TAILS SPRING 2018
A Charleston Animal Society Publication
SPECIAL REPORT: ABANDONED HUNTING DOGS
GUMBY IN THE BIG CITY MERT THE TURTLE 59 Years as a Pet!
THERAPY DOGS IN ACTION
2 CAROLINA TAILS | SPRING 2018
SPRING 2018 | CAROLINA TAILS
Publisher: Keith Simmons Editor-in-Chief: Dan Krosse Managing Editor: Joe Elmore Graphic Design: Heineman Design Assistant Editor: Teri Errico Griffis Writers: Dan Krosse, Ellie Whitcomb Payne, Helen Ravenel Hammond, Kathleen Millat Johnson, Victoria Hansen, Marli Drum, Matt Chan Photographers: Marie Rodriguez, Jeanne Taylor, Victoria Hansen, Matt Chan, Dan Krosse, John Martin, Joanna Ferrell Advertising Sales: Ted DeLoach For inquiries regarding advertising, distribution or suggestions in Carolina Tails call (843) 410-2577 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2455 Remount Road, North Charleston, SC 29406 (843) 747-4849 www.CarolinaTails.org
President: Hank Greer Vice President: Helen Pratt-Thomas Secretary: Aussie Geer Treasurer: Laurel Greer Members of the Board Kiara Barnett Mary Black Hal Creel, Esq. Henry Darby Martin Deputy Andrea Ferguson Gerri Greenwood Sarah Hamlin Hastings Ellen Harley Patricia Henley David Maybank, Jr.
Robert Nigro Louise Palmer Megan Phillips Dillard Salmons Stevens Diane Straney Joe Waring, Esq. George “Pat” Waters Peter Waters Nancy Worsham Tami Zerbst
Chief Executive Officer: Joe Elmore Media & Marketing Consultant: dpk media solutions
Contents SPRING 2018
Special Report: Hunting Dogs Dumped & Abandoned
Gumby in the Big City
Mert the Turtle: A Loving Pet for 59 Years
Celebrating 5 Years of No Kill Charleston
2017 Charleston Animal Society Annual Report
Therapy Dogs in Action: Bringing Smiles to MUSC
Kitten Season: If you See, Leave 'em Be!
Who Brought a Puppy Mill Proponent to Charleston?
Ask a Lawyer
Your Vet Directory
Take Me Home Adoptions!
SCACCA: Not Your Grandaddy’s Dog Catcher
A New Day for Feline Freedom
Time to Play! Kids Corner
Please contact regarding Carolina Tails distribution, advertising or suggestions. For all other inquiries, please contact Charleston Animal Society. (843) 410-2577 email@example.com 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.
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36 Cover: Homer is one of hundreds of hunting hounds abandoned at area shelters each year. He was recently rescued and adopted at Charleston Animal Society. Photo: Jeanne Taylor.
Welcome DEAR FRIENDS,
pring is here in Charleston, which means all of us are rushing to enjoy the great outdoors after a particularly cold winter. Unfortunately, it also means many of our area shelters are being flooded with hunting dogs that are unceremoniously dumped by some of their owners after years of loyal service. We know that most hunters do not agree with the abandonment and mistreatment of their hunting dogs, but something has to be done. Last year Charleston Animal Society took in almost 300 hounds and beagles right after deer hunting season ended. Most were found wandering in rural areas -- alone, hungry and in poor shape. Our heartbreaking exposĂŠ on this problem begins on pg. 10 and we hope you take time to read it, because together, maybe we can all come up with a solution. Along with hunting dogs, kittens also start coming into shelters en masse in the spring, and we are so thankful for our foster families who pitch in to help every year. But before you make the decision to pick up kittens you see outside, please read our article on pg. 24. Many times a mother cat is hiding from you, or is out hunting -- and it is best to leave kittens with their mother for as long as possible. I smiled reading our article on MUSC Therapy Dogs (pg. 22) and beamed with pride reading about all of the improvements made at Feline Freedom Sanctuary (pg. 36). If you were unable to attend our Annual Meeting on March 11 at the School of the Arts in North Charleston, we have some photos to share on pg. 7. We were so proud to launch a brand new Charleston Animal Society initiative, "Helping Hands for Rural Paws!" The program will take our Simon Greer Mobile SpayNeuter Clinic to rural areas around the Lowcountry that don't have nearby spay-neuter and wellness options for their pets. And as I close, I want to thank all of the golfers and sponsors taking part in the "Par for Pets" Golf Tournament on April 23rd at the River Course on Kiawah. Just know that with every par, birdie, eagle (and yes, bogey) -- you are helping animals receive medical treatment through Charleston Animal Society's medical fund, Toby's Fund. Thank you for all that you do for the animals!
Charleston Animal Society Board President Hank Greer with Mabel, one of hundreds of hounds abandoned after hunting season in the Lowcountry each year. See our special report starting on pg 10.
Hank Greer President CHARLESTON ANIMAL SOCIETY SPRING 2018 | CAROLINA TAILS
NEWS:: You Can Use
New NG Tidb s its
K-9 OFFICER KILLED IN CRASH Mojo, a beloved K-9 with North Charleston Police was killed in the line of duty on February 15th, as he and his handler were responding to a burglary call. His handler, PFC Brandon VanAusdal is still recovering from injuries in the accident. A suspect accused of causing the crash was arrested for drunk driving. Mojo was honored with a full police motorcade and memorial service attended by police from across the Lowcountry. Mojo served in the police department for 5 years and was instrumental in numerous arrests. “Two-legged or four, all working in police service are considered officers,” said North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey. Charleston Animal Society will be honoring Police K-9s like Mojo with a memorial on their animal care campus. Carolina Tails has dedicated this issue’s back cover to Mojo, to thank him for his years of tireless service. He will be missed.
North Charleston Police PFC Brandon VanAusdal with K-9 Officer Mojo during a training session.
LUCKY DOG TV STAR VISITS CHARLESTON ANIMAL SOCIETY Brandon McMillan, author and Emmy award-winning host of the CBS Show Lucky Dog visited Charleston Animal Society St. Patrick’s Day weekend. McMillan shared tips on helping dogs overcome their fears -- and focused on hound dogs at the shelter that are believed to have once been hunting dogs. “Having Brandon visit our shelter was a breath of fresh air. It brought people to the shelter who had never visited and it gave a new training perspective to our team,” said Charleston Animal Society Director of Community Engagement Kay Hyman. McMillan is the author of Lucky Dog Lessons. His Emmy-winning program Lucky Dog airs locally on Channel 5 Saturdays at 10am.
Online Poll: Would You Clone Your Pet? n Yes n No Vote at www.CarolinaTails.org
DOG WITH HUMAN FACE? The Internet had a momentary meltdown after photos of Yogi made the rounds on Reddit, Facebook, Instagram and other social media outlets. Yogi’s owner Chantal Desjardins of New Hampshire gave her Shih Tzu-Poodle mix a haircut, when she noticed Yogi looked a little too human. Chantal says Yogi is enjoying the attention and so far it hasn’t gone to his head…(his doggy head, not his human head).
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CLONING PETS Superstar Barbra Streisand made headlines after telling Variety that two of her dogs were clones of her dog Samantha. “I was so devastated by the loss of my dear Samantha, after 14 years together, that I just wanted to keep her with me in some way,” Streisand said. Cells from Samantha’s cheeks and stomach were used in the cloning process. How much does pet cloning cost? ViaGen is a biomedical company that will charge you $50,000 to clone a dog and $25,000 to clone a cat. That's down from $100,000 just three years ago.
PEOPLE & PLACES:: Charleston
Celebrating 5 Years of No Kill Charleston Photos: Marie Rodriguez More than 200 people came out to celebrate 5 years of No Kill Charleston on March 11. The 144th Charleston Animal Society Annual Meeting focused on this major accomplishment (see pg. 18). Honorees this year included Volunteer of the Year Aussie Geer and Adopters of the Year Amanda Brooks and Annaliese Hughes, founders of Pounce Cat Cafe. The cafe has adopted more than 670 cats from Charleston Animal Society since opening last year! North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey accepted the Community Ambassador Award on behalf of the City of North Charleston.
Volunteer of the Year Aussie Geer receives her award from Board Member Hal Greer.
Tai MacIlwanen of Pawmetto Lifeline, Petco Foundation Executive Director and Keynote Speaker Susanne Kogut and No Kill South Carolinaâ€™s Becca Boronat.
