Carolina Tails Magazine | 2016 January - March

Page 1



A Charleston Animal Society Publication

Inside: Caitlyn Revealed: DNA Results Titanium Cat Legs No Kill. No Harm. No More.

Southern Charm

The Pets of








Publisher: Keith Simmons Editor-in-Chief: Dan Krosse Managing Editor: Joe Elmore Graphic Design: Heineman Design Copy Editors: Teri Errico Writers: Teri Errico, Aldwin Roman, Dan Krosse, Ellie Whitcomb-Payne Photographers: Jennifer Cady, Marie Rodriguez, Brian Stiles, Ellie Whitcomb Payne Kay Hyman, Anna Vecchione, Aldwin Roman, Dan Krosse, Tag Your Pix Advertising Sales: Ted DeLoach Distribution Manager: Denise Fletcher Cover Photo: Photographer Jenn Cady (voted top three "people" photographer in the world by Shoot & Share) Assistant and Grip: Jeff Parrish and Cody Greathouse Makeup: Vanity Salon, Kim Coleman, Haley Hickman, Ashley Campbell, Korissa Tyson 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 WINTER 2016




Pet Pointers


Dear Carolina Tails


Caitlyn Revealed What Does Her DNA Test Show?


Can Your Pet Really Feel Love?


Me & Mrs. Smith A New Perspective for a Cruelty Investigator


The Cat with Titanium Legs


The Hottest 2016 Calendar Charleston FireďŹ ghters Flex for the Animals


Spay-Neuter Blitz


The Pets of Southern Charm


The 2015 Chili Cook-off Winning Recipe


2015 Year in Review


Take Me Home: Adoptions


Gumby: The Dog No Fence Can Contain


Ask the Trainer When Your Cats Start Fighting


Kid’s Zone Time to Play





Elizabeth spends time with Caitlyn, just before Caitlyn’s appearance at the 2015 Charleston Animal Society Chili Cook-off & Oyster Roast.


think we will all agree that 2015 could not have been a more productive year for Charleston Animal Society! With focus, strategy and determination, we kept Charleston a No Kill Community for the third year in a row, and began to establish the infrastructure necessary to enable our sister communities and the state of South Carolina to do the same. We could not have achieved No Kill status without the incredible support of our community - all of our wonderful friends who adopt, spay/neuter, volunteer, foster and donate - THANK YOU!

HERE IS JUST A PARTIAL LIST OF OUR ACHIEVEMENTS FOR THE YEAR: • Charleston Animal Society earned the American Animal Hospital Accreditation (AAHA) by meeting its approximately 975 standards, the only animal sheltering facility in the Southeast to receive this distinction. • The 2016 Firefighter Calendar Party raised more money for Toby’s Fund in one month than the 2015 Firefighter Calendar raised in all of 2014. • Our 16th Annual Celebrity Chili Cook-Off & Oyster Roast raised $357,000 for Toby’s Fund. • For the third year in a row, Charleston Animal Society remains South Carolina’s most honored charity.


We found homes for more animals than ever before (5,000 plus!) We spayed/neutered more animals than ever before (12,000 plus!) We reached approximately 9,000 kids with our humane education program, breaking all previous records. We increased our anti-cruelty and outreach efforts to an all-time high, resulting in more animal cruelty charges and arrests made by law enforcement agencies, and more help to struggling families to keep their pets for life.

As you can see from our picture, Caitlyn and I got a little time together at the Chili Cook-off in November. She continues to amaze me with her resilience and friendliness. Given all the noise and confusion at Chili, she waited patiently to receive her award with her Chili team. I hope you will read our article on the findings from Caitlyn’s DNA test (pg.10). You might be surprised! For me, the most important article in this issue is the Pets for Life story by our anti-cruelty investigator, Aldwin Roman (Me & Mrs. Smith pg. 16). This story highlights the important role our pets play in our lives, the importance of maintaining a nonjudgmental stance and the fact that Charleston Animal Society is about families, not just about the four-footed members, as some people might like to portray us. The fact that we share 99.9% of the same neurological, chemical and DNA matter with our dogs shows that we are more alike than we are not. So, when you think that you see a particular expression on your dog’s face that expresses happiness, concern, fear or sadness, you are correct. As sentient creatures, they have yet to be fully recognized for their cognitive and emotional capabilities. And at the end of the day, that is what Charleston Animal Society is all about -- insuring that these wonderful creatures (dogs, cats, horses, etc.) are recognized, respected and cared for appropriately. They possess the best of our emotions, only those that uplift and support their two-footed companions. I know that I am my dogs’ human, and for 2016 I will try to live up to the standard of kindness and joy that they impart to me and my family every hour of the day. Wishing you much happiness and health in the New Year, Elizabeth Bradham, President, Charleston Animal Society



NEWS:: You Can Use



New ER Tidb s its

Charleston Animal Society Facebook Nearing 225,000 Followers

New Federal Protections for Animals (Courtesy: ASPCA) Tucked inside the massive 2016 Federal Budget are provisions that will help protect animals. The spending plan prevents the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from using taxpayer dollars to inspect horse slaughter facilities. This provision (backed by Sen. Lindsey Graham), makes it impossible for the horse slaughter industry to continue in the United States for at least the next fiscal year. According to the ASPCA, the bill also requires the USDA to improve the animal welfare policies at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center — a Nebraska facility whose horrendous treatment of animals was exposed in the New York Times—and other federally run agricultural facilities. The bill also includes measures to help protect wild horses from slaughter and to ensure proper oversight and enforcement of laws cracking down on puppy mills and horse soring.

