthpiece to the public for various Lowcountry-based pet nonprofits, and we promote pet adoption and other responsible pet care practices. Founded in Charleston, South Carolina in 2005 as a print magazine, we re-launched in 2015 as an online publication. In 2016 we updated our website to continue our mission to be the best dog friendly resource in the Lowcountry.

Sniff Us out!

Cover photo and contents photo by Stacy Pearsall






















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How to Keep Dogs Safe This Summer

's t u n Pea s Tip

As summer approaches and temperatures rise, so does the danger of dogs dying in hot cars, left to overheat by negligent owners. Even on a day when it’s 70 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can hit 90 degrees in just 10 minutes. On a hot day, the temperature inside a closed car can shoot as high as 116 degrees in the same amount of time. What can you do to keep dogs safe this summer? 1)     Never leave a dog in a hot car. Leaving an animal in a car for any amount of time is dangerous. Cracking a window doesn’t eliminate the risk of heatstroke or death, and negligent owners can face up to one year imprisonment. If you have your dog with you:  -Plan to visit animal-friendly restaurants and shops. -Bring a friend who can stay with your dog while you run into a store. -Leave your dog at home where he is safe and comfortable in the air conditioning! 2)     If you see an animal in distress, call 911.  It is illegal to break a car window as a citizen so call the police so they can handle it. FOR MORE ON HEAT STROKE AND HYPERTHERMIA CLICK HERE lowcountry dog   4

Sit, Stay...Behave!

Written by Mara DeMauro

7 Things You Need To Know Before Bringing Home A Puppy Catching puppy fever? See a dog and can’t help but stop to pet it? Wondering if you should take the plunge? If you are someone who is experiencing puppy fever, or if you just convinced yourself to adopt the sweetest puppy from a local pet rescue organization, you will want to read this FREE professional advice. We understand adding a dog to your family is a big decision, so we paired up with Canine Revolution Dog Training to cover the most important things you need to understand before bringing home a new puppy or dog. Keep reading to find out how to best transition your new furry friend and establish a lifelong relationship!

Q: What is the first piece of advice you would give someone who is about to get a puppy/dog? A: For anyone who is wanting to get a dog, especially a puppy, I always recommend that you have a goal (or vision) in mind of what you would like your relationship to be and why you want to get one. This could range from a companion pet, to a sport dog, protection dog, service dog, emotional support dog, therapy dog, etc. The main thing is to have a vision, or goal, of what you want that relationship to look like and then a detailed plan on how you will get there. Just like with humans, teaching a dog behaviors and manners doesn’t happen overnight and requires a plan and consistency. lowcountry dog 6

This should also include the amount of time you have available to fulfill the needs of a dog or puppy which should include daily physical exercise and some type of structured mental stimulation. It is important to note that just putting your dog out in the backyard for an hour is not the type of exercise I am describing here. I’m talking about a structured exercise regime that you lead your dog with, such as walking. Additionally, we should consider providing the vital resources your dog needs: food, water, shelter, medical attention, and the costs that go along with these, not to mention costs of acquiring the dog/puppy. I can tell you from personal experience, those emergency vet visits seem to happen at the most unexpected times! Q: Does a first-time dog owner need to prepare their house before bringing home a new puppy or dog? A: Absolutely. This is where we get into the detailed planning involved with your goal for your dog. Even if you are not planning to do high arousal activities with your dog, such as sports, the concepts about bringing your puppy or dog home are the same. We all want a “potty trained” and wellmannered dog. These both require consistency on the dog owner’s part but also involve some preparation at the house. You will need the “equipment” to establish a proper relationship with your dog, a relationship that should be founded on trust and respect.

A very basic “equipment” list should include: crate/kennel, food/water bowls, leash, collar, food, high-value rewards, selfentertainment toys, and engagement toys. Dependent upon your specific goal with your puppy or dog, you may need to add to this “equipment” list. It's important for dogs to spend time without their owners and this is where self-entertainment toys are useful. I recommend a type of treat dispensing toy for self-entertainment. When I advise new puppy or dog owners on how to set up their home, I recommend to establish a neutral area for the dog. This is where the kennel/crate and possibly a doggy pen come in. The kennel should be seen as a positive place by your puppy or dog, we make it positive by playing crate games, feeding dogs in the kennel, and never using a kennel for punishment. Doggy pens are great for establishing neutral space in family areas, but still maintains boundaries for the puppy or dog to abide by.

