Carolina Tails Magazine | 2019 Fall

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FOR THE LOVE of Big Dogs

FALL 2019

A Charleston Animal Society Publication


RABIES ALERT What You Need to Know



Publisher: Charleston Animal Society Editor-in-Chief: Dan Krosse Managing Editor: Joe Elmore Advertising Manager: Keith Simmons Advertising Sales: Ted DeLoach Graphic Design: Heineman Design Copy Editor: Eve Baker, Kay Hyman, Jason Hayes Writers: Dan Krosse, Amy Scaroni, Ph.D., Anna Vecchione, Ph.D., David Aylor, Joe Elmore, Aldwin Roman, Donya Satriale Photographers: Jeanne Taylor, Marie Rodriguez, Dan Krosse, Aldwin Roman, Kay Hyman, Kara Thompson, Ashlee Rosado, Devin Teague For inquiries regarding advertising, distribution or suggestions in Carolina Tails call (843) 410-2577 or 2455 Remount Road, North Charleston, SC 29406 (843) 747-4849

Chairman: Hank Greer Vice Chair: Gerri Greenwood Vice Chair: Laurel Greer Vice Chair: Aussie Geer Secretary: Peter Waters Treasurer: Martin Deputy Member At-Large: David Maybank, Jr., Esq. Member At-Large: Robert Nigro Member At-Large: Louise Palmer Members of the Board Linda Bakker Caroline Clark Henry Darby Sarah-Hamlin Hastings Ellen Harley Patricia Henley Carolyn Murray

Richard Murphy Celeste Patrick, MD Dillard Salmons Stevens Diane Straney Joe Waring, Esq. George "Pat" Waters Tami Zerbst

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

Please contact regarding Carolina Tails distribution, advertising or suggestions. For all other inquiries, please contact Charleston Animal Society. (843) 410-2577 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 FALL 2019




Pet Pointers


Managing Chaos Inside Charleston Animal Society’s hurricane evacuations.


Paws in the Park November 16th: Be a part of this amazing pet walk for homeless animals!


How Smart is Your Cat? Test your cat inside your own home.


Holiday Gift Guide


New Pet Emergency Hospital in Summerville Veterinary Specialty Care expands its reach.


44 Fences and 92 Pets Later: Charleston Animal Society’s dog fencing program going strong.


Ask a Lawyer


Saving the Seahorse A plea to fishermen and scuba divers.


Take Me Home: Adoptions


Your Vet Directory


Rabies Alert: Cases on the rise across South Carolina.


For the Love of Big Dogs


Please Bag that Dog Poop You won’t believe the damage you leave behind if you don’t!


Kids Corner: Time to Play!

COVER PHOTO: Mishka is helping us ring in the holiday season on the cover of Carolina Tails. She belongs to Bob and Karen Siegel who donated to Charleston Animal Society for the cover shoot to help spread the word that “Big Dogs are amazing, so please adopt one!” (pg 28). Photo: Jeanne Taylor /

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Welcome DEAR FRIENDS, So are you going to lace up walking shoes or running shoes on November 16th? That, of course, is the date of Paws in the Park, where you along with everyone at Charleston Animal Society will join together to break the record for the largest Pet Walk in South Carolina history! We are so excited about Paws in the Park. I’ve seen photos of other pet walks and they look amazing, with smiling dogs and owners out in the fresh air celebrating animals. For us, this is a fundraising walk, where our goal is to raise money for Toby’s Fund, Charleston Animal Society’s medical fund. I’m personally challenging each of us to raise at least $400. Many people are asking me why $400? The reason is that’s the cost of saving ONE life at Charleston Animal Society. When you factor in everything that goes into a rescue – the vaccinations, the medical care, the spay/neuter, the microchip and the room and board – expenses add up quickly. Signing up for Paws in the Park is easy – just go to I’m looking forward to seeing you AND your pooch at the walk. Inside this Issue I’m always fascinated how each of our Carolina Tails issues comes together. This time around is no different – we have a variety of topics for everyone. First up is a look at Charleston Animal Society’s emergency response to hurricanes. We were tested this fall with Dorian and I couldn’t be more proud of our team. Thank you for supporting our efforts. We also have an important health alert about rabies. The number of cases is skyrocketing and it’s a reminder for all of us to stay vigilant and take precautions when approaching a new animal (no matter how adorable) for the first time. We also talk about dog poop. Yep, you read that right. But you won’t believe the potential damage you leave behind when you don’t scoop that poop. The impact on our beaches, lakes and rivers is tremendous, please be sure to read this. If you’re a cat lover, like Laurel and I, you will definitely want to put your cat’s brain to the test – by following the directions on page 11. I can’t wait to try it out. We also have a beautiful cover dog, Mishka, who belongs to our dear friends Karen and Bob Siegel. They were kind enough to bid for the cover at the 2018 Gala and the article inside is their plea for everyone to consider adopting a big dog – because while big on the outside, they’re teddy bears inside. I hope everyone enjoys this last stretch of 2019 as fall settles in and the holidays approach. Enjoy your Halloween, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Day – and from the bottom of my heart, thank you for all of the support you give our animals through the gift of your home, the gift of your time and the gift of your money.