It’s been a big year for Charleston Animal Society’s social media reach. Starting 2015 with a Facebook following of 50,000 people, the rescue organization has been stunned at the rate at which people are jumping on to follow the nonprofit’s feed. “It has been nothing short of amazing,” said Charleston Animal Society Director of Community Engagement Kay Hyman. While growth had been steady, it wasn’t until after Caitlyn the Dog’s rescue in May that the number of followers exploded. By October, the organization had reached 200,000 followers and as of press time for this magazine, it had climbed again to 221,000. “The beauty of Facebook is that we are able to reach more people at one time than we ever imagined and to have this new level of interaction and engagement with people who love animals is truly a blessing,” Hyman said.

#1 Viral Pet Video of 2015: Cats & Cucumbers

2015 Most Popular Dog Names Male 1. Max 2. Charlie 3. Buddy

Female 1. Bella 2. Lucy 3. Daisy

2015 Most Popular Cat Names Male 1. Charlie 2. Jack 3. Jasper


Female 1. Lily 2. Chloe 3. Lucy

She Can’t Hide It When you see a calico cat, you can bet your bottom dollar that you’re looking at a female. How? Because almost all calico cats are girls due to genetics. Scientists believe the calico’s coat color is linked to the X chromosome – the female chromosome. However, scientists are quick to point out that there are rare instances of male calico cats, but they are almost always sterile.

No Kill. No Harm. No More . If you looked to the sky last November you may have seen an extraordinary blimp floating hundreds of feet in the air. It was branded with the words, “No Kill. No Harm. No More.” It symbolized the beginning of the boldest animal care movement ever launched in the United States. It’s a movement that’s being spearheaded by Charleston Animal Society and will target the entire state under an initiative called “No Kill South Carolina.” “Right now across South Carolina, tens of thousands of animals are dying because of a lack of space or a lack of dollars,” said Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore who is leading the No Kill. No Harm. No More (NKNH) effort. “What’s exciting is that we can help communities end the killing, by teaching them how we were able to do it here in the Lowcountry, with No Kill Charleston,” Elmore explained. The grassroots plan is bold: each region of the state will have a “key resource center” that will help under-performing animal shelters raise the bar of animal care across all of South Carolina. Charleston Animal Society will first share the strategies that led Charleston to become the first No Kill Community in the Southeast with the key resource centers. These shelters will then “pay it forward” to more shelters in their areas offering mentoring to teach all shelters to be successful in their respective communities. “When we define No Kill as ‘saving every healthy and treatable animal,’ we also mean saving them from cruelty,” said Charleston Animal Society Director of Philanthropy Jennifer Winchester, “We need to help law enforcement crack down on perpetrators, but we also want to increase our outreach levels in the most at-risk communities.” How Can You Help? There are three main ways you can become a part of the No Kill. No Harm. No More. movement: 1. The Gift of Your Time: Volunteer at your local shelter. 2. The Gift of Your Home: Foster or adopt an animal. 3. The Gift of Your Money: The movement needs champions at all levels of giving. Please contact Jennifer Winchester at Charleston Animal Society for details: “We are launching this bold initiative based in the confidence we have gained with the success of No Kill Charleston 2015. We have sustained a No Kill Community for three years, and there is no reason we should not be sharing our knowledge to end the needless killing of animals across our state,” said Elmore. You can learn more at



Inbox:: Reader Feedback

DEAR CAROLINA TAILS: Your article “Pets Caught in the Middle” touched a nerve. Thank you for bringing the problem of how pets are used in domestic abuse to the public. I lived through this and thought I was alone until I saw your article. Thank you – D.M., North Charleston I just got my Carolina Tails in the mail! Even though I live in Tennessee, I read every page! Excellent and well done magazine!! Susan Barksdale Is the Boxer on the cover up for adoption? – Helen Ramsey Editor’s Note: No, our cover model already has a safe, loving home. But please check out our other adoptable dogs at “Thank you for the apartment guide showing pet-friendly places. Charleston needs more affordable housing that allows dogs and cats! – Tim Maddox, Johns Island Send your comments to

Southern Charm’s Cameran Eubanks poses with Pierre at the Carolina Tails cover shoot on December 17, 2015. Learn more about the Southern Charm cast and their pets on page 28. And to see more adoptable animals, please look at our Take Me Home section on page 34. Photography: Jennifer Cady




CANINES:: Breeds

Caitlyn Revealed



Photo:Kay Hyman


e now have a glimpse inside the DNA makeup of “America’s Dog,” Caitlyn. Since being found last May in North Charleston with her muzzle taped shut, Caitlyn has fascinated and inspired millions of people around the globe with her story of survival. In December, People magazine named her the “Best Survival Story of 2015.” We wondered if her ancestry would give us clues as to why she is such a force to be reckoned with. DNA testing revealed Caitlyn is a mix of American Staffordshire Terrier (one of the breeds that people sometimes refer to as a Pit Bull type dog), Border Collie, Boxer and German Shepherd. Carolina Tails asked those who’ve spent the most time with her if they were surprised by the results: Foster Mom: “Pretty cool with the DNA testing! I would say she likes to herd an animal, especially squirrels, like a Border Collie. She definitely has the loyalty and close bonding of the Staffordshire Terriers and wants to be with a person if at all possible and she loves to cuddle. She is so sweet natured like a typical Staffie and is wonderful with kids. I think they used to call them the ‘nanny dogs,’ and I can see why!“ Aldwin Roman, Charleston Animal Society Director of Anti-Cruelty & Outreach: “I thought the results were interesting. I had my suspicions before we tested her that she was not all American Staffordshire. Her gait just wasn't typical. Her bark was more high pitched than typical for the breed. Her tail had a slight curl which is also not typical. She did show what we typically see in American Staffordshire Terriers, loyalty and lots and lots of affection. But her intelligence reminded me of Border Collies.” CC Bourgeois, Southpaw-Petcare Pet Trainer: “When I watched her play, I noted that her play style was very much like that of a Boxer. And she was so intelligent like a Border Collie because we would show her a trick or skill and she would have it down pat after one or two repetitions. She's so intelligent she will need plenty of mental stimulation.” Kay Hyman, Charleston Animal Society Director of Community Outreach: “It was such a delight to see the results. This mix shows she truly is ‘America’s Dog,’ a perfect blend of dogs we as Americans love. The combination of German Shepherd and Border Collie is obvious when she runs.” If you would like to have your pet’s DNA tested, ask one of our associates in the Charleston Animal Society Retail Store.


