Carolina Tails Mag - 2015 Summer Edition Q3

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TAILS #IamCaitlyn Meet the dog who shined a spotlight on animal cruelty around the world.

SUMMER 2015 A Charleston Animal Society Publication








Publisher: Keith Simmons Editor-in-Chief: Dan Krosse Managing Editor: Joe Elmore Graphic Design: Heineman Design Copy Editors:Teri Errico, Jamie Healy Writers: Ellie Whitcomb Payne, Teri Errico, Dan Krosse, Claire Roberson, Deirdre C. Mays, Helen Ravenel Hammond, Anna Vecchione Photographers: Jason Bennett, Reese Moore, Michael Mulligan, Brian Stiles, Marie Rodriguez, Dan Krosse, Ellie Whitcomb Payne Cover Photo: Jason Bennett Distribution Manager: Denise Fletcher Contributor: Kay Hyman For inquiries regarding advertising, distribution or suggestions in Carolina Tails call (843) 352-9048 or

2455 Remount Road, North Charleston, SC 29406 (843) 747-4849

President: Elizabeth Bradham Vice President: Julie Bresnan Vice President: Ann Long Merck Vice President: Matt Watson, CPA, CVA Secretary: Perry Jameson, DVM Treasurer: Hilton Smith, III

Members of the Board Kiara Barnett Mary Black Joe Waring, Esq. Sarah Hamlin Hastings Cynthia Hayes Andrea Ferguson Helen Pratt-Thomas Eugenia Burtschy Nancy Worsham Britton M. Hawk, Esq. Gerri Greenwood Dean Riegel Hal Creel, Esq.

John Cawley Johnny Maybank Tara Gerardi Bob Rife Elliott Summey Jeff Webster Meg Phillips Ellen Harley Aussie Geer Tami Zerbst Hank Greer Laurel Greer

Chief Executive Officer: Joe Elmore Media & Marketing Consultant: dpk media solutions

Please contact regarding Carolina Tails distribution, advertising or suggestions. For all other inquiries, please contact Charleston Animal Society. (843) 352-9048 Carolina Tails is published quarterly by Traveler Communications Group, an independent publishing company. PO Box 22677, Charleston, SC 29413 (843 352-9048). Carolina Tails is a registered trademark of Traveler Communications Group. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the express written permission of the publisher is prohibited.


Contents SUMMER 2015




Pet Pointers


I Am Caitlyn A Cruelty Case that Gripped the World


When Pets Go Viral


Pet Food Field Guide Helping You Read Those Labels!


Dogs Playing for Life


CAS is AAHA Certified


In The News: Animals with Character


Pet Heroes: Jake & the Firefighter


This Summer’s Hottest Photo Shoot


Cats at the Firehouse


Solving Cat-itude Problems


To Shave or Not to Shave


Take Me Home


Through Your Lens: Dogs & Boating


Wildlife is Everybody’s Pet


Kid’s Zone







ne of the wonderful things about living in the Charleston area is that we have a climate conducive to exercising outdoors all year round and a beautiful environment in which to do so. And one of the great things about being a dog guardian is that I always have someone who wants to go on a walk with me, absolutely anywhere and anytime. My threesome pictured here - Eugenie, Henry and Hannah - are my walking and hiking buddies, 24/7 and 365 days a year. Since many of us use the spring and summer months to ramp up our exercise routine and eat in a more healthful manner, we need to focus on the same for our pets. As our knowledge of our own nutrition has progressed, so has our knowledge of pet nutrition, and one of our feature articles in this issue will help you keep your pet in the best shape possible, and for as long as possible. Our summer issue has some invaluable information for taking care of your pet in hot and humid conditions, whether at home or on a car trip. And as we approach the dreaded hurricane season, it is also important to know how to take care of your pet in an evacuation. Finally, but most importantly, I would like to talk about our cover story, Caitlyn. The deliberate nature of the cruelty inflicted upon Caitlyn is painful and difficult to consider. Even more distressingly, Caitlyn is not the only dog in need. She represents every abused and abandoned dog, the plight of way too many animals in our community, our state and the world. Charleston Animal Society was founded to take care of every “Caitlyn” - it is why we are here, it is our mission in life and it is the defining guide star of our lives.

Photography: Reese Moore

With much appreciation for all of your care and concern for Caitlyn,

PS. Please visit our campus to see our new play yards for our dogs in residence. These new play yards have made a world of difference as they have allowed “our dogs to be dogs,” by getting some great exercise and socialization during the day. They have also made our staff and board extremely happy to see our dogs romping around with each other and having a good time as they await a permanent home with one of you! Elizabeth Bradham, President, Charleston Animal Society



NEWS:: You Can Use




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Heat is Summer’s #1 Danger As the temperatures heat up, so do the risks of injuries for your pets. Dr. Brian King of Pet Vet Animal Hospital says that the risk of heat stroke is the number one issue that pet owners need to be aware of. “It takes less than five minutes for a car to get well over 100 degrees,” he warns, “There is no safe amount of time for a pet to be left in the car.”

Remember that dogs can’t sweat and the only way they can release heat is by panting. Health experts warn that just being outside can cause danger in the summer months. Dr. Margaret Morris, Associate Director of Public Health at Charleston Animal Society says, “We see heat stroke in cats and dogs from not only being left in cars but also left in the hot sun.” Certain dog breeds are also more prone to heat stroke. Dogs with shorter noses, such as the English Bulldog, Pug and Boxer do not have the ability to cool themselves well. Other dogs that are at a greater risk are those more equipped for cold weather such as Huskies, Malamutes, Saint Bernards, Great Pyrenees and Chows, just to name a few. If your dog has a thick under coat and is designed to handle freezing temperatures, the hot humid weather may be too much for them. April Lacson, a licensed vet technician with Tidewater Veterinary says, “During the summer months, it is best to exercise your dog first thing in the morning or in the evening after the temperature has dropped.” Always remember to have plenty of fresh water available for all of your pets.

2015 HURRICANE PREDICTIONS 6-11 Named Storms • 3-6 Hurricanes • 0-2 Major Hurricanes

Kia Country Leading the Way Sponsorship is a key to the Charleston Firefighter Calendar’s success. Leading the way, our 2016 Title Sponsor, Kia Country of Charleston has embarked on a year-long effort to support not only the calendar but all Charleston Animal Society initiatives. The dealership sponsored My Furry Valentine, and a Spay and Neuter event earlier this year; and they will host Bark and Boo on Halloween and a Firefighter Calendar signing later this year. In addition, the dealership is using its newsletter, blog, website, social media channels and radio advertising support the organization. “As a company of passionate pet owners, our hearts go out to every animal that is homeless or in trouble. We can’t stand to see animals in distress and most of our employees have adopted pets for just that reason. We are constantly in awe at the lengths Charleston Animal Society goes to in order to save an injured or abused animal; their No Kill Charleston initiative; and the extraordinary care they provide to over 90% of the injured, abused and abandoned animals in our community. We appreciate the opportunity to align ourselves with an organization that has the same passion for excellence as we do.” said Steve Appelbaum, General Manager.

“Having community partners like Kia, who understand that families include our pets, is a win-win for animals across the Lowcountry,” said Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore. Giving back to the community is important and Kia Country has supported numerous organizations over the years, but none has resonated with the entire staff as much as this sponsorship. The team has enthusiastically embraced becoming animal rights advocates. They have posed with their rescue pets to create a Pets and Car Safety insert for animal adoption packets, led pet food drives and used their personal social media channels to promote animal welfare issues and Charleston Animal Society. They are eagerly awaiting the debut of the 2016 Firefighter Calendar and upcoming events. “We are pleased to join forces with Charleston Animal Society and Charleston Firefighters to help save animal lives,” Appelbaum added. See page 28 for a behind-the-scenes look at the Charleston Firefighter Calendar. Kia Country of Charleston has been providing automotive sales and service excellence to the Greater Charleston community since 2003. It has been rated the #1 Dealer in the Carolinas for three consecutive years, is a four time Kia Motors President’s Club Award Winner and is Kia Dealer Excellence certified.