Hank Greer invites everyone to come out for the Paws in the Park fundraising pet walk on November 16th. Sign-up at

We couldn’t care for almost 20,000 animals every year without you! Sincerely,

Hank Greer, Chairman of the Board Charleston Animal Society FALL 2019 | CAROLINA TAILS


NEWS:: You Can Use



New L Tidb s its

POLITICS & ANIMALS: 2020 In an exciting development for pet lovers, animal welfare has entered the stage of Presidential politics. Julian Castro became the first 2020 presidential candidate to roll out a comprehensive plan for animal protection. Animal Welfare is a growing hot topic for voters, especially after President Trump’s plans to weaken portions of the Endangered Species Act, which was announced over the summer. The Endangered Species act was passed in 1973 with bipartisan support to protect animals like the Bald Eagle. Castro’s plans would make animal cruelty a federal crime and would strengthen the Endangered Species Act. This is not an endorsement of any candidate.

THE YEAR OF THE DOGS As a National Geographic photographer, traveling the world to photograph lions, tigers, and bears was a regular day’s work for Vince Musi. All that changed when his son turned sixteen – he decided to try something different; to spend some quality time at home on Sullivan’s Island and open a hometown studio to photograph dogs. The result is The Year of the Dogs; over 100 one-of-a-kind dogs from Musi’s year in the studio matched with witty ‘dogographies’ gleaned from his time spent with each subject. From a Labrador that likes opera to a kleptomaniac miniature golden doodle! Musi has been a generous contributor to Carolina Tails and Charleston Animal Society, providing cover photos in the past and photographing a spread on Military dogs. The Year of the Dogs is available now and you can also follow Musi on his wildly popular Instagram feed.

TENSIONS RISE BETWEEN CITY AND CARRIAGE INDUSTRY The relationship between the downtown carriage industry and the City of Charleston is straining. Tourism officials want to make some changes to keep horses and tourists safe – but carriage company owners oppose the plans. “It’s disappointing that the carriage industry is fighting efforts by the city to protect the safety of these working animals and their passengers,” said Charleston Animal Society President & CEO Joe Elmore. One amendment would give the city the power to stop carriage tours in emergency situations, including severe weather. Representatives of the carriage industry have opposed the amendment, complaining that it gives the city too much power and that the decision to stop tours due to emergency situations should be made by the owners of the carriage companies. This proposed amendment comes on the heels of an appeal filed with the city by members of the carriage industry, citing lost revenue after tours were stopped for about an hour in May during severe weather. Another proposed change would require carriage companies to immediately report any accident or incident causing injury to person, animal, or property to both emergency services and the city. Currently, the carriage companies can wait up to 24 hours following an incident to submit a written report to the city.


PETLAND INVESTIGATIONS CONTINUE The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is out with another shocking investigation of Petland Pet Stores. Their undercover investigations at Petland locations across the country have repeatedly exposed animal suffering and neglect. The national chain of pet stores (the last to still sell dogs) has been linked to the cruel puppy mill industry. A Petland in Summerville changed owners last year and no longer offers shelter animals from Dorchester PAWS – selling animals from breeders instead. At each of the seven stores investigated by HSUS over the past year, HSUS found sick puppies in back rooms— and dead animals in freezers at five of the seven stores. Carolina Tails ran the previous HSUS investigation in our Summer 2019 issue. Watch the latest HSUS investigation on our website at The call to action is to tell Petland to STOP selling puppies and rabbits. Other major pet stores only offer shelter animals for adoption.




Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst


Charleston Animal Society evacuates hundreds of animals this hurricane season. By DAN KROSSE Photos ALDWIN ROMAN, DAN KROSSE, KAY HYMAN, DEVIN TEAGUE, KARA THOMPSON, ASHLEE ROSADO


he guiding principle during hurricane season at Charleston Animal Society comes from a saying that dates back centuries, “…hope for the best and prepare for the worst.” This hurricane season, which doesn’t end until November 30th, roared into the Lowcountry right on time this Labor Day weekend with Hurricane Dorian.

A key component to success is adoptions, both before and after a storm hits. “We need people to come adopt the animals we have, to make room for the evacuees from storms,” said Charleston Animal Society Director of Community Engagement Kay Hyman. “When you make room for one more, you help us save hundreds.”

Setting the Plan into Motion Well before the schools shut down and windows were barricaded, Charleston Animal Society had already swung into action with its emergency plan that includes evacuating animals out of harm’s way. The plan is set into motion whenever a hurricane may be targeting the Southeast United States. Before Dorian’s winds died down in the afternoon of September 4th, 332 animals had been evacuated or transported with the assistance of Charleston Animal Society. “We are the lead emergency responder for animals in South Carolina and the leading emergency responder for the Southeast I-95 corridor,” said Charleston Animal Society President & CEO Joe Elmore. “We work with partner organizations around the state and country to place evacuated shelter animals out of harm’s way in anticipation of any hurricane that may hit.” Charleston Animal Society also had a veterinarian visit Charleston County’s pet-friendly emergency shelter during the storm to check on animals that stayed there with their owners. Managing Chaos As Elmore will tell you, managing hurricanes is about “managing chaos.” As the forecast for Dorian kept wobbling, Charleston Animal Society did its best to stay ahead of predictions. First, almost 200 animals were brought to Charleston and then relayed on to other shelters in Pittsburgh and the Upstate for adoption. Then, as the storm made a beeline for Charleston, animals here were relayed through Georgia to the Panhandle of Florida for adoption there. “In the end, we moved 300 animals to safety and we stand prepared to do it as needed in the future,” Elmore said. Last year, after Hurricane Florence dumped several feet of rain on the Pee Dee region of South Carolina, Charleston Animal Society went there to help shelters evacuate their animals. “This is the 5th year in a row we have had to engage our emergency plan,” Elmore said. 8 CAROLINA TAILS | FALL 2019

Charleston Animal Society Director of Veterinary Care Dr. Margie Morris, visits with an evacuee and her pet dog at the North Charleston emergency shelter during Hurricane Dorian.