CANINES:: Breeds




Courtesy: Animal Farm Foundation, Inc.



CAN YOU PICK THE PIT?! Are you breed savvy? Or do you judge a book by its cover? With breed-specific legislation rearing its head in some parts of the country, we wondered if you can “Pick the Pit” from this group of dogs. “This kind of a lesson is important for all of us, because a lot of people wrongfully assume a dog is a Pit Bull when it isn’t. And this gets to a bigger issue that animal behavior is not based on breed, but temperament,” said Charleston Animal Society Humane Education Director De Daltorio, “the vast majority of Pit Bulls are wonderful animals.” Time to see how you do. There are only three dogs with Pit Bull ancestry on this page.



ANIMAL OUTREACH:: The Human Connection


BE ! E MIN IT STARTS WITH A GLANCE. AN affectionate stare. Your eyes fix and you connect. You fill with warmth, a surge of happiness, possibly even love. It's a feeling you wish for every Valentine's Day and this year it could be yours--if you just got a pet. But the way cats and dogs show their affection is very different (as if you didn’t know)! Puppy Love According to a recent preliminary study by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, it turns out domesticated dogs and humans may have an emotional connection after all. Humans who don’t own fur babies may not get how someone can love their pet like a child, but this new study aimed to prove it’s possible. In the test, researchers scanned 14 women’s brains with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while 14 CAROLINA TAILS | WINTER 2016

the subjects viewed photographs of their children and dogs, as well as children and dogs they’d never met. The findings showed that the women’s brain-activity increased in areas such as emotion, reward, affiliation, visual processing and social interaction when they looked at photos of their own children and dogs versus the unknown. Of course there were different responses between how a woman viewed her child and her dog. The area of the women's brains that is significant to bond formation showed activity only when they saw their child. On the other hand, the region of their brains involved in facial recognition was stronger when they viewed photos of their dogs. But differences aside, the study’s main outcome is the conclusion that dog love is in fact, extremely similar to maternal love. Another similar scientific study in Japan discovered that when humans and dogs

lock eyes, both their bodies produce elevated levels of oxytocin—a hormone commonly known as the “love hormone” or “hug hormone” due to its effects on behavior and women’s reproduction. Oxytocin is primarily associated with nurturing and attachment. So if you believe your dog's prolonged eye contact is its way of communicating, you are correct! Consider it hugging...with their eyes. To further prove this theory, the Japanese researchers gave male and female dogs an extra dose of oxytocin via a nasal spray to see what would happen. It resulted in female dogs staring into their owners’ eyes even longer and in turn, the owners’ oxytocin levels also rose. While it's unclear why results were so much stronger in female dogs, researchers think this act of mutual gazing as a whole has evolved as dogs have become domesticated. And Then There Are Cats… Puppy love, it seems, is real. If you want cat love, however, keep dreaming. Or better, change your frame of mind. Cats live and love how they please and animal behavior specialists at the University of Lincoln in England reaffirmed this to be true. Your cat may love you and share a bond with you, but as a whole the species is not codependent on humans and don't look to us as their sole protectors or source of security like dogs or children do. The research findings were based on the Ainsworth Strange Situation Test (SST), which is a trusted method to measure “secure attachment”—such as the bond between parents and their children when put in foreign environments. This particular study put an owner and cat in an unfamiliar room, then removed the owner and replaced him or her with a stranger. Besides emitting a few sounds, cats showed no signs of distress or secure attachment when their owners left. Some reasons could be that cats haven’t been domesticated as long as dogs, nor is it their nature to bond as closely. Cats also simply aren't bred with the purpose of staying close to humans. True love comes in all forms whether between family, partners, friends or pets. This Valentine's Day, if you want puppy love, come to the Charleston Animal Society and adopt a puppy or a grown dog. But remember that cats are pretty great companions too, they just like to keep it to themselves.



ANIMAL OUTREACH:: Human Connection


Me & Mrs. Smith The story of how a woman and her ailing dog forever changed the outlook of an anti-cruelty investigator. BY ALDWIN ROMAN

Maggie Smith with Rich in happier days, after Rich grew his fur back when he was treated for a terrible case of sarcoptic mange.


Me & Mrs. Smith had a complex relationship. I will never forget her. She made me re-evaluate what I define as animal cruelty.

Rich with Charleston Animal Society Anti-Cruelty & Outreach Manager Aldwin Roman.