Pot for Pets “Just Say No!” The great national pot debate has entered the animal care world. Some animal owners are giving their pets hemp-based capsules, biscuits and edibles containing CBD, the non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in marijuana, but not everyone agrees on the treatment’s safety. The marijuana extract in these edibles is used to treat pain, inflammation and seizures. However, the FDA has not yet approved using it for pets and does not recommend it. Though there have been cases of effectiveness, there is still controversy regarding the legality and safety of allowing these capsules and edibles to be consumed by pets. Despite the warnings, pot for pets is a growing industry and can even be found on the shelves of some pet supply stores across the country. This new product raises a big concern with veterinarians around the country who have seen a spike in animals brought in with marijuana poisoning. This year, a survey was conducted by Pets Best Pet Insurance of U.S. veterinarians, which identified pot as the third-most common toxin that vets treat. Marijuana, if consumed by animals, is lethal. Pets do not metabolize marijuana the same as humans and their bodies are much smaller. This can cause lethargy and confusion in pets and can cause trouble breathing when high. Another concern is pot causing a pet to vomit while immobile, resulting in choking and possible death. “It would be very easy for a pet owner to cause his or her pet serious harm (or even death) by using these products,” said Dr. Lucy Fuller, DVM, Charleston Animal Society’s Senior Director of Veterinary Care, “While the future of medical marijuana is promising for both humans and pets, it is extremely dangerous for pet owners to attempt to medicate their beloved friends without a prescription. “

New Dog Play Yard Greets Visitors The Charleston Animal Society animal care campus has a brand new focal point. As visitors drive in, they will be greeted by dogs playing, climbing boulders and splashing through a specially designed doggy fountain, all inside the brand new animal behavior and play park sponsored by the Post and Courier Foundation. “Research shows that the more these dogs socialize together and play together – their chances of being adopted skyrocket,” said Charleston Animal Society Chief Executive Officer Joe Elmore. The new park is park is the centerpiece of a much bigger life-saving strategy called Dogs Playing for Life that Charleston Animal Society is actively pursuing (see pg. 18). Most shelters take their animals out once or twice a day individually for walks or to play alone in small runs. But with the Dogs Playing for Life program, dogs play in groups and learn behavior, socialization, get exercise and just have a whole lot of fun. “This is much more than a ‘play yard,’” Elmore said, “this is about saving lives and we are so grateful for the generosity of the Post and Courier Foundation that helped make this happen for our community’s homeless animals.” Running the playgroups isn’t as easy as it may sound. Charleston Animal Society’s behavior team has received special training on how to manage large groups of dogs – including many who are being properly socialized for the very first time. Volunteers are also involved in the program, by helping to bring the dogs back and forth to the play park. “We think when people come see these dogs playing, they are going to fall in love with them so fast, because watching them play brings a smile to everyone’s face,” said Charleston Animal Society Adoptions Coordinator Courtney Gumienny.

HEY, WHAT'S THAT FIN OUT THERE? Most dangerous stretch of the North and South Carolina coastline when it comes to shark bites runs from Sullivan's Island to Folly Beach.

Source: University of West Florida Shark Research Institute.



Inbox:: Reader Feedback

DEAR CAROLINA TAILS: “Thank you for the eye-opening report on how horses in South Carolina are doing. As a state, we all need to do more to help protect these magnificent creatures from neglect.” – Paula, Ravenel “Amen for the ER docs who do such amazing work. I don’t know how they do it, but I sure am glad they’re there.” – Alice, Charleston “I really like Carolina Tails, but I wish you would do some features on specific breeds of dogs and cats. Maybe highlight one each magazine? Just a thought.” – Brendan, Ladson EDITORS NOTE: We want to apologize to Haley Nichols for incorrectly identifying her in an article we did on fostering. She is a wonderful young girl, who not only fosters animals but also helps Charleston Animal Society in many other ways. Thank you Haley!

Event Calendar

Shrimp & Grits Charleston SEPTEMBER 19 5pm – 9pm Joe Riley Ballpark Charleston, SC This year’s Shrimp & Grits Chefs’ Competition will feature 20 top Chefs from Downtown Charleston and Mount Pleasant. Not only will you help these great restaurants and chefs raise money for Charleston Animal Society, you will get to savor 20 different, delicious versions of Shrimp & Grits. You decide the winner, while you enjoy music, drinks and interesting vendors.

Yappy Hours JULY 9, AUG. 6 & SEP. 17 4pm – 8pm James Island County Park James Island, SC Come join Charleston Animal Society and reward yourself and your pooch after a long day at the office! Bring your favorite furry friend to enjoy live music and beverages at Yappy Hour at the James Island County Dog Park. The Yappy Hour series promises great music and fun! $1 per person park admission (or free for Gold Pass Members). Beverages available for purchase on-site. Outside food, alcohol, and coolers are prohibited.


Firefighter Calendar Debut Party OCTOBER 1 VIP 6pm, Doors open 7pm, Show 8pm Memminger Auditorium Charleston, SC Named Charleston’s Best Party by readers of the Charleston City Paper, get ready for the heat when the 2016 Charleston Firefighter Calendar models take to the runway at Memminger Auditorium on October 1. Tickets always go fast, so be sure to get yours early at


for Animals



by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.





by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.

by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.





by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal's own kind.

by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

#IamCaitlyn With so many animals abused and neglected each year, why did this dog’s story capture the world’s attention??









he is the dog who broke the Internet. It began with that photo of her muzzle wrapped so tightly in electrical tape that it distorted her face and turned her tongue black. But somehow, Caitlyn’s spirit showed through the terrified look in her eyes—gripping the heart of anyone who could bear to look. On Charleston Animal Society’s Facebook page, millions of people followed every detail of her story, posting well-wishes and prayers: “Donna Everett Hand We are praying very hard for you sweet angel. May God surround you with his loving arms and protect you. I'm in love with you already!!!!” Sympathy soon turned to outrage, from the U.S. to Europe, at the thought of anyone doing such a thing to any animal. Stories running in the UK Daily Mail, on Buzzfeed, ABC World News Tonight, CNN and The Christian Science Monitor, fueled a worldwide media frenzy. Charleston’s Post and Courier and the three local TV affiliates saw record-breaking traffic to their websites. Several Facebook updates from Charleston Animal Society reached more than 7-million people. And when people posted, they started adding pictures of their own pets, sending a collective energy, unlike anything the rescue world had seen before. “This was the biggest groundswell in 22 years,” said Charleston Animal Society Director of Community Engagement Kay Hyman, “I think Caitlyn will have real impact. The reason we keep her message alive is that every dog that comes through a shelter is just like Caitlyn.” The hashtag #IamCaitlyn went viral just two days into the story. Hyman said the power of social media has been amazing. By sheer coincidence, Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce) came out with an iconic Vanity Fair cover just after the Caitlyn abuse story broke. As big of a story as a former Olympian Gold Medalist changing sexes would be – Caitlyn the dog’s impact on people was bigger. “What is truly heartbreaking is that Caitlyn is so sweet, that I know beyond a doubt, she sat there wagging her tail, as whoever did this to her wrapped that tape around her muzzle,” said Kelli Klein, DVM. Klein, along with Henri Bianucci, DVM at Veterinary Specialty Care, employed the medical strategy that saved Caitlyn’s life after she was transferred there from Charleston Animal Society. Both veterinarians shake their heads at why Caitlyn was ever victimized to begin with. Two days after Memorial Day, Caitlyn was found wandering in the Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood with her muzzle wrapped in electrical tape and her tongue sticking out, blackened from a lack of blood-flow, prompting a concerned citizen to call 911. North Charleston Animal Control called in Charleston Animal Society’s Director of Anti-Cruelty and Outreach, Aldwin Roman, who wasn’t prepared for what he saw. “Taping a dog’s muzzle cuts away its ability to interact with the world. It was much more horrific than I thought it would be,” Roman said. Cognizant of the worldwide media spotlight they were under, the medical team at Veterinary Specialty Care launched a treatment plan for Caitlyn. Dr. Bianucci tells Carolina Tails that it was important to be conservative at first because of all the swelling. The main concerns were not yet knowing how much of her tongue Caitlyn would have to lose, and if she could survive without her entire tongue. “A dog can lose up to half of his or her tongue and still be functional, but it would by no means be an easy life,” said Dr. Bianucci.