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey received the Community Ambassador Award on behalf of the City of North Charleston. Summey shared his love for dogs during his speech.
Charleston Animal Society Adopters of the Year, Amanda Brooks and Annaliese Hughes. The pair founded Pounce Cat Cafe, which has adopted more than 670 cats from the shelter.
Board Member Patricia Henley shares a moment with Lil Buck, who stole the show as co-emcee of the Annual Meeting. Treated through Toby's Fund after being shot in the leg, Lil Buck is now living with a new family in Charleston.
Charleston Animal Society Board Member Peter Waters shows off the book about Caitlyn's rescue during his opening remarks.
SPRING 2018 | CAROLINA TAILS
Inbox:: Reader Feedback
Dear Charleston Animal Society: I am so happy to deliver these treat bags with my awesome friend, Wickie Fort (she loves animals as much as I do, maybe more)! I participated in your summer camps last year and learned so much about the work and goals of Charleston Animal Society. That is why I started “Animal Allies” at my high school, Ashley Hall. So far, we have collected donations for the animal victims of Hurricane Harvey, sent a letter opposing the parole of Wiliam Dodson (Caitlyn), and raised $650 in donations for last November's Chili Cook-off and Oyster Roast. Thank you for all of the work that everyone at Charleston Animal Society does every day. It has inspired me to think about becoming a veterinarian. Thanks so much, Kitty Goldman, Charleston
Wickie Fort and Kitty Goldman dropped off treat bags for the animals at Charleston Animal Society on Valentine's Day.
EVENTS Lowcountry Cajun Festival
Halls Author Series - Caitlyn Book
April 8, 12pm – 6pm James Island County Park • 871 Riverland Drive • Charleston Bringing Louisiana to the Lowcountry, the Lowcountry Cajun Festival is a full-day of Zydeco music, Cajun and Creole foods, kids activities, and all around ragin’ Cajun fun! For those who prefer a tamer menu, we’ll serve up ample portions of festival foods like hot dogs, sno cones, and more.
April 20 434 King Street • Charleston Come meet the authors behind Caitlyn: America’s Dog, the story of how Caitlyn mobilized people around the world to ﬁght against cruelty after she was found with her muzzle taped shut and she was brought to Charleston Animal Society to be rescued.
Par for Pets Sgt. Stubby Movie Premiere April 13 A Movie Theater Near You! Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero is an upcoming computer-animated feature ﬁlm based on the incredible true story of America’s most decorated dog. After being rescued off the streets by a young Soldier on the eve of America’s entry in World War I, Stubby is given a home, a family, and the chance to embark on the adventure that would deﬁne a century. A percentage of proceeds on opening day in South Carolina Theaters will go to Charleston Animal Society! So take your whole family!!
Seadogs Walk at the Beach April 19, 5pm North Beach • Seabrook Island Seadogs, the Seabrook Island dog and beach advocacy group, will hold their annual fundraising walk at North Beach on Seabrook April 19. The walk combines fun with charitable giving for Seabrook Island residents. All money raised will go to the animals at Charleston Animal Society.
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April 23 River Course on Kiawah Island • River Course Lane • Kiawah This amazing fundraiser for Toby’s Fund is sold out for golfers, but you can still get in on the action as a sponsor! Just email Jennifer Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more at www.ParforPets.com.
Yappy Hours at Charleston County Parks April 26 and May 17, 4pm – 8pm James Island County Park • 871 Riverland Drive • Charleston Come chillax with your dog and other animal lovers, as you enjoy the music and the sunset at James Island County Park. On April 26, enjoy live music from Logan Kidder. On May 17, John Sherrill will perform. Yappy Hours are sponsored by Charleston Animal Society.
SPRING 2018 | CAROLINA TAILS
SPECIAL REPORT:: Dogs in Crisis
Abandoned & Dumped!
SPEC REPO IAL RT
WHY ARE SO MANY HUNTING DOGS FLOODING AREA SHELTERS? BY ELLIE WHITCOMB PAYNE
Charleston Animal Society and other Lowcountry shelters see a surge in hound dogs brought in as strays each winter and spring. Picked up in rural areas, some with hunting-style dog collars, many others without, these animals fit the profile of “deer dogs” and the shelter is overrun.
ibs show through the skin of a Walker hound with splayed feet and scarred ears. A skittish Beagle, positive for heartworms, cowers in the back of her cage. Another skinny hound, with pressure sores, scarred ears and heartworms, shows quiet excitement at the front of her kennel. And these were just the first three of 10 seen over a 30-minute period on a walkthrough at Charleston Animal Society. These animals were found running loose in rural areas like Wadmalaw Island, Ravenel, Awendaw, Lincolnville, and Adams Run. It’s just another day at Charleston Animal Society, where abandoned dogs flood the shelter every winter and spring.
THE CLUES ARE CLEAR Shelters annually see a sharp spike in hounds that coincides with deer hunting season. From January 2017 through February of this year, Charleston Animal Society took in 290 hounds. Only 47 of them were returned to their owners. The remaining 84% of these hounds were left behind. Other area shelters see similar trends. Jami Bunton of Dorchester Paws said 258 hounds were brought in as strays last year. For those without identification, shelter personnel can’t know for sure their backgrounds, but several indicators suggest they are lost or abandoned hunting dogs: • Splayed feet show the dog was likely kept in a kennel with unstable flooring, like chicken wire used in hunting kennels • Scarred and ripped ears indicate a life running through brush • Untreated neck and ear wounds • Brightly colored collars with name plates torn off
Brittany Wiley, a technician of Animal Health and Welfare with Charleston Animal Society, has a soft spot for hounds, a breed she 10 CAROLINA TAILS | SPRING 2018
Many Deer Hunting dogs are kept in kennels that have chicken wire bottoms, so urine and excrement can fall through to the ground. The setup causes their paws to splay, a condition that shows up in many area shelters.
calls one of the goofiest and friendliest around. Her heart sinks each time another case comes in. “There is a standard of care that should apply to all animals,” she says. “It is sad when they treat these dogs as ‘tools’ they can throw away, instead of treating them like family members.” Wiley says hunting is not the problem, it’s a group of the hunters that don’t treat their dogs well. “There are many good [dog] hunters out there, we just don’t see their dogs because those animals are taken care of.”
This hunting dog was photographed near Walterboro, caught in a trap. While he was unharmed and released, the hound was clearly hungry, but would not accept an offer to ride home with the hunter who found him. The closeup in the corner shows the trap. Photo: Chad Fuller.
HUNTERS ARE CONCERNED TOO Chad Fuller, from Lexington, has hunted the Lowcountry for the past 10 years. In February, Chad found a captured hound. It appeared domesticated, because as he extended his hands towards the animal’s nose, it promptly went into a submissive position. “The dog was clearly dealing with starvation and going for whatever food it could find. But at the same time, and even though it was trapped and scared, it did not try to attack me.” Chad freed the dog unharmed but was unable to coax it into his truck. It had no identifying information. Fuller can attest to an annual increase in “strays” seen rummaging for food at local convenience stores at the end of deer hunting season. “We are not dealing with Chihuahuas running around in trash cans,” Chad observes. “We’re dealing with dogs that, though not necessarily pure bred, do seem to be of the type used for hunting deer.” Because of controversy surrounding deer dog hunting (see sidebar), many hunters shied away from discussing hunting dog neglect. One local hunter, Jon Hill, admitted to finding lost dogs on his hunting lease. These dogs did have identification and Jon called the owner. Jon has great admiration for the sport and believes a few bad actors are giving dog hunters a bad name. “The vast majority are ethical people,” says Jon, “and they try to collect their dogs. The ones that do not, leave the evidence in the form of a malnourished animal wandering on the side of a state highway. These dogs are almost always deer dogs.” The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) does not keep data on stray dogs. SCDNR Director of the Office
“I grew up in a hunting family that understood the value of dogs. They’re doing their job for you. Why not do your job as a human for them?” – Lowcountry Hunter Chad Fuller of Media and Outreach Captain Robert McCullough says he doesn’t believe most hunters would intentionally abandon their animals. He does say there’s little doubt there are unscrupulous hunters who might use any dog “with a little pep” to run deer, “but I can’t say for sure that it (dog dumping) is a major recurring problem.” Fuller adamantly believes most dog hunters in the area take care of their animals, the more prudent using expensive tools like radio and GPS collars. “But,” he continues, “there is also this contingent, the same as any profession… there are bad doctors… there are bad lawyers, there is a contingent of dog drivers that do turn their dogs loose at the end of the season.” He adds, “I grew up in a hunting family that understood the value of dogs. That is what I don’t understand about this particular problem. They’re doing their job for you. Why not do your job as a human for them?”
