Issue No. 25 • OCT/NOV 2019 • DIGITAL
Meet the 2020 Lowcountry Dog Calendar Models
“Animal Cruelty and Care Act” is signed into law
Meet the Pack PUBLISHER Brian Foster firstname.lastname@example.org CHIEF CANINE OFFICER Peanut SOCIAL MEDIA & CONTENT COORDINATOR Julie Murray email@example.com COPY EDITOR Chelsea Salerno EDITORIAL COLUMNIST Alicia Williams STAFF WRITERS Izzy Selert, Intern Writer Kelly Glasson PHOTOGRAPHERS Southern Vintage Photography Stono Tides Photography Palmetto Coast Media INTERN Fern Wooden WEB DEVELOPER & CONSULTANT Laura Olsen CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Hali Selert Nicole Wilde
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 non-profits, 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.
CONTENTS COVER STORY
WIZARD OF DOGS A Celebration of 80 Years of a Classic!
PEANUT TIPS- TRIBUTE TO VIXY
SIT, STAY, BEHAVE-ARE DOG PARKS WORTH THE RISK
HEALTH AND WELLNESSDANGERS OF SWIMMING IN YOUR LOCAL POND
PEACE, LOVE & REAL TALK
MEET THE 2020 CALENDAR DOGS
ANIMAL CRUELTY AND CARE ACT
ANIMAL ADVOCATE: MICHELLE REID
GO GREEN: ADOPTABLE DOGS
Animal Cruelty & Care Act Page 26
People, Let Me Tell You About My Best Friend! A Tribute to Vixy
This issue I am going to break from my normal tips or advice, and tell you about my best friend. We start at the beginning, back in the summer of 2009, a whole decade ago, I was found at the dump on Wadmalaw Island with my 8 puppies. I was caught and taken to Pet Helpers, where on July 29th of 2009, my dad found me. At the time, he was mourning the loss of his best friend, Jasmine, who had passed away earlier that year. Well after adopting me, my dad decided to get involved in rescues and starting volunteering at the shelter. He was their adoption counselor for many years. One day a little corgi mix came into the shelter. A another dog attacked her and the cuddly pup was soon adopted by a family. A few years later, in 2015, the shelter got a call. That same dog was picked up by animal control wandering the streets. My dad went to her owners house only to discover they had moved and left her behind. Luckily my dad took her home, because the shelter was full. You see, our house has become a sort of a hostel ever since I was adopted. Bringing a stray dog home was nothing new to me, as I have helped over 100 puppies, dogs and cats over the years. We already had a full house with my sister and another foster dog.
's t u n Pea s Tip
Soon, my dad's good friend, Chelsea, adopted this lil tripod and named her Vixy. Her other dog, Tinkerbell, was already one of my friends.Â I was excited Vixy was now apart of our family. My sister, Calliope, moved away with my mom and I stayed with my dad. Our foster was also adopted, so I was an only dog for the first time in a long time. Over the next few years, Vixy would stay with us often, later becoming my best friend. Vixy and Tinkerbell are even featured on one of our MAY THE DOGS BE WITH YOU shirts. That was my idea! My dad sings this silly song saying that myself, Vixy & Tinkerbell are the 3 best friends that anyone could have. I love spending time with Vixy and Tinkerbell. Vixy loved to take naps as much as I did. Earlier this year, we found out that Vixy had cancer. She was a fighter, and we thought she could fight this fight. She did for a long time. Vixy received the best care from her vets and spent time with us as well. Her last visit was sad, because she wasn't feeling like herself. We cherish the 4 years we spent with Vixy, and all the smiles she brought to everyone she met. Vixy passed away on September 13th, and this issue is a tribute to her, my best friend! RUN FREE VIXY! lowcountry dog Â 5
Are Dog Parks Worth The Risk?