Early treatments included hyperbaric oxygen that placed Caitlyn inside a chamber and flooded her with intense levels of oxygen to promote healing. She also received laser treatments to deal with dead tissue along her tongue and lips. Four days into the treatment regimen, doctors saw the swelling go down, and just as importantly, some of her tissue was coming back to life. “In the end, we only had to remove about 5 millimeters of her tongue,” said Dr. Klein. Surgery to repair her lip and cheek was the final step. “There was a tear that would have made it impossible for Caitlyn to eat,” said Dr. Bianucci. Caitlyn’s medical bill would be paid for by Toby’s Fund, Charleston Animal Society’s medical fund. Veterinary Specialty Care donated all services, reducing its charges to only the cost of supplies, through a cooperative program with Charleston Animal Society. Donations came in from around the world to help. Even the cast of Southern Charm took part in a fundraiser organized by Republic Garden and Lounge in Charleston. It was just one of dozens of efforts to help homeless animals like Caitlyn who need medical treatment to survive. As she recovered, Caitlyn’s every move was recorded by a live webcam placed in her room by the Post and Courier. “Every detail fed and fed and fed the story,” said Digital Editor Laura Gaton, “so we thought a webcam would help quench people’s desire for information.” The webcam received 150,000 views each day.

WHY CAITLYN? With so many animals victimized by abuse and neglect each year, we couldn’t help but wonder why this dog, Caitlyn, raised so much awareness about animal cruelty. We also wonder if Caitlyn could potentially be a turning point in the fight against cruelty and neglect. Caitlyn was the inspiration for an exposé on animal cruelty laws, written up in The Christian Science Monitor, one of America’s most influential newspapers. The paper reported how South Carolina ranks #45 when it comes to strength in animal cruelty laws, “her case has raised questions about how effective animal welfare laws are in the United States.” A petition at has more than 429,000 signatures asking that the man arrested in Caitlyn’s abuse case, William Leonard Dodson, be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. “I think Caitlyn touched people like this because in America, we are, for the most part, sheltered from what abuse really looks like,” said Dr. Bianucci. “However, in Caitlyn’s case, the photo told the whole story in a way that was shocking, but could still be shown, unlike many of the other cruelty cases we see.” In between answering media calls, Hyman smiles as she tells us about the pile of cards Caitlyn has received from people and their pets around the world. “It doesn’t stop. The media coverage is a wave coming to shore and going back out. It is still tumbling around the world,” she said. We have to leave our interview when People Magazine calls Hyman to coordinate their coverage, due out in July. Dr. Klein was especially touched by Caitlyn’s spirit, “Something good has got to come out of this happening to her. People have to understand that things like this happen every single day. And we need it to stop.”



ACROSS THE WEB:: Popular Pets


When Pets Go Viral... BY CLAIRE ROBERSON


ocial media has made it easier and easier for ordinary people to showcase their extraordinary talents and find fame, but humans aren’t the only ones making Internet headlines these days. With the help of their hardworking, loving owners, pets have made their way to the forefront of online stardom. Lil BUB and Jarvis P. Weasley are two of those furry celebrities, and they have used their rise to fame to raise awareness for shelter animals everywhere. You’ve seen Grumpy Cat and Maru, the Master of Boxes, and even Hamilton, the hipster cat with the moustache. Lil BUB joins their ranks as more than just an adorably unique cat. She is a published author, talk show host, and a movie star who has overcome great challenges to raise $100,000 for animals in need. Born with dwarfism, BUB has shortened limbs, including an extra toe on each paw, and forever kitten-like characteristics. She also has no teeth and an underdeveloped jaw, which causes her tongue to always stick out. Despite these sometimes challenging abnormalities, BUB lives the life of a happy, well-loved cat thanks to Mike Bridavsky, or her “dude” as he is often called. The owner of Russian Recording, a recording studio in Bloomington, Indiana, Bridavsky is a lifelong lover of cats. He had no idea how much his life would change when he decided to open his home to BUB. As the runt of a feral litter, the perma-kitten needed special attention and care. Hope seemed grim in finding her a forever home, until BUB’s foster mother, a friend of Bridavsky’s, sent him a picture of a fluffy kitten with big, green eyes. He was hooked instantly. 12 CAROLINA TAILS | SUMMER 2015

Bridavsky took in BUB, and proudly shared his cat with the world—via social media that is. His friends even convinced him to make a Tumblr account for her and it didn’t take long for the page to gain popularity. Soon, her photos fell into the hands of Reddit, The Huffington Post, Yahoo News and Buzzfeed, as well as cat lovers’ everywhere. With BUB’s growing fame came a bigger purpose Brivadsky tells Carolina Tails. “Since the very beginning, even before she was famous, I always attached a positive message because to me that was a no brainer,” he says. It began with a simple message to spay and neuter pets at the end of BUB’s wildly popular YouTube videos—an idea near and dear to Bridavsky’s heart since BUB came from feral roots. As the cat’s reputation grew, Bridavsky released BUB merchandise and donated a portion of the sales to local animal shelters. Soon fans clamored to meet their new favorite celebrity, so Bridavsky began arranging meet-and-greets. He wanted to make sure there was more to these in-person appearances than fans simply getting to meet BUB, so each session was held at a shelter in the city they toured in an effort to reflect the message to “adopt, not shop”—a concept Bridavsky couldn’t agree with more. “All of my cats and my dog are rescues from shelters,” he says. “As far as I’m concerned, there’s no other way to get a pet. BUB is a positive influence and we use her influence to inspire people to adopt pets instead of buying from breeders.” Bridavsky emphasizes his passion by donating the money raised from these get-togethers to the host shelter. Together, BUB and his “dude” have partnered with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to create Lil BUB’s BIG Fund, the first national fund for homeless pets with special needs. Over the past year and a half, it has funded more than $130,000 in grants to shelters all over the country. The proceeds come from BUB’s events, her online store, meet-andgreets, and direct donations to the fund’s website ( To keep BUB’s message positive and ensure that she is “honored and respected in the way she deserves,” Bridavsky works round the clock to manage all of the PR and marketing himself. He plans to continue this journey with his special companion and further his mission of helping as many special needs and homeless animals as possible. Weezy Goes Big Online Another philanthropic feline who has touched the hearts of thousands is the cross-eyed cat named Jarvis P. Weasley, or “Weezy.” He was brought into California’s Oakland Animal Services after he was found abandoned on the side of the road, and there he met his owner, Daria Kelly. A foster kitten coordinator at the shelter, Kelly was unable to take in Jarvis right away because she was already caring for an entire litter of kittens. Once she was able to, though, it didn’t take long for her to choose to adopt him as her own. Jarvis wouldn’t be alone as Kelly was fostering another unique cat at that time, and Love Meow, a site dedicated to the “ultimate cat lovers,” was writing a story on him. While taking photos for the story, Furrtographer—a San Francisco based photographer who devotes his time to taking pictures of shelter animals—snapped a few shots of Jarvis.