WHAT CAN BE DONE? Whether dumped or lost, these hunting dogs end up in local shelters, if they’re lucky. Many times they end up shot, hit by cars, or die of starvation or disease. For lost dogs, steps can be taken to
SPRING 2018 | CAROLINA TAILS
SPECIAL REPORT:: Dogs in Crisis
Complicating the problem is South Carolina state statute (Section 47-1-70) that exempts “identifiable” hunting dogs from the state’s abandonment cruelty law.
Hunting dog kennels are often kept in remote places, deep in the woods. Several dogs are often placed in the same kennel. The majority of the flooring is chicken wire, to allow urine and waste to fall through. The chicken wire is what splays the dogs feet after months or years of trying to keep their balance. The corners have small, hard, wood surfaces for the dogs to sleep on. Many dogs rescued by shelters are found with sore spots believed to be caused by laying in the same position for too long. Rendering by Christophe Drumain.
DEER DOG HUNTING Hunting deer with dogs is a centuries-old tradition with deep Lowcountry roots. “Deer doggers,” as the hunters are sometimes called, revere the sport for its camaraderie and excitement. But much tension and controversy surrounds deer dog hunting. As hunting lands become smaller and the Lowcountry sees more development, this way of life is threatened. Landowners, other hunters, and lawmakers put pressure on deer doggers for different reasons. The Property Watch Program of SCDNR reports an increasing amount of “landowner complaints due to deer dogs interfering with still hunting or other activities.” (2017-2018 SCDNR Hunting Guide). A bill in the South Carolina Senate, S.936, seeks to restrict dog hunting to land with 1000 acres or more, a law opponents say will cause an already diminishing pastime to disappear. Different than other hunting styles, deer dog hunting is more social. Done in large groups of people with a pack of dogs, the hunters surround a property while the hounds chase deer out of the woods towards the hunters. Lawmakers have made hunting deer with dogs illegal in most of the country. Southeastern states hang on to the tradition, but even in South Carolina the sport is only allowed in the eastern half of the state.
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help owners retrieve their hounds. GPS and radio collars can help tremendously by keeping track of hunting dogs, but they can cost several hundred dollars. By law, all hunting dogs must be collared with owner contact information. If a lost dog ditches his collar, microchipping can help identify owner information. But complicating the problem is South Carolina state statute (Section 47-1-70) that exempts “identifiable” hunting dogs from the state’s abandonment cruelty law. So the challenge remains -getting the dogs’ previous owners to come check for their dogs at shelters. “We do call, but many times, the owners don’t want to come pick these dogs up,” Wiley says. “Hunting is a job for these dogs, but even as they get older and slower, owners should help them move in to the second phase of their lives, to being a day-to-day companion,” says Bunton of Dorchester Paws. Charleston Animal Society Board President Hank Greer has a message for hunters who are considering dumping their animals, “Please give us a chance to find these beautiful animals good homes. We want to help them live fulfilled lives.” When an animal is brought in, receiving key information about health and temperament can make finding a new home much easier. To bring your dog to the shelter, call ahead and make an appointment. It is a judgement-free process with one goal in mind: the safety and health of your animal.
Homer (our cover dog) came in as a stray from Awendaw showing classic signs of being an abandoned hunting dog. He was underweight, his ears showed signs of damage and he had pressure sores on his feet and hind quarters from extended laying on a hard surface. Worst of all, Homer had to have two operations on his tail because of severe damage. On the bright side, Homer was adopted in early March. Photo: Jeanne Taylor
The Rifle Range and Six Mile Road area of Mt. Pleasant is a hotbed for abandoned hound dogs, according to Charleston Animal Society. This is where 2-year-old Mabel was found underweight and suffering from terrible infections that left puss running from her ears. Like many other former hunting dogs, she suffers from splayed feet and heartworms. She is receiving treatment for all of her medical ailments through Tobyâ€™s Fund at Charleston Animal Society. Photo: Dan Krosse
Roseann was abandoned as a senior at 8-years-old. She was found running along Highway-162 near Ravenel. When a driver stopped, she immediately hopped in the car and was brought to Charleston Animal Society. Roseann's health problems include heartworm, a mass that had to be treated and thickening of the ears. Photo: Dan Krosse
Look closely and you can see a classic ear split that went untreated on Watsonâ€™s right side. Ear problems are a tell-tale sign that a dog was once a deer hunting dog. Watson also had splayed paws, but came in as a stray from Ravenel at a healthy weight. Photo: Jeanne Taylor
SPRING 2018 | CAROLINA TAILS
ADOPTION UPDATE:: Happy Dog!
GUMBY IN THE BIG CITY BY HELEN RAVENEL HAMMOND PHOTOS: JOHN MARTIN AND JOANNA FERRELL
WHO CAN FORGET THE STORY OF Gumby the escape artist? He’s the white hound who refused to be adopted and kept jumping adopters’ fences to return to Charleston Animal Society (Carolina Tails, Winter 2016). When this hound mix came in as a stray in September 2014, the Charleston Animal Society staff worked hard to find him a forever home. But this rascally Houdini kept coming back to the shelter, escaping from his adopters 11 different times! John Martin was working at Charleston Animal Society on the adoption floor and will never forget Gumby's failed adoptions. Over and over, Martin saw Gumby come back to the shelter. "When I moved to the Behavior Team in June of 2016, I worked with Gumby every day and got to know him a lot better. He’s always been a staff favorite and a great coworker," says Martin. He recounts that Gumby became Charleston Animal Society's permanent greeter dog for playgroups. Gumby had an ease about him that calmed the newbies. In addition, he was a blood donor for kittens with eye infections. Martin started taking Gumby home from work with him a couple nights a week and the huge hound immediately fell in love with Martin’s wife, Joanna Ferrell. "He’s always loved me, but he’s definitely a Mama’s Boy and immediately latched on to her. He fit right in at home with us and was great about letting us share the couch with him,” Martin jokes. Moving to the Big Apple In November 2016, the young couple made the decision to leave the Lowcountry and relocate to New York. “We had no intention 14 CAROLINA TAILS | SPRING 2018
Fair is fair. Gumby usually hogs the couch, so John occasionally sneaks a nap on Gumby’s dog bed.
of bringing Gumby to New York with us, but on my last day of work at Charleston Animal Society, I may or may not have called Joanna and begged if we could bring him with us. She immediately agreed and we couldn’t be happier that we did," Martin admits. The trio has been in Manhattan for more than a year, and Gumby is practically a Central Park celebrity. "Gumby walks at least four miles a day and is a hit in the big city. Hounds aren't too common here, and everyone asks what breed he is," says Ferrell. For the record, a DNA test found that Gumby is primarily English Pointer, with Greyhound, Whippet and a little Lab mixed in for good measure. Gumby is loving the Big City Life where he sleeps in the bed with his owners—he's also laid claim to two-thirds of the couch— and goes to "Doggie Daycare" where he was named general manager. According to Joanna, when they first adopted him, Gumby was a little “curvaceous.” He has since gone on a diet, and now has his city-bod going, weighing in around 55 pounds. Escaping: A Thing of the Past? "Gumby is the absolute light of our lives. He has so much personality, is so affectionate and makes us laugh every single day," Ferrell
Who’s the King of Central Park? Gumby is!
"Gumby is the absolute light of our lives,” says Ferrell. beams. "And the best news? Gumby has never tried to escape! He's glued to our sides at all times, and we can open the apartment door and let him off-leash inside our building without worrying." Martin, too, is tickled by all the attention Gumby gets in New York. "Gumby loves Greenies, butt scratches, going for long walks at Carl Schurz Park and Central Park, his stuffed pie toy, the occasional French fry, making friends at daycare, and sitting at busy intersections for treats," Martin says. "I am happy to have aided in his retirement." Follow Gumby’s exploits in New York on Instagram: @gumbstagram.
SPRING 2018 | CAROLINA TAILS
TURTLES:: Long, Happy Life!