first met Mrs. Smith on July 11, 2014. She had called Charleston Animal Society about coming in to have her sick, elderly dog euthanized. As an animal cruelty investigator, I really had no idea that this one little phone call would eventually change the way I see the world. When Mrs. Smith (Maggie) came through our doors later that day, it was hard to believe that what she brought with her was a dog, but it was — and his name was Rich. All his fur was gone and his skin from the tip of his tail to his crusty nose was red and inflamed. There was a thick crust covering most of his body and his ears were so crusted it looked like reptilian skin. Though I remember vividly what he looked like, it still is difficult to put into words. Rich was in a lot of pain and defeated. His head hung low and his walk was at best a shuffle. I could not believe this dog, who was 10 years old, was still alive given his condition. As a certified cruelty investigator all I could hear in my head was “CRUELTY!” “FELONY!” “JAIL TIME!” My entire focus was on the dog and I had completely shut out that he had an owner. Then I remembered my Pets for Life training I had just completed the year before. It was all about approaching people without judgment to build relationships and trust. I thought I would give this approach a whirl. I took Maggie and Rich into a separate office and we sat down to talk. Instantly, I could tell he meant a lot to her. Maggie started taking care of Rich after finding him being neglected in her neighborhood many years ago. Recently he had developed a skin problem and she had tried some over the counter medications to treat him but had little success. When she saw his skin getting worse, she took him to the veterinarian. She was able to pay for some of the treatment but could not afford the $500 it would cost to treat him fully. Maggie was on a fixed income with no job and in

poor health. She just didn’t have the funds it would take to fix her beloved dog. Out of hope, Maggie decided to bring him to the shelter to have him euthanized. She couldn’t stand to watch him suffer anymore. After I spoke with Maggie, I told her that I wanted one of our veterinarians to look at him before she went through with her decision. It was possible that Rich’s condition was treatable and if that was the case she could keep him and not have to put him down. Yet even as I was telling her this, the “investigator” side of my brain was telling me that this situation was a case of animal cruelty. Failure to provide necessary veterinary care and causing unnecessary pain and suffering by omission. But it wasn’t that simple in the end. By holding my judgment and really getting the full story, I found that underneath a mask of animal cruelty was a woman falling on hard times, who couldn’t bear to let go of her closest companion. She didn’t want to give him up but she couldn’t afford to fix him. It was a bad situation but there was no malice or negligence.

“I really had no idea that this one little phone call would eventually change the way I see the world.” The Diagnosis In the examination, our veterinarian found Rich had a severe case of sarcoptic mange, along with other skin and ear infections. Because Charleston Animal Society had recently started our outreach program, Pets for Life, which provides medical support for pets in the most at-risk areas of our community, we were able to provide treatment for Rich at no charge and even better, he could



stay with her while going through treatment. Maggie had to bring Rich to the shelter twice a week for a month to get medicated baths. She never missed an appointment. She never missed giving him a dose of his medication no matter how much he fought her. She never gave up on him. In just one week we could all see Rich starting to improve. Maggie was watching her dog come back to her one strand of fur at a time. The better he got the happier she became. She just couldn’t believe that he was getting better after she thought she was going to lose him for good. I will never forget when she told me, “Thank you for helping us. If Rich had died, I’m sure I would have died too.” After one month Rich had a thin coat of fur covering his whole body and now he stood up shoulders raised, head up, and mouth

couldn’t stand to let Rich go. Soon, Maggie was hospitalized with stage-4 metastatic stomach cancer. There was no treatment. Having visited her home many times, I knew Maggie had no family to make medical decisions. In the hospital, she refused to talk to her doctors or case worker. She would only speak with me, my Pets for Life colleague, Kristin Kifer, and Maggie’s close friend Martha. Weeks went by and Maggie was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit. Seeing her condition worsen day-by-day, I called her nurse and asked if we could bring Rich to visit her one last time. Thankfully, the hospital made an exception, and allowed a visit. I will always remember bringing Rich up to her room and laying him on her bed. By this point Maggie had lost consciousness and could not be woken up. We place her hand on his fur so that she could feel him one last time and so that he could say goodbye. I

Rich had lost his fur and had dry, scaly skin before his treatment and eventual cure at Charleston Animal Society.

open with a grin like a champion. He continued on his medications for a couple more weeks and continued to get better. One year later, Rich’s hair was so thick, we had to help Maggie give him a trim. I remember showing off his new haircut to all the shelter employees, saying “Hey do you remember Rich?” When I showed them the first picture I had taken of him over a year ago, most people didn’t believe it was the same dog. Rich even made a special appearance for a kids camp to help them learn how compassion and non-judgement can make a difference. An Unexpected Turn While she was grumpy in her own, delightful way, I always looked forward to my time with Maggie. But in early November, I got a call from Maggie and this time I could sense something was wrong. She had cancer. It was terrible news and yet her main focus was making plans for her dogs (Rich and Bear) and what would happen to them if she passed. We found Bear a new loving home, but she


know she knew Rich was there, but I could tell Rich was having a hard time understanding that Maggie was there. All the medical equipment and cleaners were covering up her smell. We brought out Maggie’s purse to pull out some pictures and Rich started furiously sniffing it. I think that’s when it hit him where he was. And just as he had done for years and years, he lay next to Maggie and faced the door to her room and kept guard. Rich kept watch over and protected his mom until the very end. Maggie passed away peacefully the following morning. Me & Mrs. Smith had a complex relationship. I will never forget her. She made me re-evaluate what I define as animal cruelty. It has changed the way I do my job and changed my vision of what it will take to really change animal welfare in this world. Editor’s Note: Through Pets for Life, Charleston Animal Society is working to insure Rich will live out the remainder of his life in a comfortable, loving, home-- just as Maggie wanted.

Rich striking a pose with his newly grown-in fur.

