Carolina Tails - Summer 2017

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DOG FLU What you need to know!



A Charleston Animal Society Publication

Jackson Galaxy: The "Cat Whisperer" Saving Pets Behind Prison Walls Gators! Gators! Gators! Could Acupuncture Help Your Pet?








Publisher: Keith Simmons Editor-in-Chief: Dan Krosse Managing Editor: Joe Elmore Graphic Design: Heineman Design Assistant Editor: Teri Errico Griffis Writers: Dan Krosse, Teri Errico Griffis, Ellie Whitcomb Payne, Victoria Hansen, Caitlin Kuczko, Helen Ravenel Hammond, Jamie Healy Photographers: Marie Rodriguez, Jeanne Taylor, Ellie Whitcomb Payne, Kay Hyman, Dan Krosse, Peter Waters Advertising Sales: Ted DeLoach For inquiries regarding advertising, distribution or suggestions in Carolina Tails call (843) 352-9048 or

Contents SUMMER 2017




Pet Pointers


Health Alert: Canine Influenza

10 12

10 Jackson Galaxy: TV Star Paying it Forward

12 Saving Animals Behind Prison Walls

14 A Dog Helps Family Through Tragedy


16 Pounce Cat Café: 2455 Remount Road, North Charleston, SC 29406 (843) 747-4849

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

The Purrfect Getaway

18 Are Gators Getting too Close? 20 Beach Rules: When Can Your Dog Come?

24 Could Acupuncture Help Your Pet?

29 Charleston Animal Society: A National Leader

30 Your Vet Directory 33 Advertising Spotlight: Oceanside Veterinary Clinic

34 Take Me Home: Adoptions! 35 Ask a Lawyer 37 People Like You: Saving Lives Through Research

38 Around Town 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.



40 Kids Corner: Time to Play! Summer Dangers Cover: Jackson Galaxy is the star of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell.” Learn how his foundation is using clicker training for cats to save lives at shelters.



Charleston Animal Society Board President Hank Greer with his late cat Sam enjoying his favorite perch on Hank's shoulders.


Many folks are under the impression that Charleston Animal Society’s mission is sheltering dogs and cats. While it may seem so due to the thousands of dogs and cats we rescue each year, sheltering animals is merely one aspect of what we focus on each year. Our mission to prevent cruelty to all animals has never changed. A few years ago, Charleston Animal Society, along with the majority of animal organizations across the country, adopted the Five Freedoms as its guiding principles in the humane treatment of animals. I know we have shared the Five Freedoms in the past, but they always bear repeating. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst: All animals need ready access to fresh water and a diet that allows them to maintain full health and vigor. Freedom from Discomfort: All animals need an appropriate living environment, including protection from the elements, and a clean, safe and comfortable resting area. Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease: All animals must be afforded care that prevents illness and injury, and that assures rapid diagnosis and treatment if illness or injury should occur. Freedom to Express Normal Behavior: All animals need sufficient space and proper facilities to allow them to move freely and fully, and to engage in the same types of activities as other animals of their species. Freedom from Fear and Distress: All animals need both a general environment and handling that allows them to avoid mental suffering and stress. I encourage all of you to use the Five Freedoms as a way to view the world through an animal’s eyes. I hope you enjoy this edition of Carolina Tails as much as I did. Please don’t miss our profile of Jackson Galaxy (pg. 10). He is the star of Animal Planet’s My Cat from Hell and he graciously agreed to appear on our cover to share the good work his foundation is doing by clicker training cats in shelters like ours. Wait until you see how this training is saving lives! Also in these pages: • We take you behind prison walls here in South Carolina where inmates are rescuing pets (pg. 12) • You will meet a Lowcountry family who had a close encounter with a gator on their second floor porch (pg. 18) • Could acupuncture be the medical answer for your pet (pg. 24) • You’ll meet people just like you in Charleston who are letting their animals take part in scientific studies, to answer important humane and medical questions. (pg. 36) Finally, please don’t miss our health alert on pg. 7, regarding Canine Influenza. As we publish this issue, there are reports of the flu surfacing in South Carolina. Please check with your veterinarian to see if a dog flu vaccine is right for your best friend. Enjoy your summer!

Hank Greer Charleston Animal Society Board President



NEWS:: You Can Use




Ne ER Tidbws its

ORANGEBURG HOARDING CASE The first assignment for Charleston Animal Society’s brand new Simon Greer Mobile Spay-Neuter Clinic was a hoarding case in Orangeburg County this spring. A team from Charleston Animal Society assisted the Orangeburg County Animal Control with the processing and treatment of 63 cats that were rescued from a woman’s home. The Mobile Spay-Neuter Clinic served as an operations center for the rescue mission.

PETS FOR LIFE TEAM WINS NATIONAL AWARD Charleston Animal Society won the Pets for Life Champions Award on May 11th at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) Animal Expo in Florida. Charleston Animal Society’s program was chosen as having the biggest impact on the community, among 35 other communities around the country. The organization was recognized for its outreach to residents in the 29405 area of North Charleston (Chicora-Cherokee neighborhoods). “People who live in Charleston should be so proud of this group,” said Pets for Life National Director Amanda Arrington. “Charleston Animal Society has shown they are there for everyone, no matter where they live, no matter their income. They embraced the Pets for Life philosophy that every person and pet matters.” Pets for Life is an outreach program that provides medical and other services for pets and their families in underserved areas of urban and rural areas around the country. Sponsored by HSUS, the Pets for Life guiding principle states that financial means are not an indicator of how much you love your pet or care about your pet or deserve to have the unconditional love a pet brings to a family. When the program launched in North Charleston in 2014, only 12% of pets were spayed or neutered in the 29405 zip code. By 2016, Pets for Life outreach increased that number to 87%. Last year, Pets for Life served 1,144 families in North Charleston, including 2,104 pets, 3,312 medical services and 786 spay-neuter surgeries. “People think we are only serving pets. But in reality, we are serving families. We are helping the pet as way to help people, who are our neighbors,” said Charleston Animal Society Anti-Cruelty and Outreach Director Aldwin Roman.