Q: What "house rules" should you establish? A: I recommend that the members of the household come together and create a set of “house rules” that they want with their puppy or dog. These “house rules” should be implemented from day one, because as soon as a dog enters your home, they are already learning from the environment and from their interactions with the family. Some useful house rules could be: -No jumping up on humans -No jumping up on counters -No leash pulling -No running out of open doors No overboard barking -No biting (teething, chewing, etc.) -No digging -Being civil with other dogs -Coming when called -Staying when asked. Again, these should be determined by your family. There may be differences between two family’s house rules and that’s okay, but we do need to provide that structure to our dogs. Q: How long does it take to get your dog "housebroken?" A: House breaking (also known as potty training) consists of three main points: Structure, Supervision, and Schedule. The amount of time it takes to get your dog “housebroken” solely depends upon you as the dog owner! Structure is the boundaries and rules we set for our house. One of these rules may be no “free feeding.” If we free feed our puppy or dog, there is no telling when they may have to go potty. Supervision involves not allowing our puppy or dog to have “freedom to roam” in the house. If the dog can roam freely without owner supervision, he or she can easily potty

anywhere at anytime without the owner knowing. Keeping our puppy or dog on a leash with us as we move throughout the house or in a neutral area will help to establish this mindset. Schedule relates to being consistent with allowing your puppy potty breaks. The length of time between your potty breaks should correlate to your puppy’s age and size. An 8 week old puppy may need potty breaks every 12 hours, a 4 month old puppy should be able to hold their potty for 4+ hours. When a young puppy first comes home, I recommend getting up 1-2 times per night to allow the puppy a potty break. If the puppy has even one accident in the kennel, it will not help you to get through the potty training stage. As time goes on, these nighttime potty breaks can be reduced until they are no longer needed. Additionally, I recommend a short walk at night before bed to help the puppy flush out their systems. A 10-20 minute walk should be plenty of time to allow the puppy to work everything out of his or her system.

Q: Is it important that you get a dog who matches your lifestyle? A: Yes, once we have a goal or vision in mind for our dog, we should take a look at the type of dog that may be the best fit. This isn’t necessarily breed specific. While yes, in most cases the breed generalizations can be fairly accurate, it isn’t always true. You may not get a German Shepard that likes balls or you may not get a Basset Hound that is “chill.” Each dog has their own personality just like humans do! I personally know a miniature poodle who enjoys long bike rides where he runs next to the bike. Q: As a professional dog trainer, what is the most common question that your clients ask you about puppy behavior? A: When talking about puppies specifically, many dog owners ask me about a puppy who is “biting” them non-stop. If you’ve ever had a puppy, you know what I’m talking about- the puppy biting your pants, shoes, hands, arms, legs, etc. This behavior originates in the puppy’s litter as they play with their litter-mates. The lessons that a puppy learns while it is with its litter-mates and mother are crucial for its development. The “biting” behavior starts when the puppies begin to play with one another, however if they begin to “bite” on the mother, she will show them that is not acceptable with either a snarl, snap of her teeth, or growl. A mother with a litter understands her role is to be their guardian and leader, not their friend.

With that said, when a puppy comes to its new home, he or she often times demonstrates this “biting” behavior on the humans of the household as well, simply because they do not know what the conditions are for interacting with humans. I teach my dogs, and all the dog owners that I work with, that we should not allow them to “mouth” us. This is because the dogs need to understand that there are limitations of the physical interactions between human and dog, we do not want to put ourselves in a situation where our dog may be reading our body language incorrectly, especially with a signal sensitive dog. Our dogs should respect us to the point where they will not put their mouth on us, even in a gentle way, so that we can preserve this good behavioral habit in the future. It is solely our responsibility as dog owners to show and teach our dogs this behavior. This is even more important with those dog owners who have babies or children, are expecting them or are planning for them in the future. Q: If you could leave our audience with one last piece if advice what would it be? A: I would advise any dog owner, present and future, to ensure that you are providing for your dog’s very basic instinctual needs: daily physical exercise and daily mental stimulation. My preferred method of daily exercise is a nice walk twice per day, at least 30 minutes each. However, a game of focused fetch with your dog can also be a great way to exercise.