In just one week we could all see Rich starting to improve. Maggie was watching her dog come back to her one strand of fur at a time. WINTER 2016 | CAROLINA TAILS



MEET THE CAT WITH TITANIUM LEGS VINCENT CAN’T JUMP JUST YET, BUT it’s probably only a matter of time. The 3-year-old domestic short-haired cat recently paced across the floor of an exam room at Iowa State University’s Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center with the legendary curiosity long associated with felines. He took in his surroundings and strolled over to the base of an exam table. And that’s when you could see it – just for a moment – in the way Vincent tensed his body and set his gaze toward the ceiling. He wanted to jump. He wanted to scale the exam table and find out what the view was like from the top. But his titanium-alloy prosthetic hind legs kept him on the ground – for now, at least. “I anticipate that he’ll be jumping and doing really normal cat things very soon,” said Dr. Mary Sarah Bergh, the veterinary orthopedic surgeon who attached Vincent’s prosthetic legs and has overseen his rehabilitation. Bergh estimates that only a couple dozen animals in the world have received the sort of prosthetics Vincent now has. His recovery hasn’t always been easy, due in part to how little data is available to guide his rehabilitation. But the overall arc of Vincent’s recovery shows undeniable progress, a testament to innovative veterinary medicine and the dedication and love of his owner.

at a normal life for the cat. Vincent’s implants require some special care. For instance, Jones has to apply an antibiotic spray to his legs twice daily to prevent infections. But, on the whole, Vincent acts like any normal house cat, and Cindy quickly forgives the occasional hiss or scratch. “He’s been through a lot more than most cats have to go through,” she explained.

‘Been through more than most’ Cindy Jones, of rural Nevada, first laid eyes on Vincent at the Story County Animal Shelter, where Jones works. Someone found the tiny kitten with injured hind legs at a campground and brought him to the shelter. Jones decided to take the kitten home and see what could be done for him. “I took one look at him and fell in love,” Jones said. It was Emily Jones, Cindy’s daughter who attends veterinary school at Iowa State, who first thought that Bergh might be able to help. Bergh, who has worked with a wide range of injured species, first tried physical therapy with Vincent but realized early on that endoprosthetics represented the best chance

A rare procedure When Vincent was brought to the animal shelter as a kitten, his hind legs were missing below the midway point of his tibias, or shinbones. Bergh said she couldn’t ascertain exactly how he ended up in that condition. Bergh worked with BioMedtrix, a veterinary orthopedics company that donated time and materials to the project, to design implants that could be inserted into the femur bones of Vincent’s legs and pass through his skin. A 3-D printer helped make the legs possible. The design of the implants allows for Vincent’s bone to grow onto the titanium shafts to support his weight, she said. But the titanium shaft is exposed to the environment, which puts Vincent at risk


Dr. Mary Sarah Bergh examines Vincent during a recent visit to the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center. Photo by Christopher Gannon. Courtesy: Iowa State News Service.

for infection and is an ongoing challenge she and Jones have worked hard to overcome. Vincent’s first surgery occurred in February 2014, and he was taking his first steps within days of the procedure. A second surgery followed earlier this year in February, and he’s undergone subsequent treatments to gradually lengthen the prosthetic legs. Eventually, they’ll be as long as the hind legs of an average house cat to normalize his gait. At that point, he should be able to get around with little difficulty – even if he wants to try jumping. Bergh said the experience with Vincent may help her and other veterinary orthopedic surgeons expand and improve the use of implants for animals in the future. She called this kind of procedure an “emerging field” that’s rare in veterinary medicine, but Vincent’s case may help answer some questions and make implants a more practical solution. As for Vincent, Bergh said his future looks bright. “His bone is looking great. The implants are stable, and he’s walking really well on them,” she said. “I couldn’t be happier with how he’s doing at the current time.



SAVING LIVES:: Hot Firefighters


Get 'em While They're Hot!


The 2016 Charleston Firefighter Calendar benefiting Charleston Animal Society is going fast and furious, but there is still time to pick one up. All of the net proceeds from the calendar will go to Toby’s Fund, Charleston Animal Society’s Medical Fund. “It is an honor to team with our community’s firefighters, our sponsors and our calendar work committee to produce the Firefighter Calendar,” said Calendar Producer and Charleston Animal Society Director of Special Projects & Regional Development Caroline Eller. Visit Charleston Animal Society or go to Mr. August Josh Allen and Caitlyn on Folly Beach.

Calendar Debut Party Emcees Jen Coleman and Caroline Eller.

Calendar Sponsors, Re Brooks and Heather Platzer.

2016 Cover Model Dustin Ford working the crowd at the Firefighter Calendar Debut Party.


Jacob Stafford and Ziva.

Order Online Mr. January, Jacob Stafford and Calendar Producer, Caroline Eller.

Dustin Ford and Justin Iverson at their calendar shoot at Old City Jail.



SAVING LIVES:: Spay-Neuter



IT WAS ORGANIZED CHAOS IN THE hallways of Charleston Animal Society’s AAHA-accredited Spay-Neuter Clinic on November 14th and December 5th. Starting at 7:30am, cats from around the Lowcountry began arriving. 134 in November and 132 in December! And somehow during all the hustle and bustle, each of the cats were spayed or neutered over the course of 8 hours. “We are like a well-oiled machine,” said SpayNeuter Clinic Manager Zohra Badat, LVT. “These animals were primarily outdoor, free-roaming cats and we were able to provide these procedures at no cost to the owners.” Why offer free spay-neuter procedures? “The number of kittens who will now NOT be coming into the shelter is exponential,” said Charleston Animal Society Senior Director of Veterinary Care Lucy Fuller, DVM. “When we offer free and low-cost spay-neuter events, we are flooded with animals. This shows that people do understand the importance of getting their animals altered, but many times the decision not to spay or neuter is a matter of affordability.” Fuller also told Carolina Tails that free-roaming cats contribute heavily to the cat overpopulation problem. In 2015, Charleston Animal Society saw more than 2,400 kittens enter the shelter. “The hope is that spay-neuter blitzes like this one will continue to bring that number down,” Badat said. And while the 268 surgeries completed during the blitzes were 24 CAROLINA TAILS | WINTER 2016

Photos show cats being prepared for surgery, during surgery and then after surgery, where they rest on ‘the beach,” monitored by trained volunteers as the anesthesia wears off.

pretty amazing, it’s a drop in the bucket. Charleston Animal Society performed 12,000 spay neuter procedures in 2015 thanks to the continued donations of supporters from around the Lowcountry – all part of the strategy to keep Charleston a No Kill Community.