Written by Nicole Wilde
Recently, a woman took her dog to the dog park for some fun and exercise. She envisioned him frolicking with other dogs and coming home happy and tired. Instead, the poor dog came away needing surgery to save his life, along with more than 10 puncture wounds. I saw the photos; suffice it to say they were both sickening and heart-wrenching. Just a few days later, another woman posted on Facebook about an encounter at the same dog park. Her dog had been attacked, had suffered serious damage to a limb, and needed to be
rushed to the vet. The owner of the other dog refused to acknowledge that her dog had done anything wrong, and fled the scene. Fortunately, both of these dogs will recoverâ€”physically, at least. As anyone who has ever suffered a bodily assault knows, the toll goes far beyond physical injury. The extent of emotional damage to any dog who has been attacked depends on the seriousness of the attack and on the temperament of the individual dog. For some dogs this type of encounter can, understandably, result in a fear of other dogs. And as any trainer worth her salt knows, that can translate to fear-based reactivity, which most people call aggression.
Does every encounter at a dog park result in physical or emotional damage to dogs? Of course not. But you might be surprised at how many dogs are having no fun at all, despite what their owners might think. lowcountry dog 6
When I was putting together my seminar Dissecting the Dynamics of Dog-Dog Play (www.nicolewilde.com), I needed lots of video of dogs playing. One of the places I spent time at was our local dog park. I filmed hours and hours of various breeds and sizes of dogs playing together. Although I was already aware that some dogs enjoyed playing more than others and that some encounters were definitely not positive, when I reviewed the footage in slow motion, I was shocked. Sure, there were examples of safe, non-threatening play. But there was also a myriad of instances in which dogs were practically traumatized as their owners stood by, totally unaware. One example comes instantly to mind: Within seconds of a man and his medium-sized mixed breed dog entering the park, the dog was rushed by other dogs who wanted to inspect him, as is typical in any canine group. But one of the greeters clearly scared the newcomer, who then lunged and snapped. The owner gave his dog a verbal warning for that defensive action and kept walking deeper into the park. Another dog approached and this time, with his tail tucked, the dog snapped and lunged more intently. The owner grabbed him by the collar and chastised him. Over the next five minutes, the dog had four more encounters that resulted in his being punished by the owner, each time more harshly. It would have been clear to anyone versed in canine body language that the dog was afraid, and was becoming more and more reactive
"In the best of all worlds, there would be mandatory education for dog park attendees as well as a knowledgeable staff member or volunteer at every park to monitor the action and to stop dogs who are known to be aggressive from entering in the first place."
because he was on the defense. It was difficult to stand there filming, and I considered aborting to go and speak with him. Just then, a woman who was a regular there approached and struck up a conversation with the man. Thankfully, she was able to convince him that his dog was scared and to leave the park. I’m sad to say that this was far from being the only negative encounter I filmed. More importantly, this sort of thing happens daily at dog parks across the world. By now you’re probably thinking, Gee Nicole, how do you really feel? The thing is, I’ve seen the flip side as well. I’ve watched a group of ladies who meet at the park most mornings with their dogs. They’re savvy about canine body language, and although they enjoy socializing with each other as their dogs play, they constantly monitor the action. If play begins to become too heated, they create a time out by calling their dogs to them for a short break before releasing them to play again. I
In this way, they prevent arousal from escalating into aggression. The dogs all know each other and for the most part get along well. I have absolutely no problem with this type of scenario. Unfortunately, it’s far from being the norm. The typical scene at a dog park includes a random assortment of dogs whose owners range from being absolutely ignorant about dog behavior to being well informed, with most of the population falling somewhere in the middle. And why not? They’re not dog professionals, but loving owners who simply want their dogs to get some exercise and have a good time. In most cases, they’re not aware of the subtle or not-so-subtle signals that could indicate danger, or even that dangers exist. Comments like, “Ah, they’re dogs, they’ll work it out,” and “Oh, he’s fine” abound. It’s strange if you think about it: if you were the parent of a young child, would you send him in blindly to play with a group of kids that possibly included bullies and criminals? Wouldn’t you at the very least stand there and observe the play for a few minutes before allowing him to join the fray? If you did allow the child to participate, would you not keep an eye on him and leave if you felt there was a potential threat? And yet, at the dog park, the majority of owners never do those things. In the best of all worlds, there would be mandatory education for dog park attendees as well as a knowledgeable staff member or volunteer at every park to monitor the action and to stop dogs who
are known to be aggressive from entering in the first place. Perhaps a membership model would make this possible. Unfortunately, that is not the reality in most places. And so, it falls to we owners to be advocates and protectors for our dogs. That means if you absolutely insist on taking your dog to a dog park, that you scan the environment before entering, that you monitor your dog’s play even while chatting with other owners, and that you intervene even to the point of leaving if necessary when you feel something is not right, even if that means facing social ostracism. Personally, I prefer play dates with known quantities rather than a park full of potential aggressors who might do serious physical or emotional damage to my dogs. If I do take mine into the dog park to run around, it’s during off hours when the park is empty. You might find this over the top or even paranoid. That’s okay. If you heard all of the stories I’ve heard over the years and seen all of the damage I’ve seen, you might think twice about whether dog parks are worth the risk. ©2017 Nicole Wilde. Nicole Wilde is an award-winning author and canine behavior specialist. You can find her books, seminar DVDs, and blog at www.nicolewilde.com.