Hurricane evacuations is all about "managing chaos," according to Charleston Animal Society President & CEO Joe Elmore. Here staff is seen unloading dogs from a Florida evacuation before Hurricane Dorian hit.

Nikki Moseley is busy walking a dog to the shelter, as Juan Lebron carries a crate with another dog off the evacuation trailer.

ZIGGY CALLS SHOTGUN! When rescue teams from Charleston Animal Society reached Osceola County in Florida to evacuate animals, they never expected to run into a dog like Ziggy! Each time they placed Ziggy in a rescue kennel for transport, he’d escape. Not once, not twice, but three different times, even when they double zip-tied the kennel, covered it with a blanket and, faced him towards the wall — Ziggy had other ideas and broke out. "We were driving and would look at the cameras inside the back where the dogs ride and there was Ziggy, riding on top of all the crates," said Charleston Animal Society's Patrick Allen. The team made the best of it and decided Ziggy deserved to ride in the cab and help navigate! Ziggy was adopted on September 15th at Charleston Animal Society by a woman who fell in love with his personality. If she ever needs GPS -- Ziggy will be there.

Charleston Animal Society's Aldwin Roman and Sandra Gann giving a final check to cats loaded onto a Pilots N Paws plane for evacuation.

Charleston Animal Society's Ashlee Rosado comforts a kitten before evacuation from Osceola County, Florida.

Devin Teague, Ziggy and Patrick Allen, as they make their way back from Osceola County Florida with a truck full of evacuees.

Teamwork during evacuations is everything. Here Charleston Animal Society's Kara Thompson huddles with Avery Drenkhahn on cat evacuations.

Go behind the scenes at Charleston Animal Society as they prepare for Hurricane Dorian with their podcast “Something to Bark About” at



PETWALK: November 16th


PAWS IN THE PARK NOVEMBER 16TH! Join the pet walk raising money for Charleston Animal Society’s medical fund. THE COUNTDOWN IS ON TO THE 2019 Paws in the Park Pet Walk! Scheduled for November 16th at Riverfront Park in North Charleston, Charleston Animal Society is hoping you will join and help set the record for the largest pet walk in state history! “We are walking for the abused, hungry and abandoned animals in our community,” said Charleston Animal Society Director of Special Projects & Business Partnerships Elena Lawson. “We will have bands, oysters, food trucks, beer & wine, a kid’s zone and a ‘gray muzzle’ lounge and track for senior dogs to relax on.” Paws in the Park is a fun/run festival for animals with a Walk, 5k Run, music and food, Beer & wine, vendors and a kid/adult fun zone. People are encouraged to sign-up, form a team and then raise money for Toby’s Fund, Charleston Animal Society’s medical fund. “We are encouraging everyone to reach out to friends and family and raise money for Toby’s Fund. Every $400 raised saves a life,” said Lawson. “Imagine how many lives we could save together. We could make a huge impact for the animals in our community!" Signing Up is Easy! It’s easy to participate, just go to Vendor and Sponsor opportunities are selling out fast so don’t miss this opportunity to have your business in front of thousands of animal advocates.


Walk for an abused or injured animal like Freddy, who came in with burns and was rescued at Charleston Animal Society, thanks to Toby's Fund. Photo: Jeanne Taylor /

If you can't get out and walk – no worries! Be a virtual walker and help animals of the Lowcountry by forming a fundraising-only team. “If you are going to be out of town that day or have previous plans but still want to help the animals, form a virtual team and walk with us in spirit,” said Lawson. Walk the Walk for Homeless Animals With every step, these walkers and runners will be helping homeless animals get the medical care they so desperately need. We are counting on you to help them raise money by donating to one of the participating teams. YOU can make a big difference in the lives of the animals helped by Toby's Fund each year. More than $500,000 is spent on heartworms, emergency operations, vaccines and other necessary treatments.

Freddy is one example of many. He came to Charleston Animal Society with burns on 2/3 of his body. Thanks to treatment made possible by Toby's Fund, his wounds healed and he is now in a loving home here in Charleston. Please get involved by either walking, running or donating to a team. Help make this the most successful Pet Walk ever in South Carolina! Chili Cook-Off Returns in 2020! Don’t worry Chili fans! The 20th Annual Chili Cook-Off and Oyster roast isn’t going away, just moving to November 21st, 2020 at North Charleston Riverfront Park. The event has grown so much and become so successful that we decided to celebrate our 20th year in 2020!

CATS:: Science

HOW SOCIALLY SMART IS N BRAI ER YOUR CAT? POW Some scientists are worried that cats are being left behind in the world of research because they can be a bit, um, difficult to work with. Dogs are pretty straightforward as research subjects, but felines can be a little tricky. But who needs a laboratory? Below is a series of small experiments you can involve your cat in at home – to test his or her social intelligence. Make sure your cat is calm and relaxed before you start. EXPERIMENT




Does your cat know its name?

When your cat is calm, say four words of about the same length and accent as its name, waiting 15 seconds between words. Then, say its name.

If your cat gradually reacts less to each random word, but responds to its name by turning its head toward you, rotating its ears, or moving its tail, it probably “knows” its name.

It may be easier to train a cat that knows its name, for example when using verbal commands like, “Sit!”

Is your cat tuned in to your emotions?

Take your cat into a room with a potentially frightening object it has never seen before, like a robot vacuum. Sit calmly on the floor with your cat, then make friends with the object, saying “what a nice vacuum” in a calm, friendly voice. Approach the object and touch it.