MEDIA:: Pet Advocates!

The Pets of Southern Charm BY DAN KROSSE




o one can deny that Southern Charm is the Holy City’s most talked about TV show. Airing on Bravo, the reality program centers on the ups, downs and drama surrounding a group of friends who live on the Charleston peninsula. Locals love to buzz about seeing “this restaurant,” or “that part of town” in the program – but Carolina Tails was fascinated by the cameo appearances of the cast members’ pets! We chuckle every time we see these four-legged actors scurry around in the background, giving a startled glance or disapproving “meow” at the antics of their humans. Once, a main storyline saw Patricia’s dog receive acupuncture! So do the cats and dogs “steal the show?” We asked the cast of Southern Charm and found all of them to be big animal supporters:

Patricia Altschul relaxing with her Pug Chauncey.

Patricia Altschul: “One of the things that the cast of Southern Charm did was to raise quite a bit of money for Caitlyn the dog and create awareness about Charleston being a No Kill Community. Growing up I always had dogs, cats and horses. I’ve probably had over twenty rescued animals and I just think animals enhance your life in every way and I cannot imagine life without animals. When we tape the show, sometimes my dog makes an escape and will run into a scene and I just pick him up and sit him on the chair next to me. It’s fun. Right now, I have Whitney’s boxer Smoochie, because he is traveling and doing other shows. My two Pomeranians are Siegfried and Roy. The Lagotto Romagnola is Monte. I have a pug named Chauncey and a cat named Ashley.“ Cameran Eubanks: “I have been married for almost two years and I am still begging my husband everyday to get one. He is deathly allergic, so whatever we get will have be hypoallergenic. If I ever need an animal fix, I just come over to Patricia’s house because it is like a zoo over here and I also joke that if I ever have to come back, I am going to come back as an animal and live over here. You know, they are living the life.”

Cameran Eubanks sharing a moment with Charleston Animal Society model (up for adopton) Pierre.


Michael Kelcourse: “These are all Mrs. Altschul’s animals that I take care of. My Min-Pin died last year after 10 years and $17,000 in medical bills. I had gone in to rescue a cat and this little dog had been there for seven months and I felt so sorry for it because it went to sit in my lap and I said to them ‘I can’t leave without this dog.’ Animals are the most important things in the whole world because they never disappoint you. In the show, they are always perfect, they are always on cue.”

Naomie Olindo with her “lion” cat Gizmo.

Craig Conover with Charleston Animal Society model (up for adoption) Sassy Suzy.

Craig Conover: “My family has a one-year-old Golden Retriever, whose name is Fenwick. The first time I ever met Fenwick was filming last season and then this season he makes another guest star appearance but I would notice the cameras tend to be on him more then me because they are just so entertaining. And then, Naomie and I have a, I don’t know what kind of cat it is, he looks like a baby lion and his name is Gizmo. He’s a little fluff-ball.”

Naomie Olindo: “My cat Gizmo is a rescue and he is like the best thing that has ever happened to me. He taught me responsibility. I travel with him. He rides in the car with me. He goes on the boat. He has been paddle boarding. He is kind of like a cat-dog. When I see him on the show, it’s like being proud of your child. When my mom met my dad, he was 36, single with eight cats (laughter) and she married him anyway and so we always had animals and also grew up with horses. I think our pets have just as many feelings as we do. When people say ‘it’s just a dog,’ I completely disagree. It’s not just a dog, it’s like a family member.”

Shep Rose posing with Paco the goldfish.

Shep Rose: “I do not currently have any pets. I’m pretty sure my lifestyle and travel habits would not be very fair to any sort of creature. But maybe I will get a pet, if and when I settle down. My folks always had labs. Our dog was a black lab named Nike and thank goodness she couldn't talk, she witnessed some epic parties. The good thing about pets in the show is that you can just sit in the corner and play with them and don't have to enter the sometimes nutty TV scene. I often gravitate towards dogs at parties as well.”

Landon Clements, a Charleston Animal Society foster parent, posing with her Miniature Eskimo Charlotte.

Landon Clements: “I am a foster family for Charleston Animal Society. My first foster was an Australian Cattle dog and it was actually for a family that had to relocate or something, so I just had him for a couple of weeks and she was able to go back to her family. So it was great. It’s not always a long-term commitment. The great thing about fostering is, you have so much support from Charleston Animal Society. Whether it’s the vet bills or if you do have to go out of town, there are people there that are able to help you and you are able to give somebody a home that needs one. My dog is Charlotte who just turned 11. She’s a miniature Eskimo. We’ve always had animals in my family growing up and they just make life better.”




record amount for animals was raised through the 2015 Charleston Animal Society’s Celebrity Chili Cook-off & Oyster Roast at the Citadel on Saturday. All of the net proceeds will go to Toby’s Fund, Charleston Animal Society’s Medical Fund. 5,000 people participated in the organization’s 16th Annual Chili Cookoff, setting attendance and fundraising records for the event. “People in Charleston came out and once again proved that they believe animals are a very important part of our community and they want the best care possible for them,” said Chili Cook-off Chairwoman and Charleston Animal Society Board Member Gerri Greenwood. The day was highlighted by an appearance of Caitlyn the dog and the launch of an exciting lifesaving movement by Charleston Animal Society: No Kill, No Harm, No More!

TOP: The Live 5 News Team celebrates a win in the “Best in Show” celebrity chili category. BELOW: The College of Charleston Chili Team serves up one of hundreds of samples they shared at the cook-off.