Within months, a UK news service came across Jarvis’ picture and contacted Kelly. Since then, Good Morning, America, Kelly and Michael, The New York Post, and news sites all over the world have picked up Jarvis’ amazing story. Kelly has since started a Facebook page for Jarvis and it quickly gained more than 11,000 “likes” in its first year. Like Bridavsky, Kelly uses her pet’s rise to fame to spread a message of greater good. Though she initially started Jarvis’ Facebook page as entertainment, she continues using it as a platform to raise money for nonprofit rescue groups to which she dedicates her time. Kelly is also devoted to using this channel to spread awareness for fostering shelter animals and plans to continue

for as long as it keeps showing results. “The minute that the social media is no longer a valid place for me to accomplish these things, I will stop,” she admits. “As hilarious and funny as Jarvis is, the work is more important.” Through Jarvis’ rising popularity, Kelly hopes to spread the message of how important it is for people to stand up and support the welfare of all animals. “If there is a rescue or a call to action that needs a voice, then I will use his,” she says of Jarvis. “It takes a village to make changes, and every person has a special skill with which they can help. Whether it’s fostering, walking shelter animals, working on changes in legislature, taking photos, funding, doing laundry or donating towels, we all can find purpose.” SUMMER 2015 | CAROLINA TAILS




ozens of cute dog faces stare back at me, each vying for my attention. Frustrated, I walk a little further down the aisle only to be confronted by a host of classy felines featured next to phrases like “Salmon with Wild Rice” and “White Chicken Florentine.” Overwhelmed, and now a bit hungry, I go for my usual thrifty bag of cat food. As I place the package in my cart, a woman comments as she passes by, “You know you really shouldn’t feed THAT to your cat.” I’ve been trying to step it up in the nutrition department in my household, but sometimes it’s hard to cut through all the hype. And inappropriate food shaming aside, the woman probably has a point. So what are the real advantages to dishing out the dollars along with dinner and, if you are pinching your pennies, at what point can your chosen pet food be harmful to your pet? There’s a LOT of info out there, so here’s a condensed guide to help you navigate the pet food aisle.

FEATURED EXPERTS: Dr. David Steele, DVM, has been a veterinarian for 23 years. His current practice, Advanced Animal Care, which he runs with his wife, Dr. Leslie Steele, DVM, focuses on preventative medicine and education.

LUCIDO v. NESTLE PURINA PETCARE COMPANY In February, a lawsuit filed against Nestle Purina PetCare Company accused the budget- friendly dog food brand Beneful of being dangerous to pets. The lawsuit claims that a chemical, propylene glycol, found in the food, caused pets to become sick and even die. It also alleged that mycotoxin, a potentially deadly fungus produced by a mold found in grains, were present. Purina claims the food is completely safe and all ingredients used are FDA approved. The food has not been recalled and no fault has been found as of the printing of this article.


Christi Gephart, RD, LD, is co-owner of All is Well, a specialty pet boutique in Mt. Pleasant and James Island. She believes, along with her co-owner Marlene Pine, in a holistic approach for dogs and cats that focuses on natural alternatives.

ORGANIC What the Doctor says… “I have not seen much published on this topic as it pertains specifically to pet foods. I can speak from personal opinion that organic foods by definition do not imply they are more nutritionally valuable. It only addresses how the food was handled and produced.” What the Nutritionist says… “I think people get confused about organic and high quality. To become organic there are a lot of regulations you have to go through. I think it would be more important to pay attention to the company’s reputation and sourcing, than the fact that they are organic.” What you say… (Natalie Autry and her pups Choux and Maggie Pearl from James Island, SC. Natalie is a chef and works at Cru Catering.) “I try to keep everything as organic as possible, which is why I grow and cook my dogs’ food. By using my own compost and vegetables, I can minimize the chemicals and other byproducts in their diets. When I first got Choux I used a decent brand of dog food but every now in then she would break out into weird rashes. When I started making her food, her hair and skin got better and she started acting like she felt better.”

GRAIN FREE What the Doctor says… “I think the reason [the grain-free foods are] out there is because wheat gluten is getting lots of attention on the human side. Less than 10% of dogs have food allergies. If used properly, wheat along with other grains, such as corn, can be a very good source of carbohydrates and other nutrients. With all that said, if a client has a concern about wheat or other grains in the diet, I don't see any harm removing [them].” What the Nutritionist says… “Dogs are 85% carnivorous and cats are 100% carnivorous, so especially cats, in a perfect world, I would say all pets should eat grain-free, low-carbohydrate foods. Also, grains can contain mycotoxins, fungi that can be toxic to dogs and cats. The risk is greater with low quality foods.” What You say… (Alana Only and her Maltipoo Precious from Moncks Corner, SC) “When Precious was around six years old we started noticing a skin condition. She was always gnawing at her feet and licking her fur. Over a year we tried a few things but nothing worked. My pet groomer friend suggested that the she might have food allergies and so we switched her diet to grain-free bison food. In about two weeks we saw a huge difference, she gained weight (she had been kind of bony) and her coat came back.”

RAW FOOD What the Doctor says… “I don’t see a benefit of feeding pets [raw pet food], and there is a risk of parasite transmission and bacterial contamination, such as Salmonella, posing a danger to the owners and the pets. Raw diets do not have an inherent greater value than good quality, commercially available dog food and feeding a good quality food is less expensive than preparing food at home.“ What the Nutritionist says… “Even good quality dry dog food is highly processed, though some less than others… the less processing the better. Raw food also provides necessary moisture that isn't available through dry food. It helps to keep the skin healthy and the body hydrated, putting less strain on the kidneys when they're filtering blood. What we carry goes through a process of high-pressure pasteurization, which kills the bacteria.” What You say… (Lindsay Kozel and Beau, a hound dog, from Johns Island, SC. She is owner of The Dog’s Walker.) “Our dog, Beau, is on raw food. He has always had horrible skin allergies. He was losing his fur and his skin would be red and irritated, the worst was a couple years ago when his skin was inflamed from about February through September. At that point we had him on a grain-free kibble. Eventually our vet recommended that we move away from foods that were dehydrated or too processed. We started him on raw food late last summer and he's doing significantly better. His coat also feels a lot softer and fuller. He absolutely loves the raw food.” Though it might seem that the specialty food shops and the veterinarians are at odds, it’s not really the case. “Eating a species appropriate diet is essential,” says Marlene Pine from All is Well. “Over the years, animals that are fed a nutrient-deficient diet.” They are then much more susceptible to disease and health issues. Skin, being the largest organ, often exhibits the first symptoms of the breakdown.” Dr. Steele agrees, adding that even if a pet can survive on lower grade pet food, it will not be living at optimal health. “Nutrition is all about having the right ratios and proportions. Choose foods that are based on science, not on opinion or observation. And remember, we are all products of what we eat. Feed cheap, poor quality dog food and you get a cheap, poor quality dog.”



There are “no official rules governing the labeling of organic pet foods,” according to the FDA. However, if a pet product features the USDA Certified Organic seal, you can be assured that the food has met the same standards for organic that the USDA sets for human fare. Pay attention to the labels. Even if the word "organic" is on the package, the product could still contain non-organic chemicals.