Mert the Turtle
59-years later, this slow, little guy is still a beloved pet. BY KATHLEEN MILLAT JOHNSON PHOTOS MARIE RODRIGUEZ
ogs and cats have been known to live twenty years or more, but turtles are a different story. Nancy Baker of West Ashley and her Eastern Box turtle, Mert, have been together for 59 years! Aware that these turtles may live to be a century old, Nancy isn’t taking any chances. If Mert lives longer than she does, Nancy has lined up her niece to adopt Mert. “I asked Sara if she would take Mert and she said, ‘Yes,’” explains Nancy, noting the request will be in her will. “It’s nice knowing that Mert will be with family.”
SLOW A STEAD ND Y
The Love Story Begins Mert, a Terrapine carolina carolina species, has a long history of being a part of the Baker family. It was in 1959, on a family trip from Chicago to Arkansas, that Nancy and her sister Marilee saw a number of dead and maimed turtles killed by cars on the highway. The sisters begged their dad to let them save one. “‘No!’ He kept telling us over and over,” Nancy recounts. “At a rest stop my sister and I snuck one into the car. When Dad realized there was a turtle in the back seat, well, let’s just say he wasn’t happy.” Mert went with the Baker family on vacation and returned home to Glen Ellyn, Illinois, to live many years in their home. Happy Mert Memories “My mom was an animal lover. She was the one who took care of Mert,” Nancy says. “She would carry Mert around under her cardigan. It gave visitors quite a shock when Mert’s head peeked out!”
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Nancy Baker reading as Mert keeps her company. Nancy’s had Mert for 59 years.
Another shock came, after ten years with the Bakers, when Mert laid an egg. “We were so sure Mert was a male. After the egg, we tried changing her name to Myrtle but it never stuck. It was too late. Mert was Mert!” says Nancy.
Mert Moves to Charleston Upon moving to the Lowcountry two years ago, Nancy was also surprised that Mert stopped hibernating. “Every year from November to April, Mert would hibernate,” Nancy notes. “She didn’t eat, drink or move for four months. Now that we are living in the South, she’s active all year long.” Each morning Nancy heads to Mert’s enclosure and greets her with breakfast and cheery conversation. Mert responds by extending her neck and rolling her head up towards Nancy to see what’s being served. Meals include a selection of waxworms, earthworms, fruits and vegetables—though Mert is a discriminating turtle when it comes to blueberries. Nancy reports that Mert is able to delicately peel off the skin of the berry with her beak, eating only the juicy part and leaving the rest behind. For exercise and stimulation, Mert roams around the house. Her roommates, Nancy’s shepherd mix dog, Misty, and cat, Bunny, are accustomed to the turtle’s presence. After all, Mert was in the home long before they arrived and is respected as the “old timer.” Recently, Nancy observed Bunny sitting next to Mert as both contentedly watched the world go by. Having Mert as a companion has given Nancy many enriching experiences with a chance to educate people concerning turtles. She recently took Mert to her church to show her off to the children at Sunday School. The adults were also curious to see a turtle close up and to learn the personal story of Mert’s rescue and long life with the Bakers.
Saving the Eastern Box Turtle Mert has thrived for 59 years after being rescued from certain death, however even Nancy agrees that modern research proves it’s never the best idea to take any wild creature out of their natural habitat. These turtles are more delicate than they look and don’t do well as children’s pets because they have to be handled so carefully. Turtles can also carry salmonella bacteria, so hygiene and clean hands when interacting with them are a must. With a growing concern over illegal activity and acquiring and selling Eastern Box turtles, the entire United States, except South Carolina, has outlawed their sale. South Carolina is actually the only state where a limited number can be legally captured and sold. Additionally, there is concern over the lack of proper care for turtles by pet owners who have no knowledge of their needs. Besides the basics, Eastern Box turtles’ needs include basking in sunlight or ultraviolet light for vitamin D, water to soak in, a varied diet and even a monitored atmosphere for correct humidity. Visits to an exotic pet veterinarian are also required to check on health issues, such as parasites and diseases or, in Mert’s case, a beak trim Though Mert’s story is heartwarming, if you see a turtle in danger on the road, please do not take it home or turn it back. Instead, help it continue in the direction it is going. These turtles are determined to complete their mission to find a mate or to lay a clutch of eggs. They know exactly where they want to go and that’s across that road!
Mert eating lunch -- a tasty selection of worms!
Mert meets a houseguest, Golden Retriever Phoebe.
For more information, visit the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources website at dnr.sc.gov for a summary of turtle laws regarding possession and sales. You might also want to look up Boykin Spaniels and their newly discovered talent for finding these turtles in the field and bringing them to wildlife authorities where they can be counted and examined for health and population numbers.
THE EASTERN BOX TURTLE •
An Eastern Box turtle’s gender can be determined by the color of their eyes: red eyes are male and brown eyes are female. Ages can be determined by counting the ridges on the top shell, which are like the concentric rings in a tree stump. This species is able to protect itself by pulling in its extremities and locking the top and bottom shells together with a hinge. Its compact shape gives it the name of “box “turtle. These small turtles (approx. 8 inches), which were once so plentiful in the wild and in gardens of the Eastern half of the United States, are now in danger. Some States have categorized them as vulnerable or endangered. This is due to land development, building construction and pesticides. Unfortunately, they are still being hit by cars as they make their way over roads to get to their nesting or mating sites.
SPRING 2018 | CAROLINA TAILS
NO KILL CHARLESTON:: Celebrating 5 Years
CELEBRATING FIVE YEARS OF A NO KILL COMMUNITY
BY JOE ELMORE, CHARLESTON ANIMAL SOCIETY CEO
IN 2013, CHARLESTON ANIMAL SOCIETY launched the boldest animal rescue initiative ever undertaken in the Southeast, No Kill Charleston 2015, to save every healthy and treatable animal in Charleston County. Although many thought it improbable, if not impossible, Charleston Animal Society achieved the 3-year initiative in its first year.
n 2012, we threw down the gauntlet, with all odds against us, and cleared the shelter, giving us the confidence to move forward with No Kill Charleston. In 2013, we launched No Kill Charleston 2015, the boldest lifesaving initiative ever undertaken in the deep south and we achieved this 3-year initiative in its first year! In 2014, we launched the largest pet magazine in the state, Carolina Tails. In 2015, we created a kitten intensive care unit to supplement our amazing army of foster volunteers who save 2,000 animals each year and mounted the largest horse rescue ever undertaken in Charleston County. We also became the only combined animal shelter/veterinary clinic in the Southeast, to earn the coveted American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accreditation, the vanguard of veterinary credentialing. We also called out a broken system of compliance and enforcement in Charleston’s carriage horse enterprise and remain committed to ensuring a system that employs humane working conditions, not the harshest conditions in the nation. In 2016, we launched No Kill South Carolina, the boldest of all animal rescue initiatives undertaken at the grassroots level! When our neighbors in Ravenel needed to transition the largest feline sanctuary in the state, we were there for them and Feline Freedom Sanctuary is now thriving with our combined efforts as a program of Charleston Animal Society (see pg. 36). In 2017, with the generosity of Hank and Laurel Greer, we obtained the Simon Greer Mobile Spay-Neuter Clinic, which we affectionately call “Simon’s Rig.” We immediately put it into action supporting a large cruelty operation in Orangeburg. Had it not been for our response to our neighbors in need, those 60 cats would not have made it. And, now, in 2018, we have the ability and funding to use Simon’s Rig as our flagship in “Helping Hands for Rural Paws.” We will not only bring affordable and accessible veterinary care to our rural communities within Charleston County, we will test 18 CAROLINA TAILS | SPRING 2018
Charleston Animal Society Veterinarian Assistant Sandra Gann hugs a dog one last time before he was transported to safety as Hurricane Irma was heading toward the East Coast.
a model for rural veterinary outreach and, if successful, it could be a model for the nation. We started all this with focus, strategy and determination and we must continue to adhere to these values and guiding principles moving forward. Along the way of building and sustaining No Kill Charleston, I remember all of these highlights that reflect the amazing membership that is at the heart of Charleston Animal Society, those who continue to give a gift of their time, money or home. These volunteers, donors, fosters and adopters are the people who have made this amazing accomplishment possible. On behalf of the 40,000 animals who’ve been saved during this time, thank you!
MIRACLE DOGS:: Therapy Dogs
MAKING THE ROUNDS WITH THERAPY DOGS BY VICTORIA HANSEN PHOTOS VICTORIA HANSEN
Even nurses at MUSC find a visit from Daisy an exciting way to recharge their batteries.