What do you know about Heartworms?

photo by Pexels

Written by Dr Janet McKim, VCA Charles Towne Animal Hospital

We have been aware heartworms have been infesting and killing our dogs for over a century. What has changed and how should we respond?

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The first thing that has changed is our understanding of where this parasite lives and how it creates disease. Heartworms don’t actually live in the heart. Their preferred resting place is in the main pulmonary artery, the large blood vessel carrying blood from the heart to the lungs. These large (up to 14 inches long) worms float in the bloodstream, moving with each beat of the heart, rubbing against the delicate lining of the artery causing a deep inflammation of this very important vessel. Within months the pristine smooth endothelium resembles a rutted dirt road. Blood traversing this ugly roadway and maneuvering around mounds of worms is harder to push.   The heart works harder resulting in heart enlargement and an increasing risk of heart failure. Adult heartworms live about 2-5 years. You’d think things get better when they die. Nope.  The dead worms are flushed deep into the lungs, causing portions of the lung to scar into useless tissue. Even in death heartworms are destructive. This new knowledge of heartworms has changed our recommendations for treating heartworm and our thoughts on the use of preventives. Throw out any idea that a “low grade infection”, or low worm burden infers less damage. A study showed the placement as few as 4 adult worms (dogs can have dozens of worms in a natural infection) caused arteritis within a few months.  

Reject the idea that “slow kill”, the use of monthly preventives in lieu of the recommended 3 step protocol to kill adult heartworms is a viable option for treatment of heartworm infection. Administering preventives to heartworm positive dogs will prevent the development of additional adult worms, but allows the existing adult heartworms 2-5 years to continue to slide back and forth with every beat of the heart causing irreparable damage. Slow kill has caused the emergence of heartworm strains resistant to all our preventives…and there are no new preventives on the horizon. Slow kill not only puts the health of the dog on this protocol at risk, it is risking the collective health of ALL OUR DOGS. The second thing that has changed is we have more mosquitoes then ever!  Climate change is not just creating more “sunny day” flooding in our fair city; it is creating new habitats for mosquitoes.  Doing the math of more mosquitoes, more heartworm positive dogs and resistance to preventives, the result is …scary for our dogs and the people who love them.

"New knowledge of heartworms has changed our recommendations for treating heartworm and our thoughts on the use of preventives." What to do? Listen to the experts! While every veterinarian knows about heartworm it is not their life focus, except for the veterinarians and parasitologists of the American Heartworm Society. These dedicated professionals are committed to understanding and defeating heartworm. They issue a comprehensive report on the status of heartworm and guidelines for prevention and treatment every 2 years. Their website ( has an owner section as well as a section for the veterinary professional; you are welcome to read any and all sections.  Don’t fall for urban myths or outdated thinking; be your dog’s advocate by reading the most current information from the experts who know more about heartworm than anyone else on the planet!

850 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407

"Things I'm tired of hearing for 600, Alex!" I have been involved with rescue for all of my adult life. I have heard so much BS over the years. I use to be able to fake a smile and nod. Now, however, I refuse to let an ignorant remark go without a sly response from myself. I have compiled a list of just a *few* things related to this non-profit industry that really pinch a nerve. To my fellow rescuers, I hope this piece comes to you as relatable satire. To those not involved with rescue, please let this piece come to you as a warning. “I would want to keep them all.” This expression is usually said when declining to foster and is probably the one I despise the most. I know people say it with good intentions, but for me it shows how disconnected a person is with the animal overpopulation crisis. By saying “I would want to keep them all” is an excuse that people use to make themselves feel  lowcountry dog   14

better about not being part of the solution. First of all, hardly anyone can afford to “keep them all” because there are thousands that need to be helped. How could you possibly “keep them all” when there are so many others that need you? Sure, there are people who adopt the dog they foster; but it never started with the fear of “keeping them all.” “Why don’t you help people?” Well, helping people isn’t our passion. We certainly do not discredit those who choose to help people; but for us, we feel like we are put on this Earth to help animals. This one really doesn’t need a huge explanation, but just in case you need a little more reasoning: people have been helping animals since Biblical times. We’re not doing anything new; we’re just doing what we love.