WINNING CHILI RECIPE As the nights get cooler, there’s nothing like chili to warm things up. Burtons Grill (located in the Town Centre Mall in Mount Pleasant) won the Best in Show competition at the 2015 Charleston Animal Society Chili Cook-off & Oyster Roast. The winners are kind enough to share their award-winning recipe below. Enjoy! INGREDIENTS: 2oz canola oil 1# bacon, raw diced 1/2"x1/2" 6# tri tip, drained 2 Tbsp grill seasoning 3 cup red onion, diced 1/4"x1/4" ½ cup garlic, minced 2.5 tsp cumin 1 Tbsp smoked paprika 1 Tbsp dried oregano

3.5 tsp chili powder 2 tsp cayenne ½ cup brown sugar ½ cup cider vinegar 5 cup tomato sauce 5 cup beef stock 2 can black beans, 15oz, drained 1 Tbsp cocoa powder

HOW TO MAKE IT: I. Add canola oil to a large heavy bottom pot and heat over high flame until it starts to smoke. 2. Add bacon, red onion and garlic and stir until onions are translucent. About 5 minutes. 3. Add diced sirloin and saute until meat turns brown. About 8-10 minutes. 4. Add all spices and stir to incorporate. Add cider vinegar and brown sugar. 5. Add tomato sauce and beef stock. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover pot. Simmer for 90 minutes. 6. Remove from heat. Add black beans and cocoa powder and stir. 7. Once soup is done, cool in ice bath mixing frequently to cool faster. The soup needs to cool to 70° within 2 hours and to 41° in an additional 4 hours. 8. When soup reaches 41° transfer to 6 soup bags, each containing 2 quarts, place in a lexan and store in freezer with label and date.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The Kids Zone was a big hit with families at the Chili Cook-off.; The Cat Ladies were on the prowl for Team Feline Freedom Coalition.; Chili Trophies overlooking the Citadel Football Stadium.; Mount Pleasant Waterworks Celebrating their “Best Presentation” win for the second year in a row!

TO REHEAT: To reheat soup place bag in a sauce pot of 185° simmering water for 30 minutes. The soup bag cannot stay longer than 1 hour in water as it will affect the flavor profile and texture of the soup. Once the soup is hot and ready for service place in a clean bainmaree. Place a lid on top and put into a steam well. There is a 4 hour shelf life once the soup has been reheated.






RESCUE:: Adopt, Don’t Buy!



It’s a brand new year to be extra happy, to seek out adventure and to let a little extra love into your life—especially by adopting a pet! Our cats and dogs come spay-neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and each are evaluated for their behavior. Come visit Charleston Animal Society today at 2455 Remount Road in North Charleston or go online to:

Pick me! Pick me! Oh, sorry, I’m Louise. I’m just so excited to meet you, and have a heart as big as my smile. (That’s pretty big!)

Like the more famous Mona, I too am known for my pretty face. I’m also housebroken and great on a leash so adopt me and we can go for lots of long walks together. I’m Willow and really want you to be my fur-ever family. See these precious eyes? I’m hugging you with them right now.

Pleased to meet you! I’m Amos. Come to the Charleston Animal Society and introduce yourself. Maybe we could play a bit in the visiting room while you’re here. Abby here! I love the fabulous people at the shelter, but I bet you’re pretty great, too. We could be the purr-fect roommates if you want a new addition to your home.

I’m Diamond Jr. and I can be a girl or boy’s best friend. Adopt me this Valentine’s Day for the love of your life—my fees at the shelter are way cheaper than Tiffany & Co.!




Meet Gumby: The Uncontainable Dog! BY TERI ERRICO

Gumby (on right) is a hound mix who has never met a gate he couldn’t unlatch.



hen you walk into the Charleston Animal Society, you enter to a mix of howls, barks and thumping from every pup present. But not from Gumby. You’d typically find the precious white hound mix leisurely laying on his bed, quiet, completely unfazed by any ruckus and content in his digs. He is seemingly the perfect dog. But if magicians have taught us anything, it’s that looks can be deceiving—and this dog who is fondly known as “Houdini” is quite the virtuoso! Gumby is a sweet, sensitive dog, a lover of humans and animals alike, and also, well, an escape artist. Yes, this 6-year-old hound can outwit any enclosure. Houdini—excuse us—Gumby has quite the rep for being found wandering the streets after breaking out of his crates and opening fence handles with his nose. While he’s never escaped from Charleston Animal Society, the same can’t be said for the 10 adoptive homes who have taken him in. At one adoptive home, he scaled a privacy fence by jumping onto a boat and over the top of the wooded enclosure. At another, he barreled through a screened porch. When one family thought maybe a companion would be the best solution for Gumby’s antics, they adopted a second dog. The hound still opened the gate, but the next time he just took his new buddy with him and they ambled the streets together! 10 Lowcountry families have tried to adopt Gumby since he arrived at the shelter in September 2014, but most of his stays have ranged a mere 2 to 4 days. His record was two months with one family who wanted so much to keep him that they reclaimed him several times—but finally they, too, conceded that they couldn’t contain the wunderkind. The fact is, Gumby is a master break-out artist—and he makes the shelter employees laugh every time he returns. “He’s baaaack!” they sing. But it’s not for lack of trying. When someone is interested, Courtney Gumienny, Director of Adoptions for the Charleston Animal Society, insists she discloses the complete truth about the dog’s quirks, if that’s what you’d call them. “We don’t sugar coat it for them,” she says. “Obviously at first we didn’t know about his escaping until it happened repeatedly. Then people started giving us all this information that he escapes and gets away no matter what they do.” Sherry Barr was one of the first to adopt Gumby. She lived on 16 acres of land in Moncks Corner and fell in love with the dog instantly when she met him “because he was so adorable just sitting there looking at me and wagging his little tail.” Then she took him home. “When I opened the screen door, he jumped out and ran all the way down the road! I had to go pick him up,” Barr recalls with a chuckle. “I tried to walk him back but had to hold onto a tree because he was dragging me everywhere.” She admitted Gumby was too much to handle, and two days later she brought him back. “He is an escape artist for sure! But he is a great dog.” With every new person that has tried to adopt him, Gumby has either been picked back up within a few days by animal control or surrendered. Suggestions on what he could need are often thrown out to possible adopters. He needs to be walked constantly instead of being contained; a yard with tons of space and a fence; frequent trips to the dog park since he loves interacting with other animals; and someone who can teach him leash manners. Barr also suggests Gumby’s owner needs a lot of patience! “We really did think at one point he had the perfect home because we hadn’t seen him in a while,” Gumienny remembers, “but that was because he had been picked up by the Berkeley