If your cat is initially freaked out but calms down—and even approaches the object—after you make friends with it, your cat likely can pick up on your emotional cues and alter its behavior in kind.

Your mood can influence your cat’s mood. So, if you’re calm and chipper at the vet’s office, it may stay calm as well.

How independent is your cat?

Sit in a room with your cat. Ignore it, sitting quietly or paying attention to a book or phone, for 2 minutes. Ttry to interact with your cat—call it to you. If it comes, pet and talk to it.

Highly social cats immediately come to you when you begin to pay attention to them, whereas more independent cats keep their distance.

If your cat tends to be antisocial, try spending more time with it. Like humans, cats can become more friendly if we make extra effort.

Does your cat prefer you— or food?

Pick a few items you think your cat may enjoy, such as treats and toys. Set them on the ground, sit nearby, and see where your cat lingers.

Your cat prefers whatever it spends the most time with. But it may just be hungry. Repeat the experiment in varied situations to be sure of its preferences.

If your cat prefers you to toys or treats, the best incentive when training or rewarding it may be your presence.

Test reprinted from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).









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3. CHARLESTON ANIMAL SOCIETY FELIWAY® (Small: $14.00 Large: $26.00) • These pheromones send “happy messages” to your cat -- reducing behavior like spraying, fighting or scratching. Also Try ADAPTIL for dogs!

4. CHARLESTON ANIMAL SOCIETY Bergan Turbo Scratcher ($14.00) • This cat toy has a tough, corrugated cardboard center to stretch and scratch, with a ball and track that offers two times the entertainment.

5. CHARLESTONANIMALSOCIETY.ORG/RESCUED RESCUED ($200 through Dec. 1) This beautiful 8" x 8", hardbound, coffee table book shares beautiful stories of Charlestonians and the pets they saved. Benefiting Charleston Animal Society, this book (photographed by King & Fields) retails for $250, but is 20% off if ordered before December 1.




NEW EMERGENCY/ SPECIALTY HOSPITAL IN SUMMERVILLE Veterinary Specialty Care opened new location in September Veterinary Specialty Care (VSC) is a leading provider of emergency and specialty veterinary care in the Lowcountry. In September, VSC opened the doors on a brand new 24-hour emergency hospital in Summerville located at 319 E. 3rd North Street. As big supporters of Charleston Animal Society and Carolina Tails magazine, VSC’s Community Outreach Coordinator and Client Advocate Natalie Garber sat down to speak with us about their new facility. Carolina Tails: Tell us about the exciting announcement from Veterinary Specialty Care. Natalie Garber: We are so excited to join the Summerville community! As of September 16th, Veterinary Specialty Care opened the doors to our 3rd location. There is a great need for 24 hr. emergency care (as well as specialty care) in Summerville. We have so many clients that drive upwards of 45 minutes to get to our North Charleston location with emergencies. Carolina Tails: Tell us what the new hospital is like. Natalie Garber: If you’ve been to our Mount Pleasant hospital, the Summerville location is set up similarly, and offers the same services. The building itself is over 15,000 sq. feet. Our Summerville hospital offers 24-hour emergency and critical care as well as Internal medicine department, Oncology and Cardiology services, and Surgery; Neurology and Dentistry services. Carolina Tails: One exciting offering VSC has is pre-enrollment for your pet, just in case an emergency happens. How does that work? Natalie Garber: The Emergency Pre-registration form can be filled out at any time that way, if and when, your pet has an emergency and your primary vet is closed, we can access your pet’s medical records and history. Completing this form ahead of time, can save critical time and stress in the event of an emergency. You can find the Emergency Pre-registration form at Carolina Tails: Veterinary Specialty Care is unique in that you offer specialty services for animals, with a referral from your primary vet? Natalie Garber: That’s right. The emergency department is open 24hrs and no appointment is necessary. With our specialty departments, Internal Medicine and Surgery—your primary veterinarian would submit a referral for your pet to have a consultation with one of our specialists. Carolina Tails: Before we let you go, tell us why Veterinary Specialty Care is such a huge supporter of area shelters, including Charleston Animal Society. Many people may not realize, but you often times offer discounted treatment plans for pets that rescues are trying to save. Natalie Garber: Absolutely. I can proudly say that all of our doctors pursued careers in the field for the same reason; their love and passion for helping animals. Many of our doctors, and team members, would tell you that some of their most rewarding cases have involved rescue animals. Without rescues and shelters, we wouldn’t be able to help these animals in need. Being able to see an animal’s health restored and then seeing them find a loving home of their own, knowing that you played a part in that journey is just incredible.


The lobby of the new VSC Emergency/Specialty Hospital in Summerville is decorated with photos of animals that have been treated by the medical staff.




OUTREACH: Making Families Whole



hen I hear someone say, “Dogs belong in your house, sleeping on your bed, not on a chain,” I pause and think, “I wish it was that simple.” 44 fences serving 92 dogs later, let me explain. Charleston Animal Society started Pets for Life in 2014. This involved doing door to door outreach in the most underserved neighborhoods in North Charleston. We started by just talking to people about their pets and offering free basic veterinary services and transportation for spay/neuter appointments. We knew there were families who wanted services for their pets that they just couldn't provide. We worked to build a bridge between communities that have no access to grocery stores, pet stores, veterinarians, pharmacies, or doctors. We knew that in these areas, we could offer services from Charleston Animal Society. We thought and still think, that maybe, just maybe, if we can help support a family’s pet, it might let off the pressure just enough for them to breathe.