“I need to ask my significant other.” This phrase is another example of an excuse. Do you really need permission to help a living soul? Call me a bitter bachelorette, but if any of you ever hear me say: “I need to ask my boyfriend/husband” before I help an animal – slap me – because I clearly need to wake up from whatever hellish nightmare I’m in. “How much does it cost?” Two of my pet peeves are present in this one question. #1: Referring to a pet as an “it.” A dog available for adoption usually doesn’t have an Uncle Fester, so there’s no need for the “it” reference. Please use he, she, pup, puppers, doggie, doggo, etcetera accordingly. #2: What does one mean by “cost?” “Cost” as in upkeep expense? As in: monthly heartworm preventative, monthly flea/tick preventative, grooming, yearly vaccines, and other medical visits? Honestly, I have no idea – and ignorance is bliss in this scenario. Or do you mean “cost” as in adoption fee? Cost and adoption fee are not interchangeable. A cost is an upcharge on supplies or labor so a business can make a profit. An adoption fee is a small portion of money collected so that the rescue and/or shelter can continue to save other lives while being in the red. If the fee is more than what you can afford, you should probably rethink your decision of adopting an animal.   “Do you have any hypoallergenic dogs available?” Stop trying to make hypoallergenic dogs happen. It’s not going

to happen. It never was a thing. It’s never going to be a thing. (Seriously, Google it.) If you ask me this question, please prepare yourself for an, at minimum, eight minute lecture. “I have a dog that you can rescue.” Oh gee, thanks. We were really struggling with finding more dogs that need help. *EYE ROLL* We’ll stop tending to the thirty dogs I’ve committed to, who have come from shelters to come to YOUR rescue (not the dog’s rescue) because you "don’t have time” or you “had a baby” or you “have to move” or you “can’t afford it” or the dog is “too big.”  We would be more than happy to assist you and this “problem” that you have brought upon yourself. (This is sarcasm, of course.) “If you don’t help me, I’m going to have to surrender my dog to a shelter.” Again, this sounds like your problem. Most of us rescuers can live a content life knowing that we have never had to surrender one of our own dogs to a shelter. We have seen dogs that are starving, terrified, with every type of worm you can imagine. The fact that your dog (that you clearly are not too attached to) has to go to a shelter doesn’t even scratch the surface of the horrible things we’ve seen. Oh, you have to surrender to a “kill” facility? Although unfortunate, that’s still not our problem. If you find yourself in a position where you have to send your pet to the shelter, you’re not trying hard enough to re-home them or you don’t want to pay to euthanize them yourself. Ultimately, you suck.



About the Cover Our cover dog, Charlie, is owned by Stacy Pearsall, who served as a military photographer in the United States Air Force until her wounds lead to her medical discharge. Since her retirement Pearsall has worked as a professional photographer. Charlie came into her life as her service dog last year.  He was trained by America's Vet Dogs and has been featured on the TODAY show and tours with Stacy for appearances and service for her Veteran's Portrait Project

The Hero Dog Written by Stacy Pearsall

In August 2016, with oversized paws and floppy ears flying, Charlie galloped down the red carpet on Rockefeller Plaza to make his debut as the TODAY Show’s “Puppy with a Purpose.” For over a year, Charlie traveled from the America’s VetDogs training facility on Long Island to Manhattan where he’d spend his mornings on set with the anchors and various TODAY Show guests. While he relished belly rubs from celebrities like Dolly Parton and Michael Phelps, Charlie most enjoyed showing off his newly learnt abilities to anyone who’d watch. After all, Charlie wasn’t just a cute and cuddly puppy, he was a service dog in training. lowcountry dog   18

photography by Stacy Pearsall


Over the following year Charlie was on the show, his puppy raiser and trainer, Olivia Poff, developed his obedience skills such as heel, sit, down, stay and come. Then she and Charlie’s service dog trainer, Katie Ruiz, diligently cultivated more complex behaviors such as push, rest, brace, alert and bring – mainstays of all proficient America’s VetDogs.