Written by Kelly Glasson, Staff Writer
Emergency Preparedness & your Pet
dangers of swimming in your local pond
During the summer months in Charleston when the heat is brutal and the humidity is at an all time high, cooling off in the water is a necessity. It is also important for our dogs to keep cool and is very helpful in lowering their body temperature. But what happens when what you think is helpful to your dog actually becomes harmful and potentially fatal? Melissa Martin, a resident in Wilmington, North Carolina suspected nothing when taking her 3 dogs to swim in a local pond. What she didn’t realize was this swim was about to become fatal. In an emotional Facebook post shared by Martin to warn other dogs owners about this bluegreen algae after losing all 3 of her dogs to lowcountry dog 10
it, she explained that her dogs started having seizures. Upon bringing them to the emergency veterinarian, she discovered their livers had shut down, leaving her with nothing she could do. Deaths in dogs have been reported due to this algae in North Carolina, Texas, & Georgia. Swimming bans have been placed in multiple locations across the country throughout this past summer due to this harmful algae. “The toxins produced by blue-green algae is potentially fatal to dogs,” says Dr. Sarah Graham, an emergency veterinarian at Veterinary Specialty Care. “Pets may be exposed by swallowing contaminated water while swimming, licking the toxin off of their fur, or contact with their skin.”
This string of blue-green algae are considered a cyanobacteria, which “Pets may be exposed according to the South Carolina by swallowing Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) are, “tiny plant-like contaminated water organisms that, under the right conditions, while swimming, can overgrow in rivers, lakes, and oceans. This rapid growth is called an algal bloom licking the toxin off of and can be associated with foam, scum, or thick layers of algae on the surface of their fur, or contact water.” When there are harmful toxins with their skin.” located in the algal bloom that cause harm to humans or animals, these are then classified as Harmful Algal Blooms or antidote, prevention is extremely HABs. Martin described the water as important,”said Dr. Graham. As stated by looking less than harmful on the day her the SCDEHC, the only known outbreak of an fun trip with her dogs turned tragic. While HAB currently in the state of South Carolina this string of algae is called blue-green, is at Lake Wateree, a 19 mile reservoir there may not be clear signs that cause located in Kershaw, Fairfield, and Lancaster dog owner’s to question their pet’s safety. counties. “Algal blooms can look and smell bad and The best ways to avoid encounters with this may cause the water to appear green, red, deadly algae is to research the area that you brown, or blue in color; however, algal are letting your pet swim in before you go, blooms can't always be seen,” stated by scanning the water for any suspicious algae growing at the surface, smell for any foul the SCDHEC. The Centers for Disease Control & odors coming off of the water, and most Prevention, whose motto “when in doubt, importantly bring water with you on all best to stay out”, compiled a list of walks, so that your dog isn’t tempted to symptoms of this algae poisoning which drink from other water sources. “It is include (but are not limited to) nausea, definitely something that is important for excessive drooling, diarrhea, foaming at veterinarians to educate pet owners about,” the mouth, jaundice, blood in urine, loss of said Graham. “Swimming is a great way for appetite and more. If your dog is exhibiting dogs in the lowcountry to exercise and cool any of these signs after swimming in a off during the hot summer months, but it is pond, lake, ocean or river contact your important to know the potential physical emergency vet immediately. “Harmful signs of harmful algal blooms.” algae is life-threatening and without an
"The best ways to avoid encounters with this deadly algae is to research the area that you are letting your pet swim in before you go, scanning the water for any suspicious algae growing at the surface, smell for any foul odors coming off of the water, and most importantly bring water with you on all walks so that your dog isnâ€™t tempted to drink from other water sources."