HEALTH ALERT: PET OWNERS URGED TO LOOK FOR SIGNS OF DOG FLU Dog flu has surfaced in South Carolina and Charleston Animal Society is urging dog owners to watch for any signs of flu in their pets. Symptoms include: • Coughing / Sneezing • Low Energy • Fever • Lack of appetite “People should be in touch with their personal veterinarian on whether a flu shot is a good idea for their pet,” said Charleston Animal Society Senior Director of Veterinary Care Lucy Fuller. “Situations like this really highlight why it’s important to have a veterinarian in your pet’s life.” This year’s canine influenza virus is H3N2. The dog flu can make your dog feel sick for two weeks, but your pet remains contagious for four weeks. The dog flu vaccine is given in two shots, two weeks apart. Canine influenza is extremely contagious. A dog’s cough can travel up to 20 feet and the virus can remain alive on human clothing for up to 24-hours. While the flu usually clears up in two weeks, in some cases it can develop into pneumonia, which is why you want to be in touch with your veterinarian as soon as you suspect something is wrong. Dog flu cannot be transmitted to humans. Dogs who travel with their owners or hang out with other dogs should consider being immunized. The flu can spread rapidly, including at places like dog shows and dog parks. Some area groomers are now requiring that your dog receive the canine influenza vaccine before coming to their facilities.

NEW SHOREBIRD PROGRAM A BIG HIT PETCO FOUNDATION INVESTS IN NKSC As one of the boldest animal care initiatives ever undertaken in the USA, No Kill South Carolina (NKSC) continues to attract the interest of rescue organizations around the country. “We have had inquiries from Virginia, Nevada and other states, asking us about NKSC and how they might replicate it,” said Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore. A generous grant from the Petco Foundation helped Charleston Animal Society launch NKSC. At its core, the No Kill philosophy is about saving every healthy and treatable animal. Step-bystep, by bringing together the 350 rescue organizations across South Carolina, the Petco Foundation’s funding is bringing the NKSC dream a little bit closer each day. This spring, Petco Foundation invested more into the program, making it possible to continue NKSC for at least an additional two years and add more boots on the ground to reach out to shelters around the state. “With Petco Foundation’s continuing support we are making progress toward our biggest goals,” said NKSC Project Director Abigail Kamleiter. “We want to end the euthanasia of healthy dogs in South Carolina by the end of 2018. We also want to raise the standard of care in shelters across the state.” Another aspect of NKSC is encouraging communities to save more cats through free-roaming cat initiatives. NKSC is setup like a number of wheels with spokes. Six shelters in the state’s biggest metro areas serve as “key resource centers” that then reach out to smaller shelters in their area with guidance on everything from spay-neuter to fundraising to shelter operations. “We want every shelter to be within an hour of help,” said Elmore.

This summer, be on the lookout for bright yellow frisbees being passed out on Lowcountry beaches to raise awareness about shorebirds. Charleston Animal Society is teaming up with Audubon South Carolina in a brand new campaign called “Let ‘em Rest, Let ‘em Nest.” The campaign is designed to share ways to protect the hundreds of thousands of shorebirds that use South Carolina beaches to replenish energy, find food and to hatch their young. Starting Memorial Day weekend, Audubon Volunteers hit Lowcountry Beaches to educate dog owners on the importance of keeping dogs from chasing birds while the birds are resting. The yellow Frisbees have the “Let ‘em Rest, Let ‘em Nest,” message along with “Chase this instead of birds” printed on them as a friendly reminder.





CATS:: Training Techniques

Animal Planet Star Paying it Forward



s the star of Animal Planet’s hit show, My Cat from Hell, Jackson Galaxy sees cats at their worst. And somehow, he works his magic in every episode to reach inside these troubled felines’ minds to bring good mojo back to homes around the country. Galaxy tells Carolina Tails, “As a longtime shelter worker and trusted ambassador between cats and humans, I am passionate about fighting for the individual cat that is misunderstood.”

PAYING IT FORWARD Galaxy got his start working in animal shelters and soon learned he had a gift for communicating with cats. A TV show and TV stardom followed, but Galaxy never forgot his roots. He pays his success forward by teaching lifesaving strategies to shelters around the country through the Jackson Galaxy Foundation. Charleston Animal Society was fortunate to be selected to participate in the foundation’s “Cat Pawsitive” program that uses clicker training to engage cats, socialize them and even teach them tricks! “The cats who were shy and fearful and those who did not like handling flourished thanks to the Cat Pawsitive,” said trainer Caitlin Kuczko, CPDT-KA, who oversaw the program at Charleston Animal Society. Kuczko says learning the program from the Jackson Galaxy Foundation is something that will stay with the shelter forever. Cats learned different spins, Sit, Down, Come, High 5, Sit-Up, Touch, Eye Contact, and more! "Cats benefit from focused activities and repetition,” Galaxy said. “But, just as important is the ‘two-way street’ relationship that develops between human and cat with positive reinforcement techniques like clicker training."