After two years of waiting, I was elated. As I prepared for the momentous change that was coming, Charlie continued his daily training routine both on and off set. Meanwhile, the staff at America’s VetDogs had the difficult task of identifying just the right veteranpartner for this extraordinary animal. As luck would have it, that was me. 

As Charlie neared his 18-month birthday, it was decided he was ready to embark on his journey. That’s about the time I received a call from America’s VetDogs that I finally had a training date and would be paired with my own service dog.

Most veterans in the program don’t get to meet their dogs before training begins. Though I’d not met Charlie in person, I had the luxury of watching him grow on the TODAY Show. Like everyone else, he was already a part of my life and I loved him. However, nothing could’ve prepared me for how transformative that moment was.

Photos by J Michael Walker

I could no longer deny my issues after I had my first seizure. The neurologist attributed it to my traumatic brain injury (TBI) and excessive emotional stress. This was the moment in my life when I admitted I needed help. That’s when I applied for a service dog.

In doing so, I knew I’d have to own my disabilities and be open about them with others and, more importantly, myself.  As I stood on the Plaza waiting for Charlie to appear from behind the curtain, I struggled with emotions I’d not felt in a long time – mainly relief. Unafraid, I was prepared to dismantle the façade I’d strategically built to hide my truth; I’d now have Charlie for support. As the curtain drew back and Charlie popped through, tears of joy began to streak my face. Once again, he galloped down the carpet, this time with a new purpose.  Photo by Des’ola Mecozzi

Deciding to apply for a service wasn’t an easy decision, especially for someone like me. I spent several years serving as an Air Force combat photographer only to have my aspirations of being a “lifer” cut short due to injuries from a road side bomb sustained in Iraq. In the years that followed my subsequent medical retirement, I did my level best to hide my physical and emotional pain from everyone. I acted as though nothing was wrong. All the while, suffering silently. Between the chronic pain, imbalance and migraines that plagued my days and the disturbing dreams that terrorized my nights, I was a mess. I’d been through rigorous physical and mental health therapies, but they only helped so much. The rest was up to me, and I wasn’t doing myself any favors.

Since being paired, Charlie and I’ve traveled from coast-to-coast. He’s assisted me on all my Veterans Portrait Project events and even offered comfort and solace to my veteran-subjects. He truly is a gift; not only to me, but everyone he meets. The skills Olivia and Katie taught him have provided me a renewed sense of empowerment and freedom. Where once I’d refrained from noisy, crowded restaurants, I now walk into confidently; where once I’d waver from physical instability, he offers counter balance support; where once I’d relive combat traumas in my sleep, he now wakes me and offers comfort. He’s deeply enriched my life. Screen-grab from Nikon Inc., CES Livestream

What’s more Charlie’s provided consolation to my husband, who no longer has to worry about my wellbeing while away for work. Charlie’s ability to assist on Veterans Portrait Project assignments has also lessened the stress on my colleagues, as I no longer lean so heavily on them for support. He retrieves equipment, offers physical help and, most importantly, emotional consolation.

Thus, reducing my overall anxiety and stress, which allows me to better focus my attentions on my photography, to be more present and more productive. As a teammate, he’s second to none. I genuinely believe in the power of a dog’s ability to touch and transform lives. If you do too, please consider making a contribution the America’s VetDogs today by clicking the logo.

Also, Charlie is presently in the running for the American Humane’s Hero Dog Awards. Please cast your vote for America’s favorite Puppy with a Purpose by clicking below.