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COMF CREA ORT TURE S
bacterium, Clostridium Difficile or “C. Diff.” Hoffman says infectious control specialists approached him after hearing about dogs in Canada that can do it. He says he knows of dogs that can detect bed bugs, even cancer, so he’s giving it a try. But in the meantime, he needs more dogs just for the hospital’s daily therapy routine—ideally 100, doubling what he has right now.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD THERAPY DOG? Daisy brings a smile to nine-year-old Kinsley Ayden's face.
he hospital waiting room is packed with people sprawled out in rows of chairs. Some slouch in their seats, eyes closed, while others fixate on their phones. Time feels agonizingly slow—that is until a petite, strawberry-colored, curlyhaired dog tumbles in. The receptionist looks up and grins. “Hi Daisy,” she says, as she gives the man accompanying Daisy a pointed, but playful look. Daisy, a one-year-old, mini Goldendoodle works the room with caramel eyes and animated brows. She is a therapy dog at Medical University of South Carolina. Daisy’s handler, Al Hoffman, begins each day around 6 a.m. at MUSC’s Children’s Hospital with either Daisy or Lucky, his other therapy dog. He breaks out a picture of the older Shnoodle, a doggie business card of sorts. All of the hospital’s therapy dogs have a card, Hoffman notes, adding about a third of the animals are rescues. On the back of the card is a list of Lucky’s hobbies, tricks and a favorite treat, which by the way is bacon.
MAKING THE ROUNDS Today, it’s Daisy’s turn to visit with patients. She holds her curled tail high, its white tip prominently displayed. Her first stop is the room of 15-year-old Jordan Avery— he’s been in the hospital with abdominal pain for two days. Daisy waits at the end of his bed, up on hind legs, eager for the sign. Hoffman gives the go ahead and she snuggles up to the teen with persuasive eyes. “I saw her from across the hall,” Avery says of the Goldendoodle. “She’s so cute. I didn’t think [she was] going to come in
here. It just made my day.” The teen admits he’s had some pain, but right now he says it’s a little better. In fact, he’s all smiles. Daisy curls up at the bottom of the bed, with her back to the boy. Hoffman explains she’s guarding him by keeping an eye on the door. “Oh my goodness,” Avery’s mother Sheila exhales. “The dog, her whole demeanor is so calming and soothing.” On command, Daisy hops down gingerly. Her work here is done. “Dogs are really good at lowering blood pressure and heart rate. They’re also good at pain management and anxiety,” notes Hoffman, who has not only seen it in his work, but states numerous studies show the same results. Pet therapy releases those feel-good endorphins, making a hospital visit more bearable.
THE COMFORT TEAMS Perhaps this is why Hoffman’s volunteer teams of handlers and dogs, roughly 50 currently, are allowed to go just about anywhere in the hospital that is not a sterile environment. They keep people company in the intensive care unit before and after surgery. They help calm children receiving IVs and work with special needs children undergoing therapy. The dogs motivate patients to get up and move, and even soothe adults terrified of dental work. Hoffman vividly remembers a 4-yearold stroke victim who needed speech therapy, but refused to talk. “We brought Lucky in and sat him on the floor, and within minutes she was talking to the dog,” Hoffman recalls. Currently, Hoffman is training Daisy to sniff out a common and costly hospital
According to Jane Hirsch—past president of “Alliance of Therapy Dogs,” an organization that assists in therapy dog registration—eligible animals need to have good manners. Therapy dogs can’t jump or pull the leash. They must be good with strangers, listen well and get along with other dogs. As part of their training, the animals are tested in at least three public places, including a medical environment, which is most often a nursing home. “It’s very rewarding,” says Hirsch. “It’s a win-win situation. Who doesn’t like to hear people ooh and ahh over their dog? And we get to spend quality time with our dogs.” Daisy has quickly become a hospital favorite with the nursing staff who supplies snacks as she strolls through the halls. Children like Kinsley Hayden, a 9-year old who routinely has to get IVs and infusions for a kidney condition, have come to count on her. As a mom, Becky Haden says the dog makes her feel better. Then, there’s 3 year-old Isabella Bennet in for stomach troubles. She just met Daisy and can’t stop giggling and calling her name. “Every day you get a different person, whether it’s a child, or a mother or father,” Hoffman says. “You can motivate them, help them smile again.”
15-year-old Jordan Avery relaxes with Daisy by petting her on his bed.
WANT TO LEARN MORE? Charleston Animal Society offers classes for people interested in becoming a therapy dog volunteer. Visit www.CharlestonAnimalSociety.org/dog-training. You can also learn more at MUSC at www.muschealth.org/volunteer/ pet-therapy.html.
SPRING 2018 | CAROLINA TAILS
FELINES:: What You Need to Know
IF YOU SEE, LEAVE 'EM BE! F inding a kitten outdoors can be an exciting experience. But think twice before you pick 'em up to save 'em. The best course of action is to usually “leave ‘em be!” Mother cats are fierce protectors and caretakers of their young litters and may be nearby watching you, hoping you keep your distance, because everything is just fine.
NEWBORNS Newborn kittens are born without the ability to hear, see, keep themselves warm, or eliminate on their own. In other words, they’re purely dependent on mom for just about everything! Newborns need to eat about once every two hours. Mother cats keep them warm with their own body heat, and lick them on their genital and anal areas to help them eliminate waste.
N KITTEON SEAS
24 CAROLINA TAILS | SPRING 2018
BY MATT CHAN PHOTO MATT CHAN
1 WEEK Baby kittens’ eyes begin to open at around 10 days of age. Their eyes appear to be blue from when they first open their eyes, until anywhere from 7-12 weeks of age, when melanocytes in the iris produce pigment that determines the final color of the eye. Their ears will be flat, and they will be unable to hear until around 17 days old. 2 WEEKS At 2-3 weeks, kittens love to crawl and explore! Their eyes will now be fully open. This is the age you may see them outdoors, but before you intervene, observe from a distance over a period of time to make sure the mother doesn’t return. Often times she is hiding or hunting.
3 WEEKS Kittens can now begin to fully hear as their ears unfold. At this age, it is still important for the kittens to remain with their mothers. “Leave 'em be,” unless, you have not seen the mother return to the litter for several hours. Kittens will be walking, though a little wobbly still. And between 3-4 weeks they’ll have a new special skill: the ability to retract their claws! 4 WEEKS Kittens will be eliminating all on their own by 4 weeks of age. Their best caretaker is still their mother. While they are growing fast, the nutrients from their mother’s milk will help keep them strong and healthy. 5 WEEKS At 5 weeks, kittens are fully regulating their own body heat! They’ll be very playful by this point, and learning socialization skills. This is the age where you may see them wandering by themselves away from the litter. If you see this, help guide them back to the safety of their brothers and sisters.
6 WEEKS Kittens at 6 weeks are now becoming more independent. You’ll get to see them reveal their final eye color soon. At this age, it is time to bring them into your county shelter, where veterinarians will decide if the kittens are good candidates for fostering, adoption or being returned to the field. They should begin their vaccinations at 8 weeks, and they’ll be big enough to be spayed or neutered at about 8-9 weeks. IF YOU DETERMINE KITTENS ARE ORPHANED OR ABANDONED: Always observe a litter of kittens over the course of several hours to an entire day, before deciding whether you should intervene. A mother cat is always the best answer, and she may be away getting food, or hiding. If you need to rescue kittens, Charleston Animal Society, or your own county shelter, can assist you with all the information you need to be a good foster parent. It will involve keeping the kittens warm with heated rice socks, feeding the proper food at the different ages and using cotton balls (moistened with warm water) on their genital and rear area to help them eliminate solids and liquids. Learn more at www.CharlestonAnimalSociety.org/foster.