SUCCESS STORIES There were dozens of cats in Cat Pawsitive training at Charleston Animal Society, but a handful stood out including Binx, White Sox, Papillion, and Theodore. All four of these cats were once seen as hard to place and possibly feral. Thanks to the Jackson Galaxy Foundation’s innovative program, these cats were able to learn not only tricks, but trust. White Sox, Papillion, and Theodore have been adopted. “Just about the time you were getting really excited for one’s progress, it would be adopted so that’s great and the purpose of it all,” said Mary Beth Dew, a volunteer trained in the Cat Pawsitive Program. Binx is an unofficial mascot in the administration area of the shelter, still waiting to find the right home. But this once fearful cat is now engaging people for attention. “Shy and fearful cats like Binx bloomed socially. I am very grateful to have been a part of this program,” said Charleston Animal Society Adoption Counselor Rachel Proffitt Coleman. TRAINING TIPS FOR YOU Galaxy will be the first to tell you that disciplining your cat just won’t work. That squirt bottle? Forget it. A mean voice? Ha! Galaxy is a big believer in the “Yes/No” proposition. If your cat likes to jump up on counters – make it a “no” proposition by making the counter unappealing. Put sticky-sided placemats upside down, so when the cat walks on the counter he or she feels the stickiness. Yuck! For the “yes” part of the equation, think of a solution, perhaps a cat condo, kitty shelf, or a high stool, where the cat can still have a higher vantage point, and enjoy your company, but stay off the counter. Using these kinds of techniques allows you to avoid discipline. “By and large, what I think is missing from the human-cat bond are activities,” Galaxy said. “With dogs we play fetch, we go for walks every day and these are bonding activities. For cats, interactive play is a key component for this bond; and positive enforcement training is another.” For more great training ideas, be sure to watch My Cat From Hell every week on Animal Planet. SUMMER 2017 | CAROLINA TAILS



My Turn: Animals Being Saved Behind Prison Walls BY JAMIE HEALY Editor’s Note: Jamie Healy is a Sr. Grant Writer for Best Friends Animal Society and the newest member of the Allendale Correctional Worship Center/Character Restoration Initiative’s Fundraising Board.




n the midst of rural South Carolina lies Allendale County, the 2nd poorest county in the state (average household income $25,327) and 22nd poorest in the entire United States. With a population of 10,000, 73.9% are minority, 42.4% live below the poverty line, 28.09% did not graduate high school, and only 14% earned a college degree. The county itself has one veterinarian, one hospital, and one grocery store—so it comes as no surprise then that there are no pet stores, animal shelters or spay/neuter clinics to be found in Allendale County. While resources are observably scarce, a few miles down a side road is an unexpectedly shining example for human and animal welfare in a place you might least expect to find it: Allendale Correctional Institution (ACI). On a bright and sunny spring day, I walked through the main gates of ACI with zero preconceived notions, deciding that I would let the experience shape my opinion. What I never expected in my six hours there was the impact it would have on me. I found a renewed sense of hope and energy for a humane future, and a deep-seated sensation that this would not be the last time I would see the exemplary group of people at ACI. How was it that these inmates managed to rescue 120 dogs and cats in 2016? A medium-custody prison, ACI houses approximately 1,200 male inmates and was recognized as the very first characterbased institution in South Carolina in 2015. As a visitor on the campus I was graciously welcomed, touring the grounds and bearing witness to the many amazing programs onsite. Within its confines is the “graduate dorm,” Bamberg Unit, which is reserved for inmates who display a high level of positive behavior. Inside those units you’ll find some rather interesting residents you may not expect to see sharing cells with the inmates—cats and dogs! The MuttMates/MeowMates program is a unique collaborative effort between The Animal Advocates in nearby Barnwell, SC, and ACI’s Character Restoration Initiative. Capacity-building at its finest, the MuttMates/MeowMates program thinks way outside of the box—distinguishing itself as a lifesaving resource within a county that doesn’t even have an animal control officer. And thanks to a group of inmates with a vision and a very progressive Warden who has been open to doing what’s right for all involved, it’s making a huge difference. The Animal Advocates is a nonprofit organization that started 12 years ago to support the animals of Barnwell County and pull animals from Barnwell County Shelter. Its partnership with ACI has increased its ability to save lives substantially. With 175 inmates participating in the onsite foster program in 2016 alone, more than 120 abused, abandoned or neglected animals were provided care, companionship, socialization, and basic obedience training. Walking through the animal art-adorned units, I visited and chatted with many of the men while there, taking notice of how well the animals were cared for. ACI even offers a grooming program and a supply room that houses everything needed to foster a cat, dog, or even a litter of newborn, motherless, kittens! Towards the end of last year, a professional Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program was added to the roster, certifying 12 dogs and providing proper training instruction to more than 50 men. The plan for 2017 is to ensure that every single dog that is fostered onsite is certified before returning to the Animal Advocates

How was it that these inmates managed to rescue 120 dogs and cats in 2016?

Adoption Center for adoption. In addition, thanks to a new permanent agility course in the off-leash area, they intend to implement rally techniques and also find a way to incorporate an Emotional Therapy Dog Program into the training regimen this year. Due to the undeniable success of this model program, South Carolina’s Department of Corrections waived the limit of 10 animals per institution, allowing ACI to take in 25 cats and up to 24 dogs at a time! They even lent a hand by taking in animals during last year’s Hurricane Matthew so that other shelters could increase their capacity to relieve affected areas. There is no telling how many additional animals programs like this can save; but, there is no denying that there are very real and untapped resources located all around us that can increase our lifesaving abilities— such as this model program in one of the most resource-scarce counties of this country. It’s time we take a closer look in our own backyards to see what more we can accomplish for our communities.

The MuttMates/MeowMates program is a part of a larger Character Restoration Initiative within Allendale Correctional Worship Center. Existing programs include a 40-day spiritual fellowship, addiction recovery, character development, GED attainment, vocational and leadership development, computer literacy, Art 4 Hope (donates artisan crafts to under-privileged children), sustainable gardening and beekeeping (donates to neighborhood association), music theory, a book club, communication building, a Toastmasters club, and even a quilting/crocheting group. The list doesn’t stop there, though. They are committed to spreading the word about their initiatives and the much-needed changes to prison culture. These model programs aid in the development of our communities, the animals, and the inmates who will hopefully have the opportunity to return to society as proud, productive, prepared, and contributing members. They save lives, reduce recidivism, and help lift others in their time of need.