Photo by Molly Riley

Follow Charlie’s adventures: Personal Website: Facebook: @SLPearsall Instagram: @SLPearsall Twitter: @StacyPearsall

Veterans Portrait Project: Facebook VPP: @VeteransPortraits Instagram VPP: @Veterans_Portrait_Project Twitter VPP: @VetPortraits

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2018 COVER MODEL CONTEST Vote on Social Media to help choose this years winner

Voting lasts until June 30th I am PUG BUTTER, your Cover Contest Spokesdog, PLEASE VOTE

Saints of Service Written by Julie Murray

As you know, in America, people have the tendency to take things a little too far. It can be great at times, like when it reminds us of the freedoms we enjoy to do so many things.  It can also be harmful when it potentially gives something wonderful and special a bad name. Earlier this year, a woman attempted to board a 

Emotional Support, Therapy and Service Dogs

flight with her “emotional support peacock”. While I do think it’s a little bizarre, I’m not judging her attachment to her pet. Heck, I had a hermit crab for a year when I was in my 20’s and I admittedly cried when he died.  The thing I don’t like about this situation is how it may bring into question the importance of emotional support,  lowcountry dog 26

therapy and service animals. There are several differences between a service dog, an emotional support and a therapy dog. The American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines service dogs as any guide dog or signal dog who is trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability.  Training is intense and usually takes anywhere from 18-24 months.  Emotional Support Animals are companion animals that are certified by a medical professional to provide support to a person with a disability.  This can include physical disabilities, but they are incredibly helpful to someone with psychiatric or intellectual disabilities as well.  One main difference between an emotional support dog and a service dog is that the emotional support dog helps by providing affection and companionship to their owner, while a service dog is specially trained to help someone with a disability perform a task, for example, a seeing eye dog.  A service dog is often picked by breed for certain characteristics, such as intelligence and drive  lowcountry dog 26       

According to federal law, the only two places that an emotional support dog is legally allowed is a “no pets allowed” apartment and the cabin of an aircraft. while an emotional support dog does not need specialized training, and may come in all shapes, sizes and breeds. The third group, therapy dogs, have been trained, registered and insured to accompany their owners to visit patients and residents of hospitals and nursing homes to cheer up and soothe people.  Training for these types of dogs usually takes about 8 weeks.  As with emotional support dogs, they need not be a special breed, but they do require a bit more training and it is especially important for them to be well behaved.The groups are also afforded different types of accessibility.  According to federal law, the only two places that an   

emotional support dog is legally allowed is a “no pets allowed” apartment and the cabin of an aircraft. Also, you cannot just declare that your dog is your Emotional Support animal.  There are certain steps you need to take if you want the protections afforded by federal law.  First, you must have a note from a medical professional stating that you have a disability and could benefit from having an emotional support dog.  Your dog is not required to have any special training, but it helps if they are well-behaved and respond to basic commands.  They are not required to be registered, but they must have the proper documentation when searching for housing or boarding a plane.  To qualify as a service dog, you must have a condition that falls within the Americans With Disabilities Act definition.  The dog must be specifically trained to assist you with your disability.  For example, if your dog has been trained to sense an anxiety attack, they will be able to take specific action to help avoid or lessen the attack.  If the dog’s presence is merely to provide comfort in the event of         

Mike and Stitch are certified therapy dogs from Raleigh, NC. They visit the Federal Medical Center at Butner Federal Prison twice a month to help with inmates who are sick, some with terminal cancer.  Sadly, Mike has been suffering from cancer himself and passed away before this article was published.

Puppy's mama suffers from anxiety. She has to travel alone for business and at her doctor's recommendation, got Puppy certified as an ESA.

Bones was rescued from a puppy mill by Valiant Animal Rescue. His new owner had him certified as an ESA after consultation with her doctor. Follow Bones' adventures on Instagram @bones.the.toothless.dox 

such an attack, they would not qualify as a service animal. A therapy dog is, legally, still considered a pet.  They are not allowed to go just anywhere, as with a service dog.  They must have permission from the owner or manager of the facility.  As I mentioned before, they must be registered and always carry their registration papers to show shop/restaurant owners and managers that the animal is well behaved, safe around people and insured against liability.    In a nutshell, a service dogs helps the owner perform tasks they cannot perform on their own, an emotional support dog helps improve the health of their disabled owner and a therapy dog 

Maggie was adopted in Georgetown as a puppy and was trained to be a service dog for her owner. She not only helps with mental issues like PTSD, anxiety and depression but she alerts him to oncoming seizures so that he can get to a safe place. 