WHERE’S THE BEEF? FDA RULES FOR PRODUCT NAMES (FROM FDA WEBSITE) A good rule of thumb when looking for quality pet food is to identify whether meat is one of the top ingredients. However, manufacturers can manipulate the numbers by breaking a particular ingredient up into its components. Another way to identify whether meat is a main ingredient is by the product name itself. It can be tricky though!

If the word “dinner” is listed in the name, the named ingredient must make up at least 25% of the product.

If an ingredient is in the name, it must count for at least 95% of the product.

If a product name lists two ingredients, the total percentage of both ingredients must equal at least 95%, with the most predominant ingredient being named first.


If two ingredients are listed in the name along with the word dinner, the two ingredients together must equal at least 25%, with no ingredient being less than 3%.

If an ingredient is accompanied by the word “with” the named ingredient need only be at least 3% of the product.

THE AAFCO STATEMENT The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Look for one of these two statements on your pet food, near the ingredients, to ensure that it is “complete and balanced” based on laboratory analysis. The second is considered better because actual scientific findings support the claim.

“_______________ is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles”

“Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that_____________ provides complete and balanced nutrition.”

AAFCO does a decent job defining what some of the lesser known ingredients on the list actually mean.


From the Kitchen of Natalie Autry Turkey with Vegetables for Choux 14lb. Turkey, diced and seasoned. 4 celery stalks 1 cup olive oil 10 carrots (6 diced) 3lbs. beef livers 2 bay leaves 1lbs. chicken livers 3 sprigs of thyme 1lb. kale stems & leaves, chopped 1/4lbs. green beans, chopped

.5lbs. broccoli stems & flowers .5lbs. corn kernel .5lbs. lima beans (green) .5lbs. baby spinach, chopped

Add bones, celery, four carrots, bay leaves and thyme to a stock pot and cover and simmer for two hours. Cool. Take all remaining vegetables and sauté in olive oil.

Then add, 6 cups rice 12oz. frozen cranberries

14 cups turkey stock 4 cups diced sweet potatoes

In court on May 6th, Blue Buffalo pet food company admitted that a large portion of its pet food contained poultry byproduct meal despite advertising claims to the contrary. This came after a lawsuit filed by Purina one year earlier alleged false advertising practices at Blue Buffalo. Blue Buffalo claims in a public letter that though it had ordered 100% chicken meal from its (now former) ingredient supplier, the supplier had misleadingly sent chicken meal containing poultry by-product meal. The letter goes on to say that BlueBuffalo has “stopped buying ingredients from [the] facility” and has initiated a lawsuit against it's former supplier. Since the admission from Blue Buffalo, a number of additional class action lawsuits have been filed against the company, but no judgment has been made as of the printing of this article. It is not clear whether the mislabeled product could still be on store shelves.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer until done. Cool. Add diced turkey, label and freeze.



Photography: Michael Mulligan


Dogs Playing for Life BY TERI ERRICO 18 CAROLINA TAILS | SUMMER 2015


o one at the Charleston Animal Society thought Serena, a barrier-aggressive Staffordshire Terrier, would ever be a dog who could play nicely with others, and they had little hope for finding her a forever home. But after only two days with Aimee Sadler, CEO and Founder of Dogs Playing For Life, Serena became the shelter’s number one playgroup helper dog and has even been approved for adoption. Though she swore she’d never grow up to train dogs, Sadler started doing just that in 1989 when she was asked to work with difficult shelter dogs. She found that before she began any training sessions, allowing the animals to play increased the dogs’ abilities to absorb their lessons. “I would find I had three hours and 30 dogs to try and do something beneficial with, and since I was comfortable with dogs in groups, it was natural for me to take them outside and let them play together,” Sadler said. “Basically all this began as effectiveness and efficiency as a single trainer.” In a nutshell, Sadler travels the country teaching shelters how to let their dogs play together. In a more scientific explanation, she has found that play groups dramatically improve a dog’s life in a kennel. By allowing dogs, which are naturally pack animals, to take a break from their kennels and play together freely outside, they are happier and more enriched. The exercise also makes them

calmer in the kennels, leading to less barking, jumping and overwhelming excitement. This makes the dogs more attractive to the viewing public, who are then, more likely to adopt. Working under the motto “Dogs live to play, now let them play to live,” Sadler believes all dogs are meant to be in groups together. “So many animals are in shelters with our best of intentions at being humane, but it typically brings out the worst in dogs. Letting them be together as dogs in groups in their natural environment is what will bring out the best.” Playing also allows shelter staff to more accurately assess each dog’s personality and characteristics, and more comprehensive information translates to better adoption matching. Case in point is 3-year-old Serena. Kristen Kifer, Charleston Animal Society’s Outreach Specialist—and former member of the behavior team who worked with Sadler—explains, “Part of the reason we were leery to bring her into the play area was because of the way she reacted in her cage.” Kifer continues, “Serena was very barrier aggressive. Whenever dogs or people walked by, she would jump onto the cage door and growl.” Kifer and her co-workers put their trust in Sadler, and within days, they discovered the once-deemed-aggressive dog was actually a playful peacemaker. “Serena is just so friendly and plays so well with other dogs,” Kifer learned. “If she notices tension between other dogs, she goes right up and distracts them, and then takes one of the dogs off to the side to play.” Because of this interaction, the shelter was able to more accurately evaluate Serena and note that she is best around other dogs. Even better, Serena has finally moved to the adoption floor. When word spread that Aimee increased her first shelter from a 70% to 90% live release rate, there was high demand for her around the country. Sadler is now booked a year in advance and in midApril, she arrived at her 100th shelter, Charleston Animal Society. “When I first started doing these play groups in 1989, it was a little bit scary to think I was going to take shelter dogs from adverse conditions and put them together—but it also seemed completely natural and logical,” she admitted.

While there are so many concerns to letting shelter dogs interact so freely together—they could fight, a volunteer could get hurt, etc.—Sadler notes that dogs who are happier and less stressed actually act out less in such dangerous ways. As part of its No Kill South Carolina initiative, Charleston Animal Society invited shelter workers from around the state to come watch the Dogs Playing for Life seminars in-person. More

Dogs Playing for Life Founder Aimee Sadler oversees a recent training at Charleston Animal Society.

than 75 showed up to learn the techniques. Sadler first worked with the staff, then assessed each dog individually, rotating the population into the yard one-by one. “The more they played together and the more I worked with the staff on how to handle them, the dogs just grew increasingly comfortable and confident both with other dogs and people,” Sadler noted. The goal of her sessions was to eventually have the dog trainers take over—and they did. “We incorporated many of Aimee’s ideas after she left and we’re going to install two more gates for the play area,” said Joe Elmore, CEO of Charleston Animal Society. “When you’re an animal organization, you can’t turn away animals with behavioral issues or challenges because you only want the cream of the crop. We are the only local organization that doesn’t turn animals away and Aimee’s practices are some of the best to help us keep it that way.” In the few days Sadler was there, De Daltorio, Director of Humane Education, immediately saw—and heard—a huge difference in the shelter dogs’ behaviors. “I bring children around for field trips and camps at the shelter, and this was the first time we have ever gone onto the adoption floor and all the dogs were quiet. Every single one. That never happens,” she said amazed. “Not having a dog barking in their face, though, can allow those children and their families to imagine that dog in their home. People want a nice, calm, quiet dog. It’s much more alluring.” It’s also now even more optimistic that with Dogs Playing for Life’s strategies, those dogs will all be adopted someday soon— most especially of all, Serena.