the fine line You learn a lot being in rescue. You learn about vetting, training, behavior traits, different breeds, and so on. However, no one really teaches you about the fine line. There are so many fine lines within rescue – and it can sometimes lead to complete agony for the rescuer. One of the most difficult boundaries for me is “is this dog too aggressive to be adopted out?” Is training worth it? If training is involved, this means the rescue will have to find an adopter that will keep up with the training. If the new adopter fails to keep up with the training, could this dog potentially hurt another animal? lowcountry dog 14
Or even worse, could it end up hurting a child? A dog can be completely loving to its caretaker, but vicious to those that aren’t. So what do we do in that case? Do we limit what the dog can do? Are these limitations fair? We try to do the most ethical thing in situations like this, but knowing which choice is the best can be so difficult. Another crossroad is when a dog is sick. In some cases, yes, the answer is easy to see. If they’re suffering and need to cross over, we will definitely ease the way. But what if they have good days and bad days? What if the dog is in pain for the moment, but a
procedure could help them overcome their illness? Is it logical to spend thousands of dollars on one dog to survive when so many other healthy dogs could be saved with that money? What if you decide that you want to do everything possible to save a dog’s life and it still passes away…and then you’re still stuck with the bill at the end. What then? Are we foolish for continuing to fight or are we honorable because we gave it our all? Then there is also the battle of finding and approving an adopter for a dog; where things that make one “judgmental” come into play. Half of our job is to make sure we find the best adopter for our dogs. So we have to look at their finances, their work hours, their home, and their mannerisms. Some adopters are low-income, but amazing dog owners. Some people are part of the 1%, but neglectful. What happens when the adopter seems great but returns a dog? Do you give the adopter another chance with a different dog? Do you add them to the “not allowed to adopt” list? What if they’re truly good people and it just wasn’t a match?
"What if you decide that you want to do everything possible to save a dog’s life and it still passes away…and then you’re still stuck with the bill at the end. What then?"
What if you don’t give a person another chance and they decide to. bad mouth the organization to others? Will you explain the situation to others or simply state, “I know what’s best?” When will a rescuer ever stop second guessing themselves? We won’t. Not until the shelters are shut down. Not until dogs aren’t overpopulated. Not until we stop the breeding. We’re tired - and on top of being tired, we have to live with the decision that we make. We are in a constant battle within ourselves. It’s heartbreak and happiness. It’s bitter, yet sweet. It’s the fine line of rescue.
About the Cover
On August 25, 1939, the world was introduced to Dorothy and Toto and the Wonderful World of Oz on the big screen. The story of the girl from Kansas began in the books of L. Frank Baum in 1900. The movie is characterized by its use of Technicolor which we used asÂ inspiration for this cover featuring the main cast of dogs, Turn the page to enter the World of Oz as told by some dog friends as we celebrate 80 years of cinema greatness!
2019 is the 80th Anniversary of the beloved classic, The Wizard of Oz, and Lowcountry Dog Magazine invites you to join us on a trip back in time with Dorothy and Toto.
Photography by Southern Vintage Photography Styling by Stono Tides Photography Written by Fern Wooden
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As we leave Kansas and travel to the Land of Oz, some furry friends will help guide the way on this trip down memory lane. While Dorothy and Toto overlook their darling farm, she dreams of a place somewhere over the rainbow. The look on Totoâ€™s face means trouble is coming and a storm is a brewing, a powerful twister rips the pair from their Kansas farm.