Charlie The Hero Dog, photo by Stacy Pearsall

What is a service animal? A. Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person's disability. works to improve the health and happiness of others.  The one thing they have in common is a very special relationship between animal and owner – they care for and rely upon each other.  Service and support dogs have a special ability to change lives for the better and provide the freedom to enjoy many activities that their owner's disability or emotional problem would otherwise deny them.  They can also spread joy to a lonely resident of a nursing home or a scared and sick hospital patient with their wagging tails and happy demeanor.  Whether it’s a blind person being able to finally live independently or a person with crippling anxiety finally being able to go out in public, dogs once again prove they are angels on Earth.  What would we do without them?  Let’s hope we never have to find out.           

Are emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals considered service animals under the ADA? A. No. These terms are used to describe animals that provide comfort just by being with a person.  Because they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task, they do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.  However, some State or local governments have laws that allow people to take emotional support animals into public places.  You may check with your State and local government agencies to find out about these laws. Does the ADA require service animals to be professionally trained? A. No. People with disabilities have the right to train the dog themselves and are not required to use a professional service dog training program.

Animal Cruelty Happens Everyday

There is one group who fights for those who have no voice...


Marjorie Hekman Occupation:

Database Coordinator at Pet Helpers, Fostered for Eunoia Rescue and Dorchester Paws,  Fundraised for Valiant Animal Rescue, Eunoia Rescue, Water's Edge Great Dane Rescue, South of the Bully and Chesterfield Animal Services.

What pets do you currently have? My fiance, Patrick, and I have seven dogs, Willow, Luna, Charlotte, Clover, Violet, Elsa and Percy.

When and how did you get involved in animal rescue? Growing up, my family always had pets. They were all rescues in one way or another, some we found, some were dogs or cats that their previous families couldn't keep.  

What is one thing you wish more people understood about animal rescue? I wish people understood that adopting adult dogs is awesome. All but two of my seven dogs came to me as adults.  They are very bonded with me and my fiance.  Adult dogs can be housebroken almost instantly, you can know their actual temperament and if you are adopting that dog out of a foster home, you can know exactly what you're getting.  lowcountry dog    32

What is your most memorable rescue story? My second dog, Luna, came into my life in an interesting way. I stopped my car because a dog was in the middle of the street.  She ran into a nearby yard so I knocked on the door and asked if that was their dog.  They said yes but immediately asked me if I wanted her.  I had just adopted Willow a few months before and I was in grad school at the time.  After the man proceeded to tell me about how she was not spayed and had almost been hit by a car a few times I scooped her up and took her home expecting to try to find a good home for her.  I named her Luna and five years later she is a total sweetheart whom I cannot imagine life without.   

What advice would you give someone who wants to help animals? Advice I would give someone who wants to help animals would be that fostering is tough but rewarding and in great need. Clearly donating any amount of money to a reputable rescue is a great way to help animals.  I think leading by example can really spread awareness about the high number of homeless pets in our area.  Show off your awesome rescue pets!  If a person is truly an animal lover, they may have never adopted before for the simple reason that they are unfamiliar with the whole idea.  

What is one thing you wish our lawmakers would change when it comes to animal laws? I would love to see our state to require dog license. I would also love for our state to require stray animals to be spayed or neutered before they can be reclaimed by their owners.  

What is it about helping animals that drives you to do what you do? I just love animals.   Marjorie does love animals.  We have seen Marjorie work tirelessly to raise funds for so many rescue groups in the Lowcountry.  She is always doing Scentsy sales, yard sales and other fundraising ideas where she donates all the money to a local group.