Breaking the Chain We quickly realized accessible and affordable veterinary care helped but we could do more. We found lots of dogs living on chains, more often than not out of necessity. When you are faced with one of the highest eviction rates in the country you don’t want to take a chance with your landlord by putting a pet inside – if you are even allowed to have a pet inside at all. We also saw multi-generational households with the young caring for the elderly and sick. Having a large dog inside when you have three generations living under the same roof sometimes just isn’t possible. Our naïve thinking that we could convince 18 CAROLINA TAILS | FALL 2019

Hank Greer invites everyone to come out for the Paws in the Park fundraising pet walk on November 16th. Signup at

TOP: Happy the dog made everyone happy with her puppy circles around and around her new play yard. BELOW: Dogs get at least a 20-ft. by 30-ft. space to be able to run and play fetch.

families that “all dogs should live inside” was quickly washed away when we digested what it means to live in systemic poverty.

Fences for Dogs Then it came to us -- if the dogs can’t come inside maybe we could improve how they live outside. We started by replacing chains with tie-outs. We bought rolls of vinyl-coated wire and built tieouts to match each dog and each family. Then we started replacing tie-outs with trolley systems so dogs had the ability to explore larger areas. Then we took the leap. We found a fencing manufacturer (Brute Enterprises) willing to give us a deal and sponsors and donors willing to support our efforts.

Hank Greer invites everyone to come out for the Paws in the Park fundraising pet walk on November 16th. Sign-up at Charlesto

Top Left: More than 2,500 man hours from staff and volunteers have helped build fences for families in need, as they improve their bonding with the dogs who bring so much to their lives. Top Right: 92 dogs and 44 fences later, the Pets for Life team is still out building even more fences for family pets in need. Left: Foxy and Kandi can't believe their new digs. Excitement like this is what makes fence build projects worth.

PETS FOR LIFE We built our first fence for Poppy and the Strong family in July of 2016. A little over three years later we just finished building a fence for our 44th family. And since families rarely have just one pet, that’s 44 fences for a total of 92 dogs! The fences we built have had a much larger impact than we could have ever imagined. We were pet focused at first -- happy to see a dog off a chain and into a play yard large enough to run in. Our smiles grew as we saw dogs that had displayed aggression on a chain -- turn into teddy bears once inside the fence. Then we learned how it impacted families. Kids who had never been able to play fetch before out of fear of getting tangled in a chain or wire were now able to play with their dog. We would stop by to check on fences and find someone from the family sitting in a chair inside the fence, just sitting with their dog. We thought we were helping dogs but really we created a safe place for pets to be appreciated and loved. We are helping families grow stronger. Maybe we can’t release all the pressure of systemic poverty, inequality, resource deserts, housing discrimination, and more. But something as simple as a fence was now an instrument to let love grow. We have built a momentary distraction, a place of peace for 44 families, 92 dogs, and many more to come – all thanks to you and your support of the Pets for Life Program at Charleston Animal Society. The Pets for Life program has expanded to rural areas of Johns and Wadmalaw Islands, Hollywood, Ravenel, and Edisto Island. If you would like to donate, please give at

Julius and Poppy was the first family to receive a fence back in 2016.




LAW & ORDER:: Your Pets

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: I had everything lined up for a trip to Croatia, including a pet sitter for my "special needs" cat. My sitter has always watched my cat and is usually reliable. My cat takes several medications and needs someone who has met her and knows how to give insulin shots. At the last minute, my sitter canceled, meaning I lost my entire vacation ($3500). Can I sue my cat sitter? --Teri, Wadmalaw Island DAVID AYLOR: Teri, I’m so sorry you missed your vacation. Hopefully you can reschedule it and still enjoy yourself. While I agree it was completely inexcusable for your cat sitter to drop out last minute I think it would be difficult to sue her for the value of the missed vacation. Potentially you could attempt to take her to small claims court based on the breach of the “contract” for her to cat sit and show that the damages incurred from the breach was the lost trip. However, a judge could determine that loss was not a direct result of the cat sitter’s failure to perform. For example, you may be questioned on not having a backup plan ready for a pet sitter. QUESTION: A year ago, me and my wife were hiking and found a stray dog near Awendaw. Now the owner has somehow tracked us down and wants the dog back. Do we legally have to give him up? --Mel, Mt. Pleasant DAVID AYLOR: Mel, that’s a tough one. Potentially you could wind up in some expensive court proceedings if you and the original owner weren’t able to come to an agreement. Your argument would be that the owner abandoned the dog. The owner could try and defend themselves if the dog was only missing for a short period of time and escaped from his care in what would be considered normal actions taken by dogs and not due to neglect or abuse at the hands of the owner. I think if you were forced to give up the dog, he may have to pay you a reasonable fee for your expenses and time spent caring for the dog. QUESTION: I recently bought a puppy at a pet store and it became very sick a week after I had her. The store said it was not a shelter dog, but from a breeder. Are they liable for treatment of my puppy or am I entitled to a refund and what will happen to the puppy if I take her back? --Heartsick, Ladson DAVID AYLOR: Heartsick, that’s so unfortunate that the puppy became ill soon after you bought her. Whether or not they will refund you for the puppy or at minimum pay for the medical expenses will depend on what type of agreement was in place with the store at time of purchase. Essentially if it was “as is,” then, unfortunately, I don’t see any potential recovery for you. However, if a guaranty or warranty was expressly communicated in writing or orally, then I believe you can recoup your loss. As to what will happens to the puppy if you do return it; I would hope they would treat the illness until she was back to full health. Hope this helps!

David Aylor with his son Fletcher and English Lab, Belle.