â€œOh Toto, Where are we?â€? she howls in distress, not realizing she has fallen on the Wicked Witch of the East. The angry sister, The Wicked Witch of the West, appears from thin air. Dorothy has nothing to fear, because Glinda the Good Witch provides protection in the form of a new fashion accessory. Her nimble paws now replaced with dazzling ruby red slippers, signal to all in Munchkinland, The witch is officially dead!
Dorothy and Toto know they must return home and Glinda sends them on their way down the infamous yellow brick road. They set off to see the wonderful Wizard of Oz, only he can send them back where they belong. Along the way they make some friends, a puzzled scarecrow, a cowardly lion, and a heartless tin man. They too bark with joy as they head to Emerald City in search of a brain, courage, and a heart.
But oh no, whatâ€™s this? What is that sound in the air? They are not friends, but are foe sent by The Wicked Witch of the West to get her pretty, Dorothy, and her little dog too! The friends band together and save Dorothy and Toto and continue to make their way to Oz, not realizing they each had what they were looking for all along.
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Mr Ears as Dorothy Gale Molly as Toto
Kevin as Scarecrow
CZABIN as Tinman
Peanut as cowardly Lion
Buttercup as A Flying Monkey FINNEGAN as A Flying Monkey
Meet the 2020 Lowcountry Dog Calendar Models
lowcountry dog 26
Animal Cruelty and Care Act
Written by Hali Selert, Vice President of Eunoia Rescue On August 8, 2019 Governor Henry McMaster held a press conference to publicly sign in an animal welfare law, which he called “a great step forward.” While it is great that the South Carolina legislature has recognized that the animals of our state need protection, should we applaud this move and move on with our lives, or should we use it as a springboard to demand further protections for the voiceless members of our communities? The answer is that we must be louder in our efforts, and not back down because the government has thrown us a bone. The law, Senate Bill 105, or the “Animal Cruelty and Care Act” was initially passed in May, 2019, and became effective immediately. S.105 is broad and touches on a lot of the major points animal advocates have been calling for. I have an interesting perspective when reading the bill, as I am a recent graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law, and I am also the Vice President of Eunoia Rescue. lowcountry dog 26
From a rescue perspective, I view the provisions regarding spaying and neutering one of the most important. One of the cornerstones of rescue organizations is preventing unwanted animals from entering the world, and the only way to prevent unwanted litters is simple: sterilization. Section 8 of the new law requires that a shelter or rescue organization have an animal sterilized before allowing the animal to leave their care. The alternative allows for the organization to have a written agreement with the adopter guaranteeing the animal will be sterilized within a specified period. Although this provision is nothing earth shattering or groundbreaking, and most shelters and rescues have had similar provisions already in place, what is important is that the law now specifies that the cost of the sterilization is on the person adopting, and that there are legally enforceable penalties for failure to comply. In the event an adopter fails to uphold their end of the contract, the shelter or rescue may demand the animal be returned, and also that the adopter pay $200. Despite some public perception, shelters and
rescues are not made of money, and most have to consult outside veterinarians for basic vetting, such as spay and neuter surgeries. This mandated $200 is a significant step in the right direction not only in terms of funding to the agencies, but also in holding adopters accountable for their actions in a real way. The other aspect of the law that I find the most helpful would be the provision regarding the reimbursement to organizations when caring for animals that have been seized after their owners have been arrested on charges relating to animal cruelty. Shelters often go on “code red” (i.e. any animal may be killed at any moment to create space) because of the burden animals on court holds pose. These animals not only take up a vast majority of much needed space (see the 42 dogs held in York County following a fighting ring bust, holding up over half of their 70 something kennels) but also place a significant financial strain on the already underfunded shelters. It is required that the animals seized in these situations must be held while the defendant’s case is ongoing. This means dogs and puppies are kept in the shelters for an indefinite amount of time. It means that the shelters must pay to feed and house these animals for an indefinite amount of time. It also means that the shelters must pay to treat these animals for any illnesses for an indefinite amount of time. When speaking with Michelle Reid from Valiant Animal Rescue about this specific part of the law, she said “this is
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Gov McMaster receiving some love from Ruby after signing the Animal Cruelty & Care Act Photo by Dede Biles
absolutely what needs to happen.” And added that in her work, one large-scale case can set the nonprofit back upwards of $50,000. She said that in years past, when seeking restitution for those cases, “we tend to only see tiny fractions of that lump sum owed and it takes years” to get the money. She’s hopeful that the new laws will protect the animals, but expressed that enforcement of the laws will really determine their efficacy. S. 105 mandates that a shelter or rescue organization that is awarded custody of seized animals may petition the court for reimbursement for these costs. If the defendant is found guilty, the court may require they pay the fees, and if found not guilty, the county or municipality may reimburse the shelters.