CHARLESTON ANIMAL SOCIETY HAS achieved the highest level of veterinary excellence following a thorough evaluation by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Charleston Animal Society earned AAHA accreditation in May, after a rigorous review of the hospital’s practice protocols, medical equipment, facility and client service. “We are so proud to be recognized for this level of excellence,” said Charleston Animal Society Senior Director of Veterinary Care Dr. Lucy Fuller, DVM, “this was a team effort and is one more example of how Charleston Animal Society is committed to the welfare of our community’s animals.” Unlike human hospitals, not all animal hospitals are required to be accredited. Accredited hospitals are the only hospitals that choose to be evaluated on approximately 900 quality standards that go above and beyond basic state regulations, ranging from patient care and pain management to staff training and advanced diagnostic services. AAHA-accredited 20 CAROLINA TAILS | SUMMER 2015

hospitals are recognized among the finest in the industry, and are consistently at the forefront of advanced veterinary medicine. AAHA standards are continuously reviewed and updated to keep accredited practices on the cutting edge of veterinary excellence. Pet owners look for AAHA-accredited hospitals because they value their pet’s health and trust the consistent, expert care provided by the entire health care team. At AAHA-accredited practices, pet owners can expect to receive the highest quality care from well-trained, professional veterinary teams. Only the top small animal hospitals in the United States and Canada have achieved accreditation by the Association. To maintain accredited status, Charleston Animal Society must continue to be evaluated regularly by AAHA Charleston Animal Society is one of only 37 veterinary facilities in South Carolina to achieve this standard of excellence. For more information about accreditation, visit



INSPIRATION:: Animal Stories



Louis After being impaled on a tree on Wadmalaw Island, Louis (LOU-ee) fought off death with the help of your donations to Charleston Animal Society’s medical fund (Toby’s Fund) and the great doctors at Veterinary Specialty Care. The haunting photo of Louis dangling from the tree went worldwide, but we prefer the newer, happier photo showing Louis smiling with his new foster mom, Faith Blackburn.



American Pharaoh It’s like winning the Super Bowl for animals and American Pharaoh did it June 6th, when he won the Triple Crown of horse racing! The feat hadn’t been accomplished since 1978. The American Thoroughbred won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes to take the Triple Crown. His story is inspiring: in his first race in 2014, he finished nine-lengths back to take 5th. Now look at him. How’s that for perseverance?

Miles Davis Named for the jazz singer, Miles Davis, this magnificent mastiff was found living in a James Island closet littered with trash, feces and glass. Rescued by Charleston Police, he was brought to Charleston Animal Society weighing only half what he should have weighed. After a cruelty investigation involving Charleston Animal Society, his owner was convicted of animal neglect and today, Miles is living a happy life with his new family, Nancy Price and Jay Wolfe. We don’t see any closets in this guy’s future – only happy songs and food…lots of food. 22 CAROLINA TAILS | SUMMER 2015



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COMMUNITY:: Making a Difference


PET HERO Jake & The Firefighter BY DAN KROSSE

CRADLED IN WILLIAM LINDLER’S ARMS, Jake is 100% pure puppy. But the scars zigzagging across the puppy’s body tell a story that began one recent spring afternoon-- a story that will forever bond the pair. “He is happy-go-lucky,” Lindler said, “You would never know he’s been through as much trauma as he has, if it weren’t for the scarring.” This buddy story began on what seemed to be an ordinary day with Lindler washing his pickup truck at his Goose Creek home. But suddenly he smelled smoke. An off-duty Hanahan firefighter, Lindler dashed across his yard and found his neighbor’s backyard shed in flames. As he got closer he heard yelping coming from inside and Lindler’s worst fears were confirmed when the owners yelled there was still a puppy inside the burning building. Peeking inside, Lindler could see a 4week-old puppy cowering in fear. His mother and littermates had already escaped to freedom, but a burning chunk of ceiling had terrified the pup, leaving him trapped in a corner. Lindler's attempt to tear apart the shed corner and rescue the puppy didn't work. When a Goose Creek Fire crew arrived on scene, they managed to pull the puppy out and handed him to Lindler, who wrapped him in a wet towel and soon started blowing air into his snout. An animal oxygen mask on the truck was quickly deployed and Jake’s vital signs improved, but he wasn't out of the woods. He'd suffered burns over 85% of his body. “He spent 7 to 10 minutes in a burning building. I’m not sure a human would have survived,” Lindler said. 24 CAROLINA TAILS | SUMMER 2015

Lindler’s every move, Jake has wooed workers at city hall and softened the big “toughies” he works alongside in the fire station. Lindler tells Carolina Tails, “All guys in the station love him. I just found out I was changing shifts and they were like, ‘Hey, we were told YOU were changing shifts, not Jake!’” Firefighters took the puppy to the Animal Medical Clinic (AMC) of Goose Creek and Lindler went back home. But he couldn't get that puppy out of his head. Two days later he called to see how the little guy was doing and was shocked to hear his neighbors had abandoned him after seeing the medical bill. Lindler and his wife stepped up and offered to pay. Kaki Lankau with AMC said Jake’s condition affected the entire staff. Smoke inhalation and 2nd and 3rd degree burns are difficult to treat. Jake immediately began a regimen that included antibiotics, pain medicine, therapy lasers and special, painful baths to scrub away dead skin. “Jake was a trooper,” Lankau said. “We worked so hard trying to get him to a point where he could be a puppy again.” And they succeeded. Even his paw pads, which were severely burned in the fire, had recovered. After 4 weeks of intensive treatment, Jake could be released. In the end, AMC covered the costs for Jake’s treatment and Lindler, the firefighter who saved him, became his new daddy, “I named him Jake because back in the late 1800s, firefighters were called ‘Jakes.’” Today, Jake has become something of a celebrity in Hanahan, where Lindler works at the city’s main fire station. Following

There are challenges ahead. Because of the scarring, Lindler has to put sunscreen on Jake if he’s outside too long. Whenever Lindler heads out on calls, Jake stays in Lindler’s bunkroom (supplied with dog toys) until his return. On the day we visited, Jake had just made his inaugural trip on the fire engine as it went out to get fuel. And it seems people can’t get enough of Hanahan’s “unofficial” mascot. “Everywhere we go people want to pet him and love on him. He’s very social,” Lindler said. There are challenges ahead. Because of the scarring, Lindler has to put sunscreen on Jake if he’s outside too long. And Jake is slowly learning to like baths again, because the first ones he remembers were the painful kind to strip away dying skin. “As far as the future goes, when he gets a little older, I would like to get him certified as a therapy dog and take him up to the burn center in Augusta, to show children who are burned, that they can live happy lives like Jake,” Lindler told us. As we leave, we can’t help but notice the irony – Jake, the puppy nearly burned alive - perched on the front of one of the fire engines, smiling and panting, because he knows this is home.



SAVING LIVES:: Firefighter Calendar




ABOVE: Justin iverson and Dustin Ford getting pumped up before their shoot. LEFT: Dustin practicing with his imaginary dog for lighting while Caroline sets up smoke machines behind him at the Old City Jail. BELOW: Li'L Man, one of our rescue sponsors insisted on viewing his images in the Vanity Salon Style Bus with Caroline after his shoot.

at-risk animals who enter Charleston Animal Society’s doors each year. The calendar was able to pay for half of that last year, netting $250,000. Orders are still coming in for the 2015 calendar from every continent including Antarctica, since it went viral in December after appearing on Buzzfeed, The Today Show and The Doctors, plus hundreds of other worldwide media outlets. “I always thought who wouldn’t want to feature sexy firefighters holding adorable animals? Thankfully Buzzfeed felt the same way,” Eller said, “We sold 500 in one day and as of now, we’ve sold 9,000 and counting!” Voted Best Party by City Paper readers, the 2016 Calendar Debut is October 1 at Memminger Auditorium and will feature a runway show with all 15 models and a live date auction. “We couldn’t do this without the support of our community’s Fire Chiefs, our bighearted sponsors, hard working committee and of course our hunky Firefighters,” Eller said.