REFLECTIONS:: Comfort in Pets


Editor’s Note: We are always happy when people reach out to us about their pets. But when Gil Grooms contacted us about his dog Chloe, it caused us to reflect on how fragile life is. Gil adopted Chloe from Charleston Animal Society and as you will read, she is now helping Gil navigate a heartbreaking family tragedy. Here is what Gil wrote to us:

AL Y O L VE LO I WAS WORKING AT THE CHILI COOKoff last November and had gotten there early to get set up. I went to go see the dogs that y’all brought to the event (with no intention of adopting one). Then I saw Chloe, a 2-year-old yellow lab, sitting in her crate. She looked a little spooked by everything going on, but she stole my heart. I sent a couple of pictures to my 23-year-old son Zachary who was living with me and of course he said, “Dad you have to bring her home.” He was raised with labs. I had several while he was growing up but it had been almost 10 years since my last one passed away. I knew immediately that I wanted to bring Chloe home and give her a good home. She was nervous at first but warmed up to us pretty quickly and we both loved her dearly. About three weeks after I brought her home, my son was killed when a man allegedly ran a stop sign on the IOP connector. The driver was charged with felony DUI. I truly believe that God put Chloe in my life for a reason. She has become so much more than just a pet. She gave me a reason to get up in the morning. She has been by my side when all I could do was cry. She has made the worst time in my life a little more bearable and I can’t thank Charleston Animal Society enough for the work that y’all do.


Zachary Grooms enjoying a moment with his family's newly adopted dog Chloe, shortly before he was killed in a car accident.



LIFESAVING:: Innovation



n orange tabby is curled up in the front window. Across the café, another is cuddled up in a basket or sprawled out on the kitty ledge. Look high, look low; try to spot each cat. Here at Pounce Cat Café + Wine Bar, there are comfy couches to sit on, plenty of feline-related books to read and a basket of toys handy to play with the kittens. I make my way to the back, through the glass door of the café where I order my pastry and tea. I eye a T-shirt I want to buy later. I take my treats back and coo at a cute little black cat that rubs up on my leg. The “pouncers” are nearby to ensure that no kitty is mistreated (and they hand out treats every hour). “Boss Kitty” Ashley Brooks and I find a cozy couch to settle down on for our interview— though we are frequently interrupted by curious cats climbing on us. In December, she and Annaliese Hughes opened up Pounce, the South’s first cat café, and they have contributed to an amazing 232 adoptions for Charleston Animal Society, since Pounce opened 6 months ago. “We are part adoption center, part wine bar and cat café,” Brooks begins. “All cats are rescued from Charleston Animal Society. Come hang out, have a drink, play with our cats. If you fall in love, you can take one home.” “Talk about a godsend,” gushes Charleston Animal Society Senior Director of Animal Services. “Pounce has increased our lifesaving reach, by attracting a crowd of adopters who may not have had a chance to visit our animal care campus.” Cats, cats, cats Brooks and Hughes work with AnnMarie Kenyon, Charleston Animal Society Offsite Adoption Coordinator, who brings the cats to the café. Kenyon further assists with any animals that are having health or behavioral issues, and administers flea treatments and vaccines each month. Together, the Pounce owners also monitor each cat’s health—their eyes, ears, noses, eating/drinking habits and litter box visits with a special chart. Out of the hundreds of cats that have been brought to Pounce, Brooks says, they have only sent back six who weren’t adjusting. “I love working with the Pounce team because they don’t shy away from difficult cases,” Kenyon said. Socializing the cats is a big part of the Pounce philosophy. The more social a cat, the better the chance at adoption.


FELIN E FIX Clockwise: A kitten snuggles in a blanket. Vince Vaden captures a kitten's attention. Harrison Paine "chillaxes' with two new friends. Opposite page: Amelia Sie and Alice Hong snap a selfie. A kitten strikes a pose inside Pounce.

“If you fall in love, you can take one home,” Brooks said.

These days the café mostly sees families and couples in their upper 20s and 30s, and has the same adoption process as the shelter. That procedure entails filling out adoption paperwork, having a one-on-one consultation with a member of Pounce’s staff, and paying the one-time adoption fee. Adult cats (over 1 year old) are $50 and kittens are $100. “All adoption fees benefit Charleston Animal Society, and include a complementary veterinary wellness exam. “We also give owners a bag of food!” Brooks adds. The Pounce cat experience is just $15, which includes a drink of your choice and an entire hour with the felines. “I don’t think it is an unreasonable price to ask for cats not to live in cages,” Brooks says. “We are averaging ten adoptions a week and this is helping save cats in the community.” In essence, Pounce serves as a big foster home for Charleston Animal Society. “They bring us the cats, we take care of them, we get them adopted and they bring us more,” Brooks says, summarizing Pounce’s process. And as this writer settles down at her spot in the café to start her story, Sapphire, a beautiful Persian with the most stunning icy blue eyes, jumps right onto my open laptop, vying for attention. Purrfection.

CAT CAFÉ 101 When at Pounce, Brooks notes it’s important to play by the rules. She calls the pointers for interacting with the cats their “Cat Café 101.” • • • • • •

Don’t pick up and carry the cats Floor to lap is okay, but the cats are not fans of being carried Do not disturb sleeping cats Keep an eye on your drinks (“We have some wino cats,” Brooks said.) Pictures are allowed, but no flash photography Please tag Pounce on Instagram @pouncecatcafe



GATORS:: Swamp Stories

See Ya Later, Alligator! As the tri-county area population grows, the number of “nuisance gator” calls are increasing. What will this mean to the gator population? BY ELLIE WHITCOMB PAYNE t was an intruder unlike any the Polston family of Mount Pleasant could ever imagine. Almost 10-feet long, weighing hundreds of pounds – an alligator had climbed to their second floor porch in April! The family sought refuge in the master bedroom closet and called 911. “It was crazy,” Susie Polston said. “For this gator to climb to a second floor, and push his way through a screen door was unbelievable.”