SPRING 2018 | CAROLINA TAILS
FIGHTING CRUELTY:: Puppy Mills
NO Y PUPPS! MILL
PUPPY MILL SUPPORTER SPEAKS IN CHARLESTON Local animal rescues condemned Mindy Patterson’s appearance at Carriage Industry conference.
eading animal rescue organizations across the state were shocked to learn that the Carriage Operators of North America (CONA) had invited a leading proponent of puppy mills to act as their keynote speaker at their annual conference held in Charleston in February. Charleston Animal Society, Pet Helpers and the South Carolina Animal Care and Control Association condemned the presence of Mindy Patterson at the event and asked the Mayor of Charleston to withdraw from the convention or strongly disassociate the City from views expressed by Patterson. Who is Mindy Patterson? Patterson is notorious in the animal welfare community nationwide as a defender and proponent of puppy mills (by her own admission in her biography at https://www.thecavalrygroup.com/About-Us), horse soring and horse slaughter. Patterson was at the forefront of the hard-fought campaign opposing the ‘Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act’ (Proposition B) in the 26 CAROLINA TAILS | SPRING 2018
Missouri 2010 election. Missouri is the epicenter for puppy mills in the United States. In addition, in 2012, the Cavalry Group was the major driver of opposition to Measure 5 in North Dakota, which would have made it a felony to torture or mutilate a dog, cat, or horse. The Cavalry group’s mission is clear: stop any legislation that would protect animals from cruelty and inhumane treatment. City Officials Appeared at CONA Conference with Patterson Charleston city officials, including the Director of Livability and Tourism, spoke at the same conference as Patterson, which concerned many animal rescue organizations. “Mindy Patterson’s appearance here is concerning for all of our community and we would hope our public servants are sensitive to being associated with this polarizing figure,” said Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore. “Because our community loves animals and was even named ‘Best Dog Town’ in the United States
in 2014, we believe the City should reconsider participating in a convention that has invited a person who defends puppy mills, which are widely known to abuse and torture thousands of dogs across the country and have led to the majority of states enacting laws to crack down on them.” At the same time Patterson was speaking to carriage horse operators, animal rescue organizations were working side-by-side with Lowcountry law enforcement agencies in rescuing over 250 dogs from puppy mill situations. “Regardless of who is bringing Mindy Patterson to Charleston, it is alarming and outrageous! South Carolina is one of a few states that does not have laws cracking down on puppy mills, which makes us ripe for their proliferation. Puppy mills are one of law enforcement and animal lifesaving organizations’ biggest challenges due to the sheer volume of dogs abused in the mills,” said Carol Linville, Founder/President of Pet Helpers. What are Puppy Mills? A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding facility where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs. Many people don't realize that when they buy a dog from a pet store or on the Internet, that dog most likely came from a puppy mill, a "factory farm" for dogs. In puppy mills, dogs live in small cages, often in the minimum legal size allowed (only six inches larger than the dog on all sides) and female dogs are bred as frequently as possible. Puppy mills usually house dogs in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without adequate veterinary care, food, water or socialization. In order to maximize profits, female dogs are bred at every opportunity with little-to-no recovery time between litters. Puppy mill puppies, often as young as eight weeks of age, are sold to pet shops or directly to the public over the Internet, through newspaper ads and at swap meets and flea markets. Petco and Petsmart only offer dogs and cats from animal shelters. Puppy Mills Spreading South Carolina is ripe for the proliferation of puppy mills and with recent visits to our city by puppy mill proponents, we must be vigilant about keeping them out of our community and state.
SPRING 2018 | CAROLINA TAILS
LAW & ORDER:: Your Pets
WEIGHT ISSUES Y
ASK A LAWYER No matter how much we love our pets, there’s always the chance they will run into a legal situation. Attorney David Aylor took time to answer questions from our readers in this edition of Ask a Lawyer. QUESTION: Our dog was bit by another dog while we were out of state on vacation. The owner is refusing to pay the vet bills. What are our options? -- Morgan, Mt. Pleasant DAVID AYLOR: Morgan, the other dog’s owner can be held responsible if their dog came on to your property. According to Section 47-7-110 of SC Codes, “It shall be unlawful for the owner or manager of any domestic animal of any description willfully or negligently to permit any such animal to run at large beyond the limits of his own land or the lands leased, occupied or controlled by him.” So basically if your dog was bit by a dog that entered your property then they would be liable. However, if your dog went into another person’s property you most likely wouldn’t be able to recover. Hope this helps! QUESTION: How can a place make you give up your animals that weigh more than 10-lbs, even though you own your own home and you’re willing to get insurance for the dog? –Jenny, Moncks Corner DAVID AYLOR: Jenny, if you are renting the home, according to Section 27-40-520 of SC Codes, “A landlord, from time to time, may adopt rules or regulations, 28 CAROLINA TAILS | SPRING 2018
however described, concerning the tenant's use and occupancy of the premises.” However, since it appears you own the home I do not see any possible way they could restrict you from having a 10+ pound dog. The only way it could potentially be enforced is if it was an HOA regulation you agreed to. QUESTION: My neighbor’s dog is always tied to a tree during the day. He goes in at night. Is it legal to tie a dog to a tree all day? – Michael, North Charleston DAVID AYLOR: Michael, according to the City of North Charleston’s Code of Ordinances (Chapter 4, Article 1, Sec. 4-3), “It shall be unlawful for the owner or custodian of any animal to refuse or fail to provide such animal with sufficient wholesome and nutritious food, potable water, veterinary care and treatment, or to unnecessarily expose any such animal in hot, stormy, cold or inclement weather.” So, there is probably nothing wrong with leaving the dog outside all day as long as it has food, water, and shelter/shade of some kind. However, if one or none of these are present, the owner could likely be held in violation of the ordinance. My suggestion would be to take pictures and document any potential mal treatment which you can submit to the proper authorities.
David Aylor with his son Fletcher and English Lab, Belle.
If you have a legal question regarding pets, write us at CarolinaTails@CharlestonAnimalSociety.org and we will try and get it answered for you.
VET DIRECTORY Charleston
Saddleback Mobile Veterinary Service (843) 718-4299 Mobile
Air Harbor Veterinary Clinic (843) 556-5252 1925 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407
Animal Hospital of North Charleston (843) 352-8404 8389 Dorchester Rd, North Charleston, SC 29418
All Creatures Veterinary Clinic (843) 579-0030 224 Calhoun St, Charleston, SC 29401 Patrick Veterinary Clinic (843) 722-4470 667 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29403 Charleston Harbor Veterinarians (843) 410-8290 280 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403 Olde Towne Veterinary Clinic (843) 723-1443 17 Pinckney St, Charleston, SC 29401
Bees Ferry Veterinary Hospital (843) 769-6784 3422 Shelby Ray Ct, Charleston, SC 29414 West Ashley Veterinary Clinic (843) 571-7095 840 St Andrews Blvd, Charleston, SC 29407 Animal Care Center (843) 556-9993 1662 Savannah Hwy #135, Charleston, SC 29407 Animal Medical West (843) 766-7387 704 Orleans Rd, Charleston, SC 29407 Charleston Veterinary Referral Center (843) 614-8387 3484 Shelby Ray Ct, Charleston, SC 29414 VCA Charles Towne Animal Hospital (843) 571-4291 850 Savannah Highway Charleston, SC 29407 Banfield Pet Hospital (843) 766-7724 2076 Sam Rittenberg Blvd, Charleston, SC 29407
30 CAROLINA TAILS | SPRING 2018
Lowcountry Pet Wellness Clinic (843) 556-7387 5900 Rivers Ave, Unit D-1, North Charleston, SC 29406 Veterinary Specialty Care (843) 793-2161 3163 West Montague Ave, North Charleston, SC 29418 Dorchester Veterinary Hospital (843) 552-0259 5617 Dorchester Rd, North Charleston, SC 29418 Coastal Carolina Veterinary Specialists (843) 747-1507 3163 W Montague Ave, North Charleston, SC 29418 Charleston Heights Veterinary Clinic (843) 554-4361 2124 Dorchester Rd, North Charleston, SC 29405 Northwoods Veterinary Clinic (843) 553-0441 8320 Rivers Ave, North Charleston, SC 29406 The Animal Hospital of North Charleston (843) 608-8948 8389 Dorchester Rd, North Charleston, SC 29418 Banfield Pet Hospital (843) 797-4677 7620 Rivers Ave, Charleston, SC 29406
:: 2016 Chili Cook-Off
Charleston Animal Society and Carolina Tails want to always promote the best habits for animal care possible and seeing your veterinarian regularly is key to having a happy, healthy animal.