County animal shelter. Some of the workers here went to offer relief after the flooding, and the staff happened to walk through and see Gumby.” Gumienny pauses to laugh. “They couldn’t believe it! But they didn’t want to leave him so they brought him back here.” But Gumby never seems disappointed when he has to extend his stay at Charleston Animal Society—and neither does the staff. “Everybody likes Gumby because he doesn’t try anything here!” Gumienny insists. “You walk in the kennel and he’s just hanging out on his bed, acting like nothing bothers him. He loves it here.” In fact, Taylor Lawson, a fellow employee, says that Gumby loves the shelter’s other animals so much that he once unfastened the fence of the play yard simply so he could run around with all the other dogs. “He’s such a good dog, despite being an escape artist,” Lawson says. “He’s a gentle beast that loves humans, dogs and cats. And he has a great howl. It’s very distinct, but he only makes noise when he wants attention or wants to be let out.”

Lawson’s co-worker, Hayley Walker, is fond of him, too. “Gumby’s a good dog that just hasn’t found the right people yet,” she believes. “He hasn’t done anything bad, he’s just sensitive and wants to be with other people and dogs all the time. If he could be contained, he would be a great pet!” One thing is for sure, Charleston Animal Society will never give up on Gumby or the thousands of other dogs they place for adoption each year. As of press time, another wonderful family has taken a chance on Gumby and adopted him. “I wanted to try. Gumby is such a sweet dog, that he was worth the chance,” says Colin Wohlford, noting that what others have said is definitely true. “As soon as he can, Gumby looks for any chance to escape,” Wohlford added. The day the Wohlfords adopted Gumby, “We were in the backyard all of 30 seconds and Gumby almost flat-foot jumped the 4-foot fence. He went straight over it!” Wohlford tells with a chuckle noting he has a huge yard with a fence almost entirely around it. Luckily for Gumby, the family wasn’t deterred. Instead they got him back and are working it through by enclosing the fence and getting a runner to keep the dog in their yard, and hopefully their lives. “Gumby loves it here, and he and my other dog get along really, really well, and my kids love him,” Wohlford says sincerely. “He does have a wild spirit but he’s as sweet as can be so we’re not giving up on him yet.” Gumby. To know him is to love him. Here’s hoping 2016 will bring Charleston’s Houdini his “forever” home. One he can’t—and won’t want to—escape!





YOU’VE WRITTEN AND WE HAVE heard you loud and clear! You want more information on cat behavior! Many of us wrongly assume that only dog owners need training advice, but actually, cat owners are just as eager for behavior information. Problem is, finding help can sometimes be difficult. There are services available, including where you can receive a training session with Harvard-trained cat behaviorist and author Mieshelle Nagelschneider. The ASPCA website is also chock-full of great information. QUESTION: I have two cats, Norm and Abby Norm who both usually love each other very much. But in the last two weeks, something has set them off and they are fighting non-stop. What do I do to bring peace back into our household? Barbara J., Summerville


Barbara, there is nothing more troubling for cat owners than the sounds of hissing, growling cats at three in the morning. Here is a great step-by-step solution we found at the ASPCA: • Separate your cats in different rooms for several days or weeks, with separate beds, bowls and litter boxes. This way they can hear and smell each other, but don’t have to interact. • Place the cats’ food bowls on opposite sides of a closed door. This will encourage them to be close together while they’re doing something that makes them feel good. • Each day, have the cats switch rooms so that they both experience some variation and get access to each other’s scents. You may need an assistant to do this safely. • After several days, if both of your cats appear relaxed, crack the door open one

inch. If they remain calm, open the door a bit more, then a bit more. If the cats remain relaxed, they may be ready to be together again. But if they react with any signs of aggressive behavior—such as growling, spitting, hissing, swatting, etc.—separate them again and follow the gradual reintroduction instructions below. • Some cat parents have had success with rubbing a bit of tuna juice on their cats’ bodies and heads. The cats become so occupied with grooming, which is a relaxing behavior, that they’re less likely to be bothered by the other cat. If things go really well, the cats may actually groom each other because they can’t reach the juice on their own heads. Barbara, we hope this helps! If you have a behavior question regarding dogs or cats, please send it to us at:




True or False. How Well Do You Know Cats?

Courtesy: The National Association for the Advancement of Humane Education.

Answers: 1. TRUE. A cat can be very happy indoors and actually much safer from disease, parasites and predators like coyotes. 2. TRUE. According to Pet MD, cats have a sensory organ at the end of their whiskers called a proprioceptor, which sends tactile signals to the brain and nervous system, helping them to “see” in the dark, almost like kitty radar. 3. TRUE. Cats are color blind, meaning they can see some colors, but not all of them. 4. FALSE. Picking your cat up by the scruff of its neck can be painful and is not appropriate. According to Vet Street, the best way to pick up your cat under normal circumstances is to spread your hand under his chest, and as you lift, slide your other hand and forearm under his hind end to support his weight.


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

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