“Nuisance” Gator Sightings on the Rise The Polstons aren’t alone. A steady increase in alligator reports over the last several years shows more Lowcountry residents are running into problems living in close proximity with these prehistoric creatures. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) distinguishes problem gators as either a nuisance or an emergency. With the latter, the alligator poses a true threat and an agent will be dispatched for swift removal. A nuisance alligator is an unwelcomed neighbor; one who’s regular appearance makes people uncomfortable or fearful for pets and children. These gators could be seen as a threat, but need not demonstrate aggressive behavior as a cause for removal. Nuisance gators are usually killed. Polston, an animal lover who has rescued cats, dogs, birds and countless other strays, said she was sad they had to kill the gator. “The guy (SCDNR) told us, ‘He’s dug in, he’s defending his territory. We can wait it out and see if he leaves, but he could be here two or three days on your porch.’” Polston said she was told there is no such thing as an alligator tranquilizer. Jay Butfiloski, Furbearer and Alligator Program Coordinator with SCDNR, says the choice to euthanize an alligator depends


on the situation. “Many times, just speaking with a caller will help to alleviate any concerns,” he says. But if the property owner or group (such as an HOA) still wants the animal removed, a $10 nuisance permit will be issued. Euthanasia is often the solution because a gator can only be moved within its home range and where the property owner has jurisdiction. Butfiloski adds that alligators will often try to return home if moved, taking a direct route and potentially becoming even more of an issue. In 2016, 562 alligator complaints were called in to SCDNR from Charleston County alone. That’s up 28% from the year before. Berkeley and Dorchester Counties are reporting more nuisance gators as well. (See chart for all data.) As a solution, South Carolina implemented alligator hunting in 2008 to control the population and keep the number of nuisance gators down. Hunting season opens September 9th and is controlled with permits, which cost $100 each.

Population Boom In the 1960s, regulators classified the American alligator as endangered, but the population recovered. SCDNR estimates upwards of 100,000 gators call South Carolina home, but it’s hard to know for sure how many there are. Local researchers are,

Susie Polston of Mt. Pleasant couldn't believe her eyes when this gator wandered up the steps to her second floor porch. Photo: Susie Polston


however, trying to unlock the mystery. Students in Clemson University’s SC Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit are now working to create a model that would provide a basis for population monitoring to help guide regulations. Findings are expected next spring. For now, gators are considered a threatened species not because of population concerns, but because of it similarity in appearance to other protected crocodilians worldwide, according to SCDNR. Simply look around and you can see the gators adapting to life alongside humans, finding homes in retention ponds, golf course water hazards and drainage pipes. “It is amazing how many gators are taken because of the nuisance act,” says Ron Russell of Gator Getters Consultants, a 25-year professional in the alligator business. “I fear it could hurt the population. I used to get 250-300 calls a year.” Leave ’Em Be? Aside from reptile removal, Russell also works with people to test the behavior of an alligator. “In my book, a gator is only a nuisance when someone starts to feed it,” he says, noting it is illegal to harass or feed alligators. If a homeowner has a concern about a gator’s presence, the consultants can go out to see if the

animal reacts appropriately. Usually, the reptile is shy and will go into water when approached—and if it leaves you alone, Russell believes it should be left alone, too. A fed gator, however, will act aggressively and even charge a human. It’s hard to know how the increase in nuisance gator reports might be affecting the alligator population, but with better data and research on the way, answers could soon follow. Gator Stories The Polstons’ gator story went viral, including a radio interview on the “Jay Thomas Show,” where the host agreed to make a donation to Charleston Animal Society after Polston’s request to try and do something positive in light of the gator’s death. Polston says Animal Planet is currently working on a story about their reptile run-in. As for the family, everyone has shaken off any gator jitters, except Susie’s 5-year-old niece in Charlotte, who did have a couple nightmares after hearing the story, “She is doing fine now. Her parents calmed her down by saying there aren’t any gators in Charlotte.” WEB EXTRA: See video of the gator on the Polstons’ porch at



SUMMER FUN:: Beaches


FOLLY BEACH Dogs on the beach must be leashed at all times. Summer Hours: May 1-September 30, dogs are not allowed on the beach from 10am to 6pm.


Winter Hours: October 1-April 3, dogs are welcome on Folly Beach any time. Your pup must stay on a leash and under control, but running, walking, fetching, and swimming are all allowed.


Folly does offer pet waste bags at beach access points.

LIVING IN A COASTAL COUNTY HAS its perks—including taking your pet to the beach. But with so many rules to follow it can get confusing! We compiled a list of the on-leash and off-leash rules for your favorite sandy spots—from Folly Beach to Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms to Kiawah. While it may seem like a bummer your pup can’t play with you during the busy hours, remember these rules are to protect beach goers and your dog in case it doesn’t respond well to crowded beaches or extreme heat.

Remember that leash laws are enforced on Folly, and tickets can be issued up to $500.


SULLIVAN’S ISLAND Summer Hours: May 1-September 30, between 5am and 10am, dogs are allowed on the beach and off-leash. From 10am-6pm, dogs are not allowed on the beach at all. From 6pm to 5am they may be on the beach but must be on leash.

Winter Hours: From October 1-April 30, dogs are allowed on the beach off-leash from 5am-12pm. From 12pm-5pm dogs need to be onleash. All dogs must have a valid Sullivan’s Island permit, whether resident or visitor. Town-issued dog permits are available at Town Hall or by visiting The fee is $35 for non-residents/$25 for residents. Pet waste bags may be found near the entrance of each beach access path.

ISLE OF PALMS Summer Hours: April 1-September 14, dogs are allowed to be off leash from 5am-9am Winter Hours: September 15-March 31, dogs are allowed to be off-leash from 4pm until 10am At all other times, dogs must be on leash and under complete control, even in the water.

KIAWAH BEACHWALKER PARK Dogs must be leashed at all times within Kiawah Beachwalker Park.




CHARLESTON ANIMAL SOCIETY HAS many individual and business stakeholders and Kia Country of Charleston is so glad to be among the most passionate. In 2014, we sought to align ourselves with a local nonprofit and devote time and resources to something that would prove meaningful for both our employees and customers. Many of our employees have adopted one or more rescue animals and care deeply about pets. When we met with Charleston Animal Society and learned more about its goals and accomplishments, we knew we had found our community partner and cause. As the Title Sponsor of the Charleston Firefighter Calendar, we have enjoyed a front seat to the magic of this organization. We are continually inspired by their tireless commitment to animals and the well-deserved and seemingly endless enthusiasm and support they enjoy. Similarly, we are delighted to have worked with such a dedicated group of firefighters who donate countless hours to helping animals.