Mount Pleasant Exotic Vet Care (843) 216-8387 814 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 East Cooper Animal Hospital (843) 884-6171 993 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 Island Veterinary Care (843) 628-1941 Mobile Mount Pleasant Animal Hospital (843) 884-4921 1213 Ben Sawyer Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 Pet Vet Animal Hospital (843) 416-9304 307 Mill St, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 Shuler Animal Hospital (843) 884-4494 1769 Highway 17 N, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 Veterinary Specialty Care (843) 216-7554 985 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 Advanced Animal Care of Mount Pleasant (843) 884-9838 3373 S Morgans Point Rd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29466
Animal Eye Care of the Lowcountry (843) 881-2242 1131 Queensborough Blvd Suite 100, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
Tidewater Veterinary (843) 856-7300 1964 Riviera Dr Suite G, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
Animal Medical Center of Mt. Pleasant (843) 881-5858 958 Houston Northcutt Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
Banfield Pet Hospital (843) 971-7460 911 Houston Northcutt, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
Cats Only Animal Hospital (843) 849-1661 1492 B North Highway 17, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 Long Point Animal Hospital (843) 971-7701 757 Long Point Rd, #B, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 Palmetto Veterinary Hospital (843) 881-9915 2443 Hwy 17 N, Mount Pleasant, SC 29466 Park West Veterinary Associates Park West Veterinary Associates Simply Spay & Neuter (843) 856-9190 1054-C Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 Southeast Veterinary Dermatology & Ear Clinic (843) 849-7770 1131 Queensborough Blvd Suite 100, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
Banfield Pet Hospital (843) 971-7460 (843) 388-1701 676 Long Point Rd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
Isle of Palms Sandy Cove Veterinary Clinic (843) 885-6969 1521 Palm Blvd, Isle of Palms, SC 29451
James Island Folly Road Animal Hospital (843) 762-4944 1038 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412 Charleston Veterinary Care (843) 789-3222 51 Windermere Blvd, Charleston, SC 29407 Maybank Animal Hospital (843) 795-3131 1917 Maybank Hwy, Charleston, SC 29412
SPRING 2018 | CAROLINA TAILS
Oceanside Veterinary Clinic (843) 795-7574 1509 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412
Creekside Veterinary Clinic (843) 824-8044 431-G St. James Ave, Goose Creek, SC 29445
Sea Islands Veterinary Hospital (843) 795-6477 1310 Camp Rd, Charleston, SC 29412
Mt. Holly Veterinary Clinic (843) 405-7765 113 St. James Ave, Goose Creek, SC 29445
James Island Veterinary Hospital (843)795-5295 756 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412
Animal Medical Clinic of Goose Creek (843) 569-3647 102 Central Ave, Goose Creek, SC 29445
Central Veterinary Hospital (843) 851-2112 1215 Central Ave, Summerville, SC 29483
Banfield Pet Hospital (843) 406-8609 520 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412
Goose Creek Veterinary Clinic (843) 553-7011 501 Redbank Rd. Goose Creek, SC 29445
Shambley Equine Clinic (843) 875-5133 122 Kay Ln, Summerville, SC 29483
Knightsville Veterinary Clinic (843) 851-7784 478 W Butternut Rd, Summerville, SC 29483
Pet Helpers Spay and Neuter Clinic (843) 302-0556 1447 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412
Johns Island Angel Oak Animal Hospital (843) 559-1838 3160 Maybank Hwy, Johns Island, SC 29455
Best Friends Animal Clinic (843) 414-7455 1000 Tanner Ford Blvd, Hanahan, SC 29410 Hanahan Veterinary Clinic (843) 744-8927 1283 Yeamans Hall Rd, Hanahan, SC 29410
Bohicket Veterinary Clinic (843) 559-3889 3472 Maybank Hwy, Johns Island, SC 29455
Johns Island Animal Hospital (843) 559-9697 1769 Main Rd, Johns Island, SC 29455
College Park Road Veterinary Clinic (843) 797-1493 186 College Park Rd, Ladson, SC 29456
Riverbank Veterinary Clinic (843) 277-2250 2814 Maybank Hwy, Johns Island, SC 29455
Southside Animal Hospital (843) 556-6969 3642 Savannah Hwy Suite 176 West Ashley Place, Johns Island, SC 29455 Sun Dog Cat Moon (843) 437-0063 2908 Maybank Hwy, Johns Island, SC 29455
Daniel Island Daniel Island Animal Hospital (843) 881-7228 291 Seven Farms Dr, Daniel Island, SC 29492 Lowcountry Home Vet (843) 406-2997 Mobile
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Lowcountry Pet Hospice and Home Euthanasia (843) 640-9755 Mobile
Summerville Sangaree Animal Hospital (843) 494-5121 1665-A N Main St, Summerville, SC 29486 Sangaree Animal Hospital at Cane Bay (843) 494-5121 1724 State Rd, Unit 5D, Summerville SC 29486 Banfield Pet Hospital (843) 832-0919 470 Azalea Square Blvd, Summerville, SC 29483
Flowertown Animal Hospital (843) 875-6303 1401 Bacons Bridge Rd, Summerville, SC 29485 Westbury Veterinary Clinic (843) 873-2761 1497 W 5th North St, Summerville, SC 29483
Nemasket Veterinary Clinic (843) 871-4560 605 Miles Rd, Summerville, SC 29485 Oakbrook Veterinary Clinic (843) 871-2900 1705 Old Trolley Rd, Summerville, SC 29485 Sweetgrass Animal Hospital (843) 225-9663 9730 Dorchester Rd Suite 101, Summerville, SC 29485
ADVERTISER INDEX Please thank these advertisers for supporting and saving lives at Charleston Animal Society by advertising in the pages of Carolina Tails Magazine. Adult Beverages Tito's Handmade Vodka The Barrel
Dog Training The Dog Wizard
Education Trident Technical College
Parks Charleston County Parks
Pet Boarding & Daycare Creekside Pet Retreat Paw Plaza Hotel
Pet Friendly Housing Brackenbrook Apartments Cedar Bluff Apartments Chester Place Apartments Crickentree Apartments Darby Development Company North Bluff Apartments Parish Place Apartments Riverwood Apartments Sawbranch Apartments The Landing Town Homes Thickett Apartments Treehaven Apartments Woodlocke Apartments
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Retail & Pet Stores All is Well Bark n' Meow Canna Bonez Finicky Filly Preppy Pet
9 41 15 9 27
Professional Services David Aylor Law Offices
Residential & Commercial Services Molly Maid 15 Mosquito Hound 39 Palmetto Synthetic Turf 29 Pardee Service Experts 41 Two Men And A Truck 3 Restaurants East Bay Deli Red's Icehouse The Shelter Kitchen + Bar
2 27 3
Pet Cremation & Burial Services Pet Rest 15
Veterinary & Emergency Care Central Veterinary Hospital 9 Charleston Veterinary Referral Center 3 Oceanside Veterinary Clinic 33 Veterinary Specialty Care front cover
SPRING 2018 | CAROLINA TAILS
RESCUE:: Adopt, Don’t Buy!
TAKE ME HOME
RESC U ME E
Spring has sprung, and our gorgeous animals are excited to meet you to hopefully find new homes. Come see us at 2455 Remount Road in North Charleston or visit: www.CharlestonAnimalSociety.org. Dog Photography: Jeanne Taylor / JTPetPics.com; Cat Photography: Marie Rodriguez / MarieRodriguezPhotography.com
Yes, I’m of the Siamese variety and am very proud of that fact. They call me Greystar, but I’d prefer you name me and take me home!
Hi, Lucy here -- hoping you can stop by sometime soon to say hello. Maybe we could go home together? Just a thought.
Wassssssuuuuuuupppp! Teagen here, lots of fun, lots of energy. Let’s get busy together!
Hi, I’m Queenie. I can be a little shy, but would love to show you my true personality. Please adopt!
Hey ya' got any catnip by any chance? I’d love to hang out a while with you and show you what a goofball I can be!
Hi, they call me Tux. I’m a little shy at first, but warm up real quick and purr like a six-cylinder on a country road in no time.
Hey gang, I’m Sparky. Really enjoying my time here at CAS, but I hear you’ve got a great place that would look even better with me on the front porch. Let’s do this!
34 CAROLINA TAILS | SPRING 2018
Hello I’m Roxy. Don’t be intimidated by my beauty, I’m very friendly and love people. Come visit today!