Carolina Coonhound Rescue Living in the Lowcountry is synonymous with certain things - sweet tea, pluff mud and hound dogs! Kelly Postell started CCR in June of 2010 after finding a very sick black and tan Coonhound puppy on Craigslist and deciding she needed to help.  This comes as no surprise, considering she has been a rescuer from way back.  “I was always the ‘animal girl’ and always finding strays and placing them in new homes...or keeping them; my parents had four dogs at one point because I kept bringing home puppies!”  She said that every time she found a dog she thought about starting a rescue and when she found that skinny, dehydrated pup in need of medical attention on Craigslist, CCR was born.  “I had no idea what I was doing and very limited experience working with rescues but luckily I found some amazing people to help along the way…”  After almost six years of rescuing, Kelly’s mission of saving animals in need continues with the amazing volunteers and foster families who have offered her their help and their homes.  Carolina Coonhound Rescue has a philosophy that every dog they meet is deserving of a bright future.  Kelly says, “Every dog is important to us and has a story.  We may not always know their backstory, but they don’t care about the past, what matters is the future.” 

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Frida Pawlo- CCR

Rojo- CCR

sponsored by

Tallulah- CCR

Holly- CCR

Hilda- CCR

Peanut- Sinbad

Lexi- Sinbad

Indigo- Sinbad

Merle- CCR

Sparkle- Sinbad

Amber- Sinbad

Janice- Sinbad

Sinbad Sadie was brought to life in 2014 by Kym Wallace. She was on the board, as well as a volunteer, for another shelter and was saddened by the plight of the overcrowded facility.  “We had been working with a group of hounds for several months that had come in through animal control as cruelty cases.” Kym said.  “One day the shelter became overcrowded and dogs were waiting outside in the animal control trucks so they pulled Sinbad and Sadie [two of the shelter residents] into the euthanasia room.  This happened many times while I was volunteering there so I decided to do something about the animals being put down, mostly due to overcrowding.”  Kym took action and spoke to a few key people who she knew had an interest in the rescue community and Sinbad Sadie Second Chance Rescue was born.   Kym says  “Thousands of adoptable companion animals are euthanized in the US every day due to lack of space available in shelters and the failure to spay and neuter.  We can make a difference in SC by networking, educating, and pushing for spay/neuter laws to ease overpopulation.”  

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Pet Helpers sponsored by:





Valiant Rescue sponsored by:





Waters Edge Great Dane Rescue sponsored by:

Thanks to our Rescue Dog Sponsors






Mary Jane Eunoia Rescue sponsored by:


TAG Gas Works

Jax Bounce




Hallie Hill sponsored by:

H.F. Help sponsored by:

Thanks to all who came out to make our Galactic Dog Festival a success. We raised much needed money for local rescues!

Photography by Southern Vintage Photography



event calendar Sniff out all events here

06/02 Puppy Shower at Dorchester Paws, 1 - 3 pm 06/07 Fit with FIdo, Freshfields Village, Benefit for Eunoia Rescue 6:30 to 7:30 pm 06/09 Biscuits and Brews, Ghost Monkey Brewery, Benefit for Pet Helpers 3 to 6 pm 06/09 Ales & Tails Brewery Poker Run, Cooper River Brewing Company, Benefit for Dorchester Paws 10:30 am to 5:30 pm 06/22 Sip and Drool in Magnolia Park, $10, 5:30 to 8:30 pm 06/23 Mimosas and Mutts for Dorchester Paws at Ms Roses 11 to 2 pm 06/24 Paws and Claws Cornhole Tournament for Pet Helpers, Patriots Point, 11 - 4pm 07/07 Coon Dog Days, Saluda, NC, Carolina Coonhood Rescue, all day 08/17-18  ROCK THE RESCUE for Dorchester Paws, Multiple Venues 09/16 LOWCOUNTRY DOG ADOPTION EVENT AT MAGNOLIA PLANTATION  1 to 4 pm

Lowcountry Dog Magazine June July 2018  

-Charlie The Hero Dog - Saints of Service - 2018 Annual Cover Contest -7 Things You Need To Know Before Bringing Home A Puppy -What do you...

Lowcountry Dog Magazine June July 2018  

-Charlie The Hero Dog - Saints of Service - 2018 Annual Cover Contest -7 Things You Need To Know Before Bringing Home A Puppy -What do you...