Kia Country of Charleston hosts the Bark & Boo event each October at their dealership in West Ashley. Here are the 2016 Bark & Boo Costume Contest Winners and Firefighter Calendar Models.

Beyond the calendar sponsorship, Kia Country supports Charleston Animal Society through events, dedicated content on our website, advocacy support, and fundraising initiatives via social media and email marketing. In addition, we have sponsored radio advertising on 13 local stations and encouraged our media partner to match the buy, which has provided considerable exposure for homeless animals. By making a multi-year sponsorship commitment, Kia Country also became a founding member of No Kill, No Harm, No More. We are delighted that Charleston Animal Society shares its best practices and expertise with other shelters and organizations throughout South Carolina and the country, which ultimately saves more animals. Charleston Animal Society consistently demonstrates imagination and leadership. Through advocacy and awareness, it is continually pushing boundaries. There are countless ways that we could devote energy and resources to the community; but collectively, we believe that

there is simply no reason to abuse or neglect a pet. Our love of pets binds us together as a group and drives our commitment to ending animal cruelty. Charleston Animal Society and other rescue organizations provide an out for those who can no longer care for a pet. There is a huge price tag associated with saving animals and we are happy to contribute time and effort to a cause that is important to us. “It would be a rare day at the dealership that we didn’t talk about our pets, share photos and stories and consider additional adoptions. It is unquestionably the number one topic of conversation among our staff and I love that we are a company of animal lovers,” said Steve Appelbaum, General Manager. Nothing would make us happier than to see every animal in a safe and loving environment—and we have no doubt that Charleston Animal Society will keep breaking ground until that happens. Until then, we are proud to be among their most ardent supporters.

PET HEALTH:: Eastern Medicine

Acupuncture for Pets BY VICTORIA HANSEN


ilo cowers behind the curtain, but he’s hardly hiding. His ample body spills out from the long, ivory drape. His orange, tabby tail flicks from time to time. It stops with a knock on the door. A petite woman, with an oversize bag and bright red hair, quietly slips in. She sits down cross-legged on the large living room floor and chuckles as she eyes the cat’s protruding backside. It is quite a sight. “So is there anything you can associate with the vomiting last weekend,” Meredith Borakove, VMD, CVA asks Milo’s owner, Andrea Geiger.


“We were probably going through a little ‘I’m not going to eat what you give me’ kind of thing,” says Geiger. 14 year-old Milo suffers from stomach problems, pancreatitis and the onset of kidney disease. Fortunately no crate or car ride is needed for this aging kitty. His veterinarian makes house calls. “Are you ready for Mr. Milo?” asks Geiger, as she exposes his not so covert crouching spot. She holds her big man gently, yet firmly, on the floor as Dr. Borakove reaches in her bag. The doctor then pops open a plastic lid and pulls out what appear to be several small pins. Actually, they’re needles.

and musculoskeletal pain. It’s thought to help the body heal itself by stimulating nerves, increasing blood circulation, relieving muscle spasms and releasing endorphins. Milo doesn’t even flinch as the needles go in, disappearing in his deep, tuffs of fur. His eyes close. He looks relaxed. It’s hard to believe a cat is sitting still for any such treatment, much less acupuncture. The needles stay in for 15 minutes. “He’s a very, very cooperative kitty,” says Geiger. What’s more, she says, the treatment works. “Sometimes you can see the results right away. I think it helps stabilize his system and makes him feel better.” Dr. Borakove became interested in acupuncture when she saw the results with her beloved and now departed cat, Monkey. He was her first adult pet and constant companion during vet school. After the cat injured its back, Dr. Borakove sought acupuncture as alternative treatment. Pain meds made him too sleepy and threatened his kidneys.


“For Milo, I use my smallest size needles,” she says. “They’re 36-gauge and a half inch long.” Dr. Borakove practices pet acupuncture along with regular veterinary medicine. She calls her business, “Chi on Wheels.” “I pick the points based on what we are treating,” she says. “I have to find each point based on very specific, anatomic structures, boney prominences, vertebrae and muscle bellies.” Acupuncture has its roots in ancient times, but modern medicine has come to recognize its potential benefits in both humans and pets. The National Institute of Health says there is compelling evidence that acupuncture is useful in managing osteoarthritis

“After three treatments, his pain was gone and never returned,” Dr. Borakove explains. Monkey lived to be 16 and inspired his owner to learn more about acupuncture and its benefits. She studied at the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine in Florida, becoming certified in acupuncture for small animals. She’s now getting certified in Chinese herbal therapy. “It’s all about quality of life, especially for older pets,” Dr. Borakove says. “We’re not expecting miracles. It’s not magic pixie dust.” But Ashley Scott would disagree. Her dog Striker sees Dr. Borakove, too. “It is an absolute miracle. [Striker] is my everything.” Scott says Striker’s health started going downhill at the age of 13. His back hurt and blood tests showed his liver and kidney functions were poor. “After his first visit, I saw him getting better, jumping back up on the couch, and his next blood tests showed his values back to normal,” Scott says. “After a few visits we were back going for walks in the park and his overall mood improved.” The cost for Striker’s one-hour visit is $120—and Scott calls it money well spent. Though her lab mix doesn’t care for the needles, she notes, “he does like getting the treats Meredith brings!” But how does she know it really works for pets? Geiger points to the man no longer behind the curtain, her pal Milo. “There’s no placebo effect [for pets],” she says. “They either respond or they don’t. He is responding very well.”