As much as I would like to celebrate this advancement in South Carolina’s animal welfare laws, the legal side of my brain kicks in and asks “so what?” There are plenty of laws on the books that appear great on the surface, but does that mean they are actually upheld? Does that mean that the laws will be implemented efficiently and across the board? Is this just a band-aid on a broken system that is not properly set up to help the state’s animals? As a rescue, if an adopter failed to uphold their end of our spay/neuter agreement, could I successfully raise the issue in court and know with utter confidence we would get our animal back, and the now mandated $200? Is it really that revolutionary that a shelter can ask the court to hold someone accountable? The bill seemingly touches on these suspicions as well, as it includes provisions regarding training for judges. The law requires that magistrate and municipal court judges receive at least two hours of training on issues concerning animal cruelty every four years. Although I do applaud those who advocated so fiercely for this law to be passed, I must say I expect, and demand, more. Governor McMaster himself said there is “still a lot of work to be done” when it comes to the rights and welfare of animals in our state, and I must say I wholeheartedly agree. The initial version of the bill included a provision that would have set guidelines for the tethering of animals, but unfortunately this provision was dropped before the final bill was passed.
If we want to show how great South Carolina is in protecting our animals, why not pack as much punch as we can into this law? Why stop short of doing everything we can to make a real impact?Areas in our state like York County are setting an example of what we should all be doing— turning the volume UP in our advocacy efforts. Following the passage of S. 105, York passed an ordinance regarding tethering. Similar efforts have been happening in areas such as Myrtle Beach and Spartanburg. Looking forward, I am hopeful South Carolina will continue the momentum in regards to animal welfare laws. Kelsey Gilmore-Futeral, with the Humane Society of the United States told me that
she anticipates working with South Carolina’s lawmakers on anti-tethering laws, as well as a commercial breeder bill at the state level. She noted “I would love to see local communities start to work on pet store sale bans to stop the sale of dogs raised in puppy mills from storefronts.” I agree with her, and hope activists across the state demand more for animals, in every situation. While we should be proud of our state for beginning address the rights of the animals in our state, we must not stop here, we must demand more. To find out how you can get involved to advocate for the animals of South Carolina, reach out to your local shelter or rescue, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This issue’s Animal Advocate is Michelle Reid. Michelle is an Animal Forensic Specialist and Cruelty Consultant and also the director of a Valiant Animal Rescue + Relief. She has assisted authorities with some of the largest animal cruelty cases in the state by gathering evidence of abuse and holding the offenders responsible for their heinous actions against creatures great and small. As a child, Michelle was the kid who would bring home all of the animals she found who were hurt and try to fix them. She said, “My mom still talks about the time I was 4 years old and we were at a big family gathering having a cookout and I reached down and picked up a baby copperhead with a hurt tail. Everyone was telling me to drop it and I refused to because it was hurt and I wanted to help it.” According to her long-suffering mother, this is only one of the many, many times that Michelle would almost give her a heart attack by fearlessly rescuing a wounded animal. Currently, Michelle has three dogs of her own - a mastiff named Diego, a German Shepherd mix named Brewster and a chihuahua named Doozer. (You can find Diego in the 2019 LCDM calendar, giving his lowcountry dog 32
Michelle Reid Animal Forensic Specialist
Written by Julie Murray