ANIMAL PROTECTION:: SCACCA
SCACCA: Not Your Granddaddy’s Dog Catcher! BY MARLI DRUM
DID YOU KNOW THAT, HISTORICALLY, animal shelters were built by city dumps? Animal Control Officers (or “dog catchers,” as they were fondly called) were untrained and even worked in other areas of local government. They took on animal calls when they could. In many communities, shelters were sparse at best and care was often minimal. In other words, there was a time when stray animals weren’t considered much higher status than picking up trash. Times have thankfully changed—and much of that is due to the efforts of a group called South Carolina Animal Care & Control Association (SCACCA). If you aren’t employed in the field of animal welfare, care or control on some level, there is a good chance you have never heard of SCACCA, a 501 (c) (3) organization that started in August of 1986. At that time a small group of leaders in South Carolina’s animal care and control field realized the need to bring a greater sense of professionalism to the industry. Its Growing Purpose SCACCA formed with the mission to bring training and networking opportunities to anyone working in the field of animal care and control. Training included (and still does) anything from the humane care of animals, professionalism in the field, safely capturing and handling pets, building lifesaving programs, shelter standards, and much more. In short, SCACCA provides professionals with as many tools as possible to take back to their local communities so
Cooper is one of thousands of dogs humanely picked up in the field by animal control officers around the state.
that they can educate others and help thousands of animals across The Palmetto State. Over the years, SCACCA’s efforts have truly paid off. Those who have been in this line of work for many years can recall a time when you crossed your fingers, hoping to hear from just one good applicant when trying to fill an open position. Today, numerous qualified applicants seek out job openings as animal welfare is now considered a viable and respected career. Another sign that times are changing is that a small room used to be all the SCACCA needed when offering training—to those who showed up. Now large meeting spaces are required for one-day events and an entire hotel wing is reserved for the organization’s annual conference. SCACCA’s conference has expanded to include a partnership with the North Carolina Animal Federation (NCAF) in order to provide topof-the-line training for agencies in both states. This joint effort is called Carolinas Unite and brings in a large number of attendees, vendors and speakers from across the country. There is no doubt the 1986 founders of SCACCA would be proud to see how far their efforts have come. Looking to the Future With all of these local efforts comes work in the field of legislation. It’s tremendous to have well-trained individuals caring for
homeless pets in our communities, but it’s just as important to have laws in place that protect those pets. Changing legislation can be a slow process, but through years of efforts and teaming up with other local and national groups, animal welfare laws have made dramatic progress in areas such as dog fighting, animal cruelty and so much more. (At press time, a number of other positive changes were already working their way through the Statehouse in Columbia.) Another initiative SCACCA is proud to be working with is No Kill South Carolina (an effort started by Charleston Animal Society). This groundbreaking program is helping to expand training and networking opportunities in South Carolina in order to benefit pets even further. The goal is to stop the euthanization of healthy, treatable pets. It is a big goal, but one that is possible. As the evolution of animal welfare continues, SCACCA plans to be right there in the middle of this good fight. If you would like to learn more or contribute to the effort, please visit scacca.org or on Facebook at SouthCarolinaACCA/. SCACCA has been a valuable resource for so many agencies in communities across the state— and the hope is to continue to do so for many years to come. Marli Drum is a SCACCA Board Member and the Superintendent of Columbia Animal Services.
SPRING 2018 | CAROLINA TAILS
A New Day for FELINE FREEDOM BY HELEN RAVENEL HAMMOND PHOTOS MARIE RODRIGUEZ
or years, Charleston Animal Society has been involved with Feline Freedom Sanctuary, a serene oasis for feral cats located in Ravenel. The sanctuary was started by local cat lover, Diane Straney, and in March 2016, Charleston Animal Society began working to take on full operation of this 20-acre rescue facility that saves the lives of cats that may otherwise be at-risk. “It's really incredible what Diane built when she created Feline Freedom,” says Aldwin Roman, Charleston Animal Society AntiCruelty & Outreach Director. “The sanctuary is an amazing place and really is the last hope for so many cats in our community.”
There’s never a dull moment inside the enclosures at Feline Freedom.
Happy Residents New Day, New Look Since taking over, Charleston Animal Society has been committed to improving the facility and the lives of these sanctuary cats for the better with various updates: • New cat-proof fencing was installed around the main five acres to help keep the cats in, and more importantly, keep wildlife out. • Improvements were made to the heating and air systems. • Three of the outdoor cat habitats were expanded, adding an additional 12,500 square feet of safe outdoor space where the cats can roam. • The road to and around the Sanctuary has been completely redone for easier driving for staff and volunteers. • Dirt flooring in common areas were replaced with gravel. • Many litter boxes were replaced with large, outdoor sandboxes, cutting down on cleaning time for the staff. "All the expanding and fencing has allowed us to give the cats a more natural living space that is mostly outdoors,” Roman says. “Being confined can be stressful for any animal so we want to make their environment as stress-free as possible.” 36 CAROLINA TAILS | SPRING 2018
As of today, there are 172 cats in the habitats at Feline Freedom and about 20 others that roam freely and are in the process of being counted. There is also one resident dog that has been living there for a decade, and another temporarily being cared for by the sanctuary. "The great thing is since our staff out there can spend more time with the cats in a less stressful environment—no cages—they are better able to learn the personalities. So sometimes an unadoptable cat becomes adoptable after a few months with us," says Roman. But still, the majority of cats at the sanctuary are not adopted. While there is no intention to build further habitats for cats, there is additional space if ever there was a need to rescue others, such as from a disaster or large cruelty case. "I think there will always be a need for a place like Feline Freedom in our community. And honestly, with all the development and its effect in flushing out cat colonies, we expect to get more requests to place cats," says Roman. He says the organization's mantra is that all free-roaming cats should be able to safely live out their lives, free of human threats. And that’s precisely what Charleston Animal Society will make sure happens – at the little oasis known as Feline Freedom Sanctuary.
Christine Brugge manages Feline Freedom Sanctuary for Charleston Animal Society and knows the personalities of the cats who live there.
There are plenty of trees at the sanctuary that cats love to climb.
These two neighbors quietly check out our Carolina Tails photographer from the safety of their enclosure.
Fencing around Feline Freedom Sanctuary helps keep cats in, and wildlife out.
Charleston Animal Society believes feral cats should be allowed to live their lives in safety, which is why Feline Freedom Sanctuary is such an amazing place.
Natural light floods one of the cat â€œbunk houses.â€?
SPRING 2018 | CAROLINA TAILS
HEALTH NEWS:: Heartworms
BATTLING HEARTWORM ANYONE WHO’S SEEN PHOTOS OF heartworms knows how disgusting they are. Long, spaghetti strings of evil that wind themselves into your dog or cat’s heart and then inflame the lungs – leading to a slow, painful death. “Every dog and cat in South Carolina needs to be on a preventative, every month, all year round,” says Charleston Animal Society Senior Director of Veterinary Care Dr. Lucy Fuller. “Even cats. And yes, even if your pet is always indoors. Who hasn’t seen a mosquito flying around their house?” Just One Bite That’s the difficulty with heartworms, all it takes is one bite from a mosquito that is carrying heartworm larvae. Preventatives like Heartgard or Trifexis will run the owner of a 40-pound dog between $70 and $200 a year. If that sounds expensive, consider the cost of treating heartworm: anywhere from $1200 - $2000 at your local vet office, according to the American Heartworm Society. 38 CAROLINA TAILS | SPRING 2018
BY DAN KROSSE
Be sure to encourage your neighbors to get their pets on heartworm prevention, because if they are not – that means your pet is at higher risk of infection. That’s because a mosquito needs to bite into an infected dog, to then pass the heartworms on to a new victim. And experts say the typical mosquito only covers a zone of about 300 square feet in its lifetime. Will Spraying for Mosquitos Help? Getting rid of mosquitos safely is always a great option to prevent heartworms. “I think spraying is a good idea, if the application is safe for animals and people,” Fuller said. Mike Hillman with Mosquito Hound says his application is people and pet friendly. Their company sprays yards, especially the undersides of bushes and plants that mosquitos love. “We suggest a mosquito treatment every 21 days. We can also treat your yard for fleas and ticks,” Hillman said. Mosquito Hound is committed to fighting heartworms in the Lowcountry and will give $100 to Charleston Animal Society,
HEALTH Y LIFE
for every season package purchased at Mosquito Hound. For details, please visit www.mosquitohound.com or call (843) 212-4701.
SPRING 2018 | CAROLINA TAILS
TIME TO PLAY!
40 CAROLINA TAILS | WINTER 2018
Kids are some of the best animal advocates so weâ€™ve devoted this space to young pet lovers.
SPRING 2018 | CAROLINA TAILS
A Charleston Animal Society Publication.