LIFESAVING: Sharing Strategies


MADDIE'S FUND®, A NATIONAL family foundation, has awarded $360,000 in grants to Charleston Animal Society. The goal is to share the charity’s leadership and programming that inspired No Kill Charleston® and No Kill South Carolina® with communities around the United States through on-site fellowships and apprenticeships. According to Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore, Maddie’s® Apprenticeship Program is a new and exciting opportunity for shelters and rescue organizations to share ideas and strategies in an effort to improve lifesaving. Through a blended learning experience, both hands-on and online, organizations looking to improve their practices will benefit from the wisdom shared by well-established innovative programs that have proven to save lives. The Maddie's® Executive Leadership Fellowship is an intensive professional opportunity for individuals committed to developing and strengthening their knowledge and skill sets in no-kill animal sheltering management and leadership. “To be recognized as a flagship lifesaving organization in the United States is an honor. Everyone at Charleston Animal Society is excited to share our nationally recognized animal rescue plan with other organizations, all thanks to Maddie’s Fund®,” remarked Elmore. “These grants shine a very positive light on Charleston County and show how much people here love their animals and support the organizations that save them.” According to Elmore, each of the grants involves employees from rescue organizations around the United States coming to Charleston Animal Society for educational purposes:

Two Executive Leadership Fellowships will offer intensive training to two individuals specializing in shelter management. The goal is to develop future chief executives who can lead their communities to become no-kill. (In June, Charleston Animal Society welcomed Sarah Humlie, Executive Director of the Pensacola Humane Society, and Matt Chan, Adoption and Volunteer Coordinator with Cat’s Cradle in Harrisonburg, VA, to the 12-month field placement and leadership training). A Foster Apprenticeship will allow the Charleston Animal Society to expand and share its highly acclaimed fostering system model with 40 apprentices from different agencies around the country. Charleston Animal Society’s foster family network includes more than 300 families across the Lowcountry. A Shelter Medicine Apprenticeship will fund 24 students to spend time at Charleston Animal Society and learn the best practices in shelter medicine. Charleston Animal Society’s Sam Greer Spay-Neuter Clinic is accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), representing the highest standards of veterinary care. “Charleston Animal Society is the only combined animal shelter and veterinary clinic in the Southeast to achieve this recognition,” commented Elmore. Dr. Laurie Peek of the Maddie’s Fund Executive Leadership Team, summarized the significance of this prestigious acknowledgment by noting, “Charleston Animal Society has re-imagined what animal rescue can be. We are fortunate to have found such an impactful way to share their techniques with animal organizations everywhere.”


TEACHING GOES HIGH-TECH Charleston Animal Society is also teaming up with the ASPCA to offer online distance education. The ASPCA and Charleston Animal Society partnership began in 2008 when the ASPCA invested nearly $2 million in various organizations throughout Charleston County over a 5-year period, paving the way for the County to become the Southeast’s first No Kill Community in 2013. “Foster principles, techniques and management have been presented in two online training sessions with approximately 500 participants, some from as far away as Europe,” said Elmore.




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

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 Lowcountry Cat Practice (843) 884-7966 1184 Highway 41, Mount Pleasant, SC 29466 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

Ohlandt 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

Moncks Corner

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


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


Dr. Ryan Gipe and Head Technician Kindra Hines meeting a puppy patient for the first time.

OCEANSIDE VETERINARY CLINIC Editor’s Note: Carolina Tails Magazine would not be possible if it weren’t for the support of our many advertisers. We hope you enjoy this profile of one of our advertisers and we look forward to bringing you more Advertiser Spotlights in the future. Please support the businesses you see in Carolina Tails! BY HELEN RAVENEL HAMMOND

OCEANSIDE VETERINARY CLINIC strives to provide pet owners with sound, honest choices for their pets and to provide patients with excellent and compassionate

medical care. Originally Ohlandt Veterinary Clinic, it has been serving pet owners in the Tri-County area since the early 1980s. Dr. Ryan Gipe and Practice Manager Robbyn Young took over as owners of Oceanside Vet Clinic in January of 2014—and Dr. Gipe credits Dr. Johnny Ohlandt for teaching him the value of customer support and service. “We go out of our way to make sure we have a relationship with both the pets and their owners,” Young says. “We make it a family environment. We individualize every visit, as not every case or pet is the same.” One way the clinic does that, she adds, is through their new initiative, "Fear Free," where they make sure that every pet is happy to be there—rather than dreading the visit. Says Dr. Gipe, “We go above and beyond to make a low-stress visit for pet owners.” And in terms of surgery, the staff is ready to answer any questions the owner might have. Another way Oceanside Veterinary Clinic

is set apart from other vets, according to Young, is that they try to be as progressive as possible. “We are not specialists,” she clarifies, “We say that we practice progressive medicine with a personal touch. We do this by offering digital X-rays, ultra sound machines, dental X-rays, in-house labs and orthopedic surgeries.” She continues, “We also have cold laser therapy, which reduces pain and inflammation, and is really great for arthritic pets.” The practice includes four full-time veterinarians, one part-time and 17 support staff (including technicians and customer service staff.) Oceanside Veterinary Clinic even has an acupuncturist who comes regularly. “We all work together on each case, coming together with the trained eyes of every one. And everyone gets the full benefit of that,” she says. “The key to your pets’ long healthy life is education and early detection of potential health threats,” Young says. Oceanside Veterinary Clinic is located at 1509 Folly Rd.



RESCUE:: Adopt, Don’t Buy!



It’s summer! Start some new memories for your family with an adoptable pet from Charleston Animal Society. They come behaviortested and snuggle-approved. Come see us at 2455 Remount Road or visit Cat Photography: Marie Rodriguez /; Dog Photography: Jeanne Taylor /

Benji is my name and being a dawg is my game. I love to run and chase after sticks. Did I tell you I am very loyal? Take this dawg home!

Well hello! I’m Blackie. Walking, running, fetching, napping, cuddling, having fun and eating are my trademark skills. Come take me home.

What’s up? My name is Cooper and I’m outta’ this world! Seriously, I’m friendly, outgoing and fun. Make me a part of your family.

I’m Frozen. I know, I know. I’m so cute. I love to lounge around. I also love to play with string and anything with a bell. Come get me.