CONSERVATION:: Under the Sea



These amazing sea creatures are disappearing off the South Carolina Coast. By ANNA VECCHIONE, PH.D.

SEAHORSES, LIKE OTHER MARINE species in South Carolina’s waters, face many challenges—urban development, pesticide runoff in the water, pollutants from vessels, loss of habitat, and others. The common lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) was first documented by Perry in 1810 in the ocean off South Carolina. It is currently listed in the Red List of Threatened Species. Seahorses are bony fish. When juvenile seahorses leave the male’s pouch, they are like miniature adults and feed on live prey. Depending on their species, seahorses feed on amphipods, copepods, shrimp, and larval fish. They have a high mortality rate in the best of times from natural forces, such as being monogamous, slow swimmers, and falling prey to other species. In recent times, their habitat is threatened by the challenges mentioned above, and they are a bycatch in deep-water trawling operations. Current Strategies Among population preservation strategies, reintroduction from captive populations in artificial habitats is controversial. This strategy could risk introducing debilitated, immune-depressed or disease-carrying seahorses (or those having a different genetic make-up) that may cause health issues in the native species at the reintroduction site. 22 CAROLINA TAILS | FALL 2019

Therefore, conservation is the best solution, and consequently, it is essential to create or preserve habitats where seahorses can thrive. This requires preserving other small crustaceans, amphipods, and copepods—seahorses’ prey— in sites where seahorses have been detected. What Can We Do? Sea life conservation mindfulness in the public and commercial fisheries as a means to protect marine natural resources is also significant. A list of South Carolina marine areas that are closed to commercial trawling is available from the Marine Resources Division of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). If lined seahorses are detected in the coastal waters of these zones, conservationists should consider them as possible candidates for seahorse sanctuaries and submit a proposal to the National System of Marine Protected Areas for these new marine zones to become preserves, in addition to Cape Romain. Spotting the Seahorse Recognizing the importance of seahorses as a flagship group is essential. Conservation strategies for particular marine habitats and their biodiversity have been shown to be effective. In 2011, the Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program

(SEAMAP) trawl survey data showed the presence of seahorses in specific areas, represented by a single catch along the South Carolina coast stretching from Myrtle Beach to Cape Romain. But head further South and there is no recent record of seahorse catch off the coast from the Isle Palms to Edisto. In 2012, SCDNR staff reported seahorses found along the coast of Beaufort County. Updated records are desperately needed but funding cuts for research are a worldwide problem. But recreational scuba divers and fishers can be a source of this important data, if they communicate sightings. This is why I am writing this article, to appeal to citizen scientists, fishers, and recreational and commercial scuba divers: Have you seen seahorses along the coast? Please let us know where you spotted the seahorse and when. Your efforts could help save this magnificent sea animal.

Anna Vecchione, Ph.D., does research in Immunology, Marine Biology and Zoology. Through the community outreach activities of Sea Life Conservation and Arts, she raises awareness about preserving our natural resources. Email her any seahorse spottings at:

RESCUE:: Adopt, Don’t Buy!



Can You Make Room for One More? Just in time for the Holidays, our pets come vaccinated, microchipped and spayed or neutered. If you're downtown, stop by Pounce Cat Cafe (283 Meeting Street). All of the cats at Pounce come from Charleston Animal Society. Visit our shelter at 2455 Remount Road in North Charleston, seven days a week, or visit Cat Photography: Marie Rodriguez /; Dog Photography: Jeanne Taylor/

Cleo - Hi y'all my name is Cleo and I am a sweet mature southern gal with the best of manners and the biggest heart. I enjoy being outside and taking in the beautiful Charleston weather. I am currently looking for my special someone to soak up the sun with.

I'm not sure why they named me Tomi Selleck, but I think it has a nice ring to it. I'm no Blue Blood, but I will make your life rich with love, laughter and kitten zoomies! Please visit and ask for Tomi.

Autumn - Hi everyone, I am a true dog’s dog who loves socializing and now that I think of it, I haven't met a four legged friend I don't like! I also love trips to the dog park and the fall is the perfect time to go! Bring me home and lets enjoy all the Autumn has to offer.




West Ashley

North 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


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




James Island

Goose Creek

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

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

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

Hanahan 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

Moncks Corner

Southside Animal Hospital (843) 556-6969 3642 Savannah Hwy Suite 176 West Ashley Place, Johns Island, SC 29455

Foxbank Veterinary Hospital 113 Foxbank Plantation Blvd. Suite A, Moncks Corner, SC 29461 (843) 405-4611

Sun Dog Cat Moon (843) 437-0063 2908 Maybank Hwy, Johns Island, SC 29455

Lowcountry Pet Hospice and Home Euthanasia (843) 640-9755 Mobile

Daniel Island


Daniel Island Animal Hospital (843) 881-7228 291 Seven Farms Dr, Daniel Island, SC 29492

Sangaree Animal Hospital (843) 494-5121 1665-A N Main St, Summerville, SC 29486

Lowcountry Home Vet (843) 406-2997 Mobile


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 1357 Bacons Bridge, Summerville, SC 29485 Westbury Veterinary Clinic (843) 873-2761 1497 W 5th North St, Summerville, SC 29483 Central Veterinary Hospital (843) 851-2112 1215 Central Ave, Summerville, SC 29483 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 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 Summerville Pet Clinic (843) 718-8980 1915 Old Trolley Rd Summerville SC 29485 Veterinary Specialty Care (843) 216-7554 319 E. 3rd North Street Summerville, SC 29485