TRY TO IMAGINE COORDINATING THE schedules of 15 Firefighters from seven area departments, 15 dog, cat and horse models, photographers, videographers and makeup people – all to get the perfect shots that go into the world-famous Charleston Firefighter Calendar. Charleston Animal Society Director of Development Caroline Eller doesn’t have to imagine that— she lives it! “It’s like herding cats,” Eller said, “but it’s a labor of love for all involved.” That’s because all the money raised goes to Charleston Animal Society’s medical fund known as Toby’s Fund. 30 Firefighters vied for one of the 15 calendar spots. The public voted for their favorites online by donating to Toby’s Fund at “There was only a $1.99 separating numbers 15 from 16,” Eller said. “These 30 men and women went above and beyond - securing sponsors, organizing fundraisers and going door-todoor asking for support.” In total, they raised $52,294, enough to treat heartworm positive dogs at Charleston Animal Society for the year. Eller is in the middle of the eight-day photo shoot for the 2016 calendar that includes locations from Folly Beach to Boone Hall Plantation. All of the pets you see in the calendar are raising money too. Each is a rescue sponsored by their owners. And get ready ladies, two of the new calendar’s photos will feature firefighters riding rescue horses. So how are the firefighters matched up with their pet models? “I take into consideration many factors including the pet’s coloring, the model’s build, the pet’s temperament, even the model’s eye color,” Eller said. Toby’s Fund continues to thrive due to the success of the Calendar. The medical fund needs $500,000 to treat more than 9,000

For more information: Sponsorship info: Caroline Eller at





FELINE NATION:: Lowcountry Style

HOT STUFF Firefighter Justin Kahle, proud owner of a toy poodle and a cat at home, said that Franklin was a little scared at first. Eventually with some coaxing, Franklin became friendly and comfortable enough for the guys to pet him, says Arthur. They took him to Charleston Animal Society where he was neutered and received his shots. The vet clipped his ear and he has a microchip which will return him right back to the Coming Street Fire Station, should he stray too far. Arthur, who was featured in Charleston Animal Society’s 2014 Firefighter Calendar, says, “Franklin is technically not our cat. He is a feral cat who is neutered and fed.” His food of choice? Paws. “We tried highend food, but he kept coming back to Paws,” explains Arthur, pointing to the open window from where Franklin can go in and out of the station. With at least eight guys working every shift, there is always someone to look out for him. But like most cats, he comes and goes. Franklin knows his name, and Arthur says that sometimes Franklin will hang out the whole day, “He is such a docile cat, so relaxed and cool and gets along with everyone.” Arthur, whose own cat at home died about three months ago, always looks forward to seeing Franklin, just like everyone does in the station. “He has such positive energy, and he brings the enjoyment level here way up,” says Arthur, noting that the guys like playing with string with Franklin. “If he is in the station and hanging out on the truck, he takes his sweet time getting off the truck,” says Arthur.


MOVE OVER, DALMATION! THERE’S A new kid—er, cat—in town! Stop by Fire Station 15 on Coming Street in downtown Charleston and you will meet Franklin. This grey-striped tabby won the hearts of these firefighters on the day he was born— which took place under the Diesel Tank in the backyard of the station two and a half years ago. Firefighter Dan Arthur says technically, cats are not allowed, but that hasn’t stopped Franklin from becoming the station’s “unofficial mascot.”

Franklin seems to enjoy his job, bringing smiles to the faces of the firefighters who often encounter unpleasant and dangerous situations in their work, and he’s not alone. The New York City Fire Department has caught on to this fire cat phenomenon making their fire station cats Instagram celebrities. Check out @carlow_fdny_cat and @midtownboogiefdny.



BEHAVIOR:: Cats in Focus 3. Problem: Inappropriate urination/ defecating Solution: If your cat is being picky and temperamental about an unkempt litter box, set up a second one in your home. Dr. Patrick explains, “One of the rules of thumb as far as cats and litter boxes is that you should have one more litter box than you have cats.” So if you have two cats, put down three litter boxes to allow your cats another suitable option to relieve themselves. It’s also important to monitor your cat’s behavior to make sure he isn’t inappropriately relieving himself because of an infection or sickness, such as a urinary tract infection. If you feel this could be the issue, immediately take your cat to the vet.




IF YOU LOVE YOUR CAT, BUT NOT HIS bad behavior of scratching furniture, making a mess or showing aggression, take a deep breath because there are some quick, easy solutions to fixing your furry friend’s Top 5 worst habits. Paul D. Patrick III, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Patrick Veterinary Clinic, says of your pet’s unwanted behavior, “It’s a battle of will, of who is going to win, and most of the time the cat wins.” He notes that it’s important to fix these behaviors in such a way that ends the harmful consequences, but lets your cat feel as though he is still “winning.” 1. Problem: Scratching the furniture Solution: Soft Paws are a humane alternative to declawing. The nail caps adhere to your 30 CAROLINA TAILS | SUMMER 2015

cat’s nails without pain or discomfort, and your cat can continue his scratching habits without damaging your furniture. Another solution is trimming his claws. “Keeping your cat’s nails trimmed, will help cut down on [scratching furniture],” Dr. Patrick advises. 2. Problem: Scratching people Solution: As a rule of thumb, if your cat’s tail is flicking or thumping on the ground, it means he is not a happy camper. Just like humans need time to cool off, giving your cat space when he’s upset will avoid making him come at you with his claws out. Again, trimming your cat’s claws is recommended, too. It may not stop your cat from attempting to scratch, but it can prevent a possible injury.

4. Problem: Spraying Solution: Spaying and neutering your pets is recommended for many reasons, one of which is to prevent spraying tendencies. When cats reach maturity, they mark their territory, which is an instinctive behavior brought indoors from their wild roots. Statistically, 90% of cats who have been spayed or neutered will not spray. You can also deal with this problematic behavior through pheromonatherapy, the use of pheromones. Feliway is a synthetic copy of a cat’s facial pheromones, which they use to mark their territory. The harmless, odorlessto-humans pheromones mimic a cat’s to create a safe and familiar environment, and deter spraying. Feliway can be administered throughout the home using a diffuser plugin for general areas or spray for specific spots, as needed. 5. Problem: Aggression towards other pets or people Solution: If you have an odd number of furry friends, make sure there are enough food bowls, litter boxes, toys, etc., to go around, and separate them between rooms to avoid territorial aggression. According to Dr. Patrick, “Two is fine, three is a crowd. With an odd number of cats, someone will get bumped.” Rewarding the good behavior is key. When you see your cats getting along, toss them treats and praise them for their desired actions as it will reinforce them. If your cats break into a fight, on the other hand, don’t try to get in the middle and break it up. This will only redirect their aggression towards you. Instead, clap your hands loudly or spray water to end the fighting.



TO SHAVE OR NOT TO SHAVE YOUR dog this summer? That is the question. Luckily for you, the Lowcountry’s professional groomers have the answer, and it is not to shave, but to brush, bathe and professionally groom your dog this hot and humid time of year. “Don’t shave your dogs because you think they’re hot. And definitely don’t do it because you think it’s going to stop them from shedding,” says Jane Martin, owner of the local mobile dog grooming business Beauty Paws. “Dogs don’t sweat like humans do. They were designed by nature to pant when they get hot and it’s a very efficient way of air-conditioning themselves. So the amount of hair on a dog isn’t going to make them hotter.” This is especially true of dogs with doublecoats, such as Huskies, Pomeranians or Collies. “Absolutely do not shave these breeds.