best Blue Steel pose!) All of her animals are rescues from various cruelty cases she was a part of at one time or another. Michelle told me that each one just kind of popped up at one point in her life, came home with her and never left. “I wasn’t looking for a personal dog as I stay pretty busy but these dogs were victims of various [human] cruelty and they all had quirks or something that made them more difficult to adopt out.” They were either so scared that no one could touch them or labeled as “aggressive”, but
now they live their lives with her, secure in the knowledge that she will never let anyone hurt them again. One of the most memorable cases of Michelle’s career was a tragedy referred to as the “Goose Creek 45”. The rescue and resulting cruelty case was the result of a long term investigation by Valiant. Michelle worked alongside the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office and removed 45 emaciated hound dogs from the offender’s property in Goose Creek. Investigators also discovered the remains of hundreds more dogs scattered around the property. Due in large part to Michelle’s efforts, Loney Garrett was charged with 43 felony counts of animal cruelty and was sentenced to five years in prison (suspended to two years), five years of probation and a no-animal order. This was a historic sentence for South Carolina and brought light to the plight of abused and neglected animals and the need for stronger animal welfare legislation. I asked Michelle what advice she would give to someone who was looking to help out in the fight against animal cruelty. “Volunteer, foster, donate, advocate for spaying and neutering...if done correctly [animal rescue] really is hard work but also very rewarding.” One of the toughest parts of this type of work, for Michelle, is seeing the anti-cruelty laws not being enforced appropriately or on a regular basis. Let your lawmakers know that preventing and punishing cruelty towards animals is an important issue and make your voice heard when it comes to their ethical treatment. Michelle said that she would also love to see more oversight in .
the animal industry, whether it’s shelters, breeders, exhibitors, zoos, rescues or sanctuaries. As an animal advocate, Michelle has a very strong belief that animals deserve respect and should not be mistreated. “They possess the same traits as humans. They feel pain just like us, they fear just like us and they have the will to try and survive. I see the horrible things people are capable of doing to innocent creatures. Creatures that can’t defend themselves. I give them a voice and pursue holding cruelty offenders accountable.” Her overall mission is to stop the cycle of cruelty in its tracks so that it doesn’t escalate into other types of violent crimes. If you would like to read more about Valiant and learn how to help Michelle in her mission of ending cruelty against animals, please visit valiantanimalrescue.org and join the fight! There is always room for more love. Click here to learn more about Michelle & Valiant Animal Rescue
Carolina Boxer Rescue
Berkeley Animal Center
sniff us out
Animal Lovers of Edisto
Water Edge Great Dane sponsored by: Hallie Hill Animal Sanctuary sponsored by lowcountry dogÂ 40
Tuck Bullies 2 The Rescue sponsored by:
Carolina Coonhound sponsored by: Phoenix Rising Border Collie Rescue sponsored by:
Tucker Cocoa HF Help sponsored by: TAG Gas Works
EVENTS Sniff out all events here
10/3 Yappy Hour at Smoky Oak Taproom 5 to 8 pm 10/12 Lowcountry Paws and Claws Pet Expo at North Charleston Convention Center, 10 to 3 pm
DOGTOBERFEST Freshfields Village 1 to 5 pm
10/12 Meet the Greyhounds at Frothy Beard Brewery, 12 to 3 pm 10/12 Bella's Howl O Ween Bash at Ghost Monkey Brewery, 5 to 8 pm 10/26 Dogtoberfest at Freshfields Village, 1 to 5 pm 10/26 FURBALL; The Great Catsby at Charleston Marriott, 6 to 11 pm
Nov 2 3 to 6 pm
11/2 Lowcountry Dog's DIA DE LOS PERROS Festival at Tattooed Moose Johns Island, 3 to 6 pm 11/9 ROCKABILLAQUE at Park Circle, Benefit for Valiant Animal Rescue, 11 to 6 pm 12/7 Touch A Truck Expo at Palmetto Islands County Park, 9 am to 3 pm
Jan 18 1 to 4 pm
Don't Suffer from FOMDE! (fear of missing dog events)