THROUGH THE FIRST SIX MONTHS of 2019, more animals in Charleston County have tested positive for rabies (5) than in any entire year since 2010. That’s alarming and we should be responsible and vigilant in reducing the risk of rabies transmissions. Vaccinate your pets against rabies and keep them up to date – it’s the law! Don't leave garbage or pet food outside - it can attract wild and stray animals. If you must leave garbage outside, place it in a sturdy can with a tight-fitting lid. In South Carolina, it appears that raccoons are leading the exposure incidents, although bats lead throughout the country. Much of the information in this article is sourced from the South Carolina Department of Health (DHEC). Rabies is an acute viral infection that attacks the brain…and is nearly always fatal. The rabies virus may be transmitted when saliva or neural tissue of an infected animal is introduced into the body, usually through a bite or scratch. Fresh saliva and neural tissue can also be infectious if introduced onto a mucous membrane or a fresh break in the skin. Exposure to blood, urine or other bodily fluids from a known or suspected rabid animal are not considered exposures. Rabies and the Law Animal (mammal) bites are a reportable condition mandated by South Carolina Law. If an animal is suspected of exposure to Rabies, reports are to be made by phone within 24 hours of a provider’s attendance to the patient, or of the provider receiving a report of a bite from a patient. Providers are required to report animal exposures to DHEC so that animal investigations can be promptly initiated.

Most animal exposures do not require postexposure prophylaxis (PEP), which is why locating the animal for quarantine or testing may prevent unnecessary PEP. Rabies from non-bite exposures is rare, however, non-bite exposures as a potential for rabies transmission require assessment. PEP should be considered in the event of the introduction of fresh saliva and/or neural tissue from a known or suspected rabid animal into an open wound, fresh scratch, abrasion, or mucous membrane. For example, if you interact with an animal and receive licks from that animal that later tests positive for rabies, you could be at risk for exposure. Playing it Safe Because of these kinds of risks, it’s always important to wear gloves or use a towel when first caring for a new-found kitten or puppy. Rabies symptoms in an animal may not show for 10 – 30 days – so it is important to take any new animals to your vet for examination and vaccination as soon as possible. As mentioned earlier, raccoons are a leading carrier of rabies in South Carolina. Never approach or handle an orphaned, injured or sick raccoon, skunk, fox, coyote, mink, weasel, otter, opossum, or any other meat-eating wild animal. Instead, seek advice and help from a wildlife rehabilitation organization. In the Tri-County area, call Keeper of the Wild Wildlife Rescue and Sanctuary at (843) 636-1659. Bats in the Night The majority of human rabies cases reported in the United States in the last few decades have been attributed to exposures to bats. Bat bites cause minimal trauma making

Bats and Racoons are the leading carriers of rabies in South Carolina. But the disease can be transmitted to any mammal, like dogs, cats and humans. Rabies vaccinations for your pets is the LAW!

Whenever you are considering helping a stray animal like a kitten, always take precautions and use gloves or a towel to handle the animal until it is vaccinated and cleared by your veterinarian.

identification of a wound difficult. A potential exposure to a bat requires a thorough evaluation if the bat is not available for testing. Bat exposures are defined as: 1. Waking up to find a bat in your room. 2. Finding a bat where children, pets, or persons with impaired mental capacity (intoxicated or mentally disabled) have been left unattended. 3. A pet or person that has been in direct contact with a bat. If possible, bats involved in potential human exposures should be safely collected and submitted for rabies testing. The majority of bats submitted for testing are not rabid. Timely rabies testing will eliminate the need for risk assessments and unnecessary prophylaxis.


Report any potential rabies exposure to DHEC as soon as possible. Weekdays: (843) 953-0150 Weekends/Holidays: (888) 847-0902







EDITOR’S NOTE: Karen and Bob Siegel are big supporters of Charleston Animal Society and made the winning bid at the 2018 Gala for a cover shoot on Carolina Tails. Karen spoke to us about her love of large breed dogs and why we all need to give big dogs a chance.

Mishka is one of several big dogs the Siegels have had over the years. They encourage everyone to give big dogs a chance, because, well, there's more of them to love!


Carolina Tails: It’s great to talk to someone like you who loves large dogs. At shelters when people are coming in to adopt, many people automatically gravitate towards the smaller dogs, overlooking the larger dogs. Why do you feel it's important to advocate for big dogs? Karen: Because they're the ones that people are afraid to pick. I mean, it's almost as if people are afraid to take a pit bull or a pit bull mix, because in their minds it has the ability to be vicious. But, any dog can be! As you know, it's harder to place those big dogs. Carolina Tails: The cover dog of this Carolina Tails issue is your dog Mishka. Tell us about her. Karen: My friend just got back from a year in France and said she fell in love with the Dogue de Bordeaux (French Mastiff). I said, "I don't even know what that is." She texted me a picture and I was like "Oh my God, what is that thing?" I sent it to my husband Bob who sent me a text back, "That is the ugliest dog I've ever seen. We should get one." Bob liked all of our other dogs, but Mishka somehow just won his heart.

When my daughter Abigail was little and we lost that first Dane, she said, "Mommy, why are their lives so short?" I said, "Well, Abigail, so we get to love a lot of them."

Carolina Tails: Right around Labor Day, Mishka got a new playmate, Jinxie, who is a “Great Danoodle,” which is a mix of a Great Dane and a Poodle. How is it going with Mishka? Karen: The puppy adores Mishka and Mishka loves playing with the puppy. But when Mishka gets tired, the puppy doesn't -- so then Mishka is like "No, please!" But they're adorable. I have a bunch of pictures of them sleeping on the dog bed together.