Those coats are actually made to insulate them in the winter and summer. So when you shave them, you do them more harm than good,” Martin notes. Shaving those breeds would prevent their coats from naturally regulating their body temperature. Dogs will naturally “blow coat” on their own, which is the act of shedding their undercoat once the weather changes from winter to spring. Blowing coat will happen no matter how long or short a dog’s hair is. “A lot of people shave their dogs because they think it stops the shedding, but all it does is create smaller pieces of hair that fall out,” says Martin, who admits she actually tries to talk pet owners

out of shaving their dogs. She adds, “If you shave a dog, you also have to then worry about the dog’s skin being sunburned or exposed to allergens. That coat does a great job of keeping impurities and UV rays off the skin.” Dogs that don’t have double-coats, such as Cocker Spaniels, Shih Tzus, Maltese, Lhasa Apsos and Poodles, on the other hand, have hair that continuously grows. “All dogs shed a certain amount like humans do, but theirs doesn’t have an end life and fall out,” Martin explains. “So it’s up to you as a pet owner to cut the hair depending on aesthetics and on how much maintenance you want to do on the dog.” According to Briggs Fort, owner of Afortable Grooming in Mt. Pleasant, a great way to keep your dog’s coat healthy is with a Furminator, a brush that rakes out the undercoat. “Definitely use a Furminator because shaving can damage a dog’s hair, especially for those that shouldn’t be shaved,” says Fort. “The furminator actually loosens up the under coat and helps reduce shedding for up to 6 weeks after.” By brushing a dog’s hair regularly after the process, it can also help treatments last longer. Fort recommends brushing long-haired dogs daily, and shorter-haired breeds such as Labradors or German Shepherds once or twice a week. “Absolutely brush your dogs,” Fort recommends. “It will not only keep your dog’s hair clean and properly protecting them, but it will help with shedding more than anything.” “Imagine if you didn’t brush or wash your hair between appointments, it wouldn’t be very healthy,” Martin adds. She recommends bathing your dog at home every two weeks— unless the dog is so dirty you can’t live with it in your house! “But when bathing your dog, dilute the shampoo and use a good conditioner.” She also advises to let your dog air dry, or if you must use a hair dryer, use it on the lowest setting possible. One thing that’s especially critical in caring for pets in our coastal state is grooming them after playing on the beach. “Always rinse your dog off after the beach,” Briggs advises. “You don’t want to shampoo them every time, but always rinse them with water. Just like people, it will dry out their skin if you leave the salt on them.” Pet owners can schedule appointments for their dogs at Afortable Grooming, which take up to four hours, or they can call Beauty Paws and have their dogs groomed at home.




RESCUE:: Adopt, Don’t Buy!



Summer is here and Charleston Animal Society is hoping you can make room for one more. Our pets come spayed-neutered, vaccinated and each are evaluated for their behavior. Come visit Charleston Animal Society today at 2455 Remount Road in North Charleston or go online to:

Me and Hank Williams, Jr. have a lot in common. First we’re both good lookin’ dudes and we share the same street name, “Bocephus.” Look it up in the Urban Dictionary.

Hello, my name is Bobbi. I’m a 4-and-a-half year old domestic shorthair with the biggest yellow-brown eyes you ever did see. Please pick me! Pick me! My name is Ace and I just wanted to tell you, please pick me! Pick me!

Photography: Marie Gonzales and Brian Stiles

Well hello there, I heard you might be stopping by. I’m Marshmallow. Please adopt and immediately re-name me.

Hi, I’m Dalton, a three-year-old male Brindle Staffie. Very proud, and very handsome, I will make a wonderful addition to your front porch and living room.


I’m Tiny Cat. So tiny, I can easily squeeze through this hole next to me. Adopt me and I will share my many other amazing tricks.




Nothing says summertime like a ride out on the water with your best friend in tow. We asked, and you delivered some amazing pictures of dogs out boating! Thanks to everyone who sent in a shot. Your assignment for our next issue: Your cat or dog showing spirit for their favorite college football team. Send your pictures to by September 1.

Stella Grayson, a 3-year-old rescue, who enjoys boating on Lighthouse Creek (Amy Funderburg)

Papi out on the Folly River. (Tara Wear)

Sawyer can’t be bothered for photo requests when driving a boat, he’s too busy concentrating! (Alison Calabro)

Oaide knows who’s boss when it comes to skippering his Daddy’s boat. (Brian Stiles)

Dean, Delilah and Dexter are all three rescues, who insist on serving as deckhands altogether. (Courtney Thompson)

Before she passed away, Penny, a 12-year-old hound mix, was always up for a boat ride on the Cooper River. (Tarah Smith)


Phin enjoying a sunset on the North Edisto River. (Lauren Creech)

Buck is a Charleston Animal Society alumnus who hardly goes a day without spending at least part of it in the water. (Katie Wood)

Charley loves the boat and fishing. (Julia Wilson)

Addy is a Charleston Animal Society alumni, who enjoys her summers out on the water. (Jessica and Graham Beattie)

Cherry is busy making sure everything is ship-shape for his cruise. (Jim & Gloria Maguire)

"Pepper Potts" on the Ashley River. (DeAnna & Bryan Brigman)

Wally is a Lowcountry transplant who was rescued in Tennessee. His favorite river is the Wando. (Cadill and Rachel Maharaj)

Louie goes by “Seadog” when he’s on the open seas. Here he is on a cruise to Beaufort. (Gret McIntosh)

Stella cruisin’ the lake. (Michele Holland)

Annie, an English Setter, out for a morning row. (Steve Bare)



GREAT OUTDOORS:: Protecting Nature



Please Keep ‘em Safe! BY ANNA VECCHIONE

AS YOU WALK BY THE BATTERY IN downtown Charleston to enjoy the view and exercise – perhaps you’ve seen what we have. Occasionally, some people when they are done fishing from the harbor’s edge leave broken fishing lines, hooks or other rubbish. We hope these items aren’t left intentionally; keeping the environment clean is everyone’s duty. Now that the weather is getting nice and vacation season is upon us, raising awareness on what we can do to keep the environment clean is important. Abandoned fishing gear needs to be properly thrown away to avoid injuries to wildlife. Bailing twine can end up used by the birds for nesting, causing injuries. Bailing twine entanglement is so prevalent, it was recently discussed at the annual meeting of the conservation of the Everglades in Florida. The injuries of a nesting bird can


also affect the chicks, meaning not one but several birds can die. The removal of the hooks on catch and release is important, because some birds feed mainly on fish. For example osprey can be physically injured when its prey is a fish embedded with hooks. If you see an abandoned fishing line or net please remove it. You can make the difference. When at the beach, please take all of your trash with you. Earlier this year, National Geographic reported the death of a whale caused by the ingestion of a DVD case. If someone had recycled that DVD case or picked it up from the beach, that whale would probably still be alive. One person’s action can make the difference. When it comes to boating, please lay off the speed when you spot a dolphin nearby. Dolphins are fast swimmers but sometimes

they can’t get out of the way fast enough, often with catastrophic consequences. And while it is good to have a nice cold drink during a boating trip, please remember that those six-pack plastic rings are killers when they hit our waterways. Turtles and other animals can easily be strangled. We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. And with that, comes the responsibility to protect our environment for future generations. Wildlife is everybody’s pet, let’s keep ‘em safe!



1. Irish Setter (Red Setter) 2. Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) 3. Welsh Corgi (Pembroke) 4. Border Terrier 5. Welsh Springer Spaniel 6. Chow Chow 7. Old English Sheepdog 8. Scottish Terrier (Scottie Dog) 9. Miniature Poodle (Poodle) 10. Shih Tzu 11. Bloodhound 12. Airedale Terrier 13. Chihuahua 14. Shar Pei 15. French Bulldog


Kids are some of the best animal advocates so we’ve devoted this space to young pet lovers.


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