I’m Michel and I love to pluck guitar strings. I also enjoy warm laps, snuggles and lots of naps. Visit me.

How’s it going? I’m Sleeves. I cannot wait until you get out the laser pointer so I can chase it around and around all day!

Hello my name is Spot On. When the stars are aligned, anything is possible. Like eating cat treats, purring and letting you rub my tummy.


Hi I’m Piper. I love long walks, I love dinner with or without candlelight. Fetching is my favorite past time, come adopt me today!

LAW & ORDER:: Your Pets


PURHOT SUI T 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: My dog chases cats and recently he nearly had a run-in with a cat from down the street that cut through our yard. If my dog hurts a cat on our property, who is liable for the cat's injuries? -- Mark, West Ashley DAVID AYLOR: Mark, you will likely not be responsible for the cat’s injuries as the cat would be trespassing on your property. Many municipalities, including Charleston, prohibit animals from running at large. Specifically, Charleston Municipal Code Sec. 5-4 states that no person owning in possession of an animal shall allow the animal to stray or in any manner to run at large in or upon the property of another, if such animal is not under physical restraint or a leash so as to allow the animal to be controlled. By allowing the cat to roam freely, your neighbor runs the risk of this type of incident occurring and furthermore is in violation of the local restraint laws, which impose penalties for non-compliance.

QUESTION: My neighbor leaves her two small dogs outside 24-7, especially when her boyfriend comes to visit. The problem is that they bark non-stop. What are my options to stop the yipping in my dreams? --Becca, Mt. Pleasant DAVID AYLOR: Becca, you need to contact Mt. Pleasant’s Animal Control Officer, who is responsible for enforcing the municipal code sections related to animal issues. Most likely, your neighbor’s dogs are considered nuisance animals because the continuous barking is disturbing your

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

ordinary use and enjoyment of your property. Specifically, Mount Pleasant’s local code prohibits an owner or possessor of an animal to allow or permit an animal to bark, whine, howl, honk, bray, cry or make other noises in an excessive, continuous, untimely, or unreasonable fashion, or to make other noise in such a manner so as to result in a serious annoyance or interference with the reasonable use and enjoyment of neighboring premises.

If you have a legal question regarding pets, write us at and we will try and get it answered for you.



RESEARCH:: Science Matters



How everyday people like you are finding answers that will make lives better for animals. BY DAN KROSSE

Photo: Marie Rodriguez

On any given day across America, thousands of people are helping to find cures for animal sickness, increase the lifespans of our favorite pets, and generally make life more humane for cats, dogs, horses and countless other species. We’re talking about the people who volunteer their time and the time of their pets to find answers in scientific studies being conducted on a variety of topics.

Ashley Gardner's dog Gus gives his time to the Golden Retriever Lifetime study in an annual exam. Here he's being examined by Dr. Eve Badger and Jane Welch, LVT at West Ashley Veterinary Clinic.

Golden Retriever Lifetime Study The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is the largest and most comprehensive observational study ever attempted in veterinary medicine in the United States. Researchers will use information from the 3,000 enrolled dogs to investigate associations between risk factors— such as genetics, nutrition, environment and lifestyle—and major health outcomes, especially cancer. Charleston resident Ashley Gardner is one of 35 people around South Carolina who have enrolled their Goldens in the study. Gardner’s dogs Ruby and Gus are known in the study as #1133 and #2497. “Once a year, we take them both in for a thorough physical exam that includes blood, urine and fecal samples,” Gardner said. “We also fill out an extensive survey every 12 months about anything that’s happened in our dogs’ lives.” The Morris Animal Foundation is funding the eye-opening, $32-million cost of the study. That financial commitment shows how much people love their pets. But more astounding, are the 3,000 people like Gardner who have committed to sharing their pets for the benefit of science and a brighter future for dogs.


Each year, Gardner receives a package filled with tubes and vials for the samples. The West Ashley Veterinary Clinic does the lab work for free and mails it back to the foundation. Gardner tells Carolina Tails that seeing a number of friends’ Golden Retrievers die of cancer motivated her to participate. “Our time is a small price to pay as a way for us to contribute and find ways to save dogs’ lives,” Gardner said. “Participating in the study requires a lot of dedication, and our owners have proven they are up to the challenge,” said Carol Borchert, Director of Communications at Morris Animal Foundation. “They do this not only because they love their dogs, but they want to help improve the health and wellbeing of dogs everywhere.” While the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is already full, there is a way for you to register your dog (of any breed) for future research needs. Go to to find more information. Cats, Cats, Cats Last summer, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) launched the AVMA Animal Health Studies Database as a resource for researchers seeking animals to participate in clinical studies and for veterinarians and animal owners exploring options for treatment. Visit the website ( and type in “cats” and dozens of studies in need of felines pop up. The topics vary and as with all studies, your pet will have to fit a specific set of conditions to be enrolled.

Arthur Doyle (L) tags a shark for research on Sullivan's Island with his friends Leo Strickland and Declan Dachowski.

Shark Research Arthur Doyle is a Wando High School student, rugby player and volunteer shark catcher! Yep, he spends many an hour on the shores of Sullivan’s Island reeling in sharks as part of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Cooperative Shark Tagging Program (CSTP). “I’ve always been a big fisherman. But got interested in the study by seeing others to do it,” Doyle said. He emailed study organizers asking how to get involved and they sent all the gear he needed. “I’ve tagged five or six sharks since last summer. It’s an adrenalin rush when I reel one in,” he noted. Since its start in 1962, more than a quarter-of-a-million sharks of 52 species have been caught and tagged for research through the program, which is overseen by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The program has grown from 100 volunteers to thousands of shark catchers like Doyle, up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Doyle’s contributions to research are moving science forward with answers to questions about how sharks age, the location of feeding grounds and man’s impact on the overall shark population’s health. He says getting started is easy for anyone interested in the program. And while it might sound nerve-wracking to be so close to sharks, especially in local spots like Sullivan’s Island, Doyle