Carolina Tails: What is your hope with this article? Karen: My hope is that seeing Mishka on the cover, and seeing how sweet she is, will encourage at least one person to go to Charleston Animal Society and adopt a big dog. If that happens, then this was worth every penny! ,

Carolina Tails: One of the many big dogs you have taken in over the years, was a rescue, tell us about Mukai. Karen: Mukai was a Great Dane that was three years old, who spent the first year and a half of his life tied up in a backyard getting beaten. He was in Great Dane Rescue for two years. My daughter Abigail and I were watching him on the website, and I said, "You know, Abigail, he is beautiful, but he has to be the most screwed up dog in North America if he's still in the rescue." And she said, "Probably. Let's go get him." Carolina Tails: And so, you went to rescue Mukai? Karen: Yes, and you know, at first, I was terrified of him. He weighed 207-pounds! But I started to play with him, and I got up to throw a ball for him and he got the ball and he ran past me and spit it out the side of his mouth as he passed me but kept running.

Carolina Tails: What did you think that meant? Karen: I just started laughing. I realized, he’s not mean, he's

The Siegels rescued Mukai from Great Dane Rescue, one of four Great Danes they would call family at one time or another. Mukai eventually became best buds with Dallas, the family cat.

scared! And he was, he was terrified.

Carolina Tails: How did everything go? Karen: He was an amazing dog. When we first brought him in, he thought the cats were fair game, which they're not. But eventually, the cats won and I have pictures of them together.

Carolina Tails: You have had four Great Danes over the years, what is it about Great Danes that are so amazing? Karen: They really are gentle giants. They're just loving and they have no idea how big they are. Every single one of them that we had was a lap dog. People say "oh, we don't have room for a Great Dane, the house is too small," but big dogs are great. I mean, they will curl up on a love seat. They're easy. Carolina Tails: If somebody is considering a Great Dane, can we talk a little bit about why they are called the “heartbreak breed?”

Karen: Well, they have a shorter lifespan. Most big dogs have a shorter lifespan. You know, there are different statistics: six to eight or eight to 10 years. We had one that lived to be almost 12.

Jinxie is the newest member of the Siegel household -- a "Great Danoodle" puppy, Jinxie is a cross between a Poodle and a Great Dane.





ET’S JUST DIVE RIGHT IN: DOG POOP IS FULL OF BACTERIA, such as Fecal coliform, E. coli, and Enterococcus, along with viruses and unwanted nutrients – and it is ending up in our rivers, streams, lakes and oceans – because many of us aren’t picking it up. Just one gram of dog poop can contain up to 23 million fecal bacteria! When those bacteria end up in our waterways, we end up with swim advisories, shellfish bed closures, and fish consumption advisories. Scientists are able to use a technique called “microbial source tracking” to determine the source of the bacteria, and sure enough, dogs have often been identified as the culprit. Additionally, unwanted nutrients from sources such as fertilizer and pet waste can fuel the growth of algae. These algal blooms can create toxins that may be deadly to dogs who swim in affected waterways.


The Dangers of Poo Out of sight, out of mind? Not exactly. Pollution in the water can affect the health of both humans and pets who enjoy spending


time in and around water. Here in South Carolina, not only is stormwater pollution the main threat to our water quality, bacteria is at the top of the list. So, who’s to blame? Since dogs can’t pick up after themselves, we can only point the finger at dog owners who neglect to do their duty! Clemson Extension recently conducted a statewide survey of knowledge, attitudes, and awareness related to water quality, and results indicated that 75% of Charleston residents know that dog poop is a source of bacterial pollution to local waterways, but only 61% admit to always picking up after their dog. There are many reasons people cite for leaving poop on the ground, but the biggest excuse we’ve heard is that people often don’t have a pet waste bag with them when they need it. This year, Clemson Extension’s Carolina Clear program decided to spread the reminder far and wide with an outreach campaign reminding people to “Be Prepared. Always Bring a Bag!” Keep an eye open for this message on billboards and in commercials throughout the state. If you still have trouble

K C I P ! P U T I CHARLESTON RESIDENTS 75% of us know dog poop carries bacteria. 61% of us don’t always pick it up!

remembering your bag, try clipping a bag dispenser to your dog’s collar, tie a few bags to the leash, or leave some bags in your coat pocket (maybe make it your New Year’s Resolution). After the Pickup It’s also important to remember to throw the bag away once you’ve scooped the poop. Filled bags belong in a trashcan, not tossed down the storm drain where they create clogs that lead to flooding. It is also a common mistake to drop them into yard waste bags and lawn clippings, which ends up contaminating municipally-sourced compost. Certainly, dog poop could be composted using special digesters, but most city or county compost made from yard waste collections do not reach a high enough temperature during composting to kill off the fecal bacteria and pathogens. Just Bag It! Most of us would do anything for our dogs, and one of the biggest gifts we can give them is a clean environment where they can live and play. Picking up your dog’s poop every time, and properly disposing of it, will help to keep our waterways safe Dr. Amy Scaroni is an Assistant Professor of Water Resources at Clemson University. She lives on James Island, SC with her dogs Rosie and Charley.

WHAT IS STORMWATER? When rain falls, impervious surfaces such as sidewalks, driveways, and roads prevent rainwater from soaking into the ground. As it flows across those surfaces, the water picks up various bacteria from pet waste (and other pollutants), then sweeps them into a storm drain, which ultimately drains directly into local waterways. Carolina Clear is Clemson Extension’s statewide stormwater education program. Find out more ways you can protect water quality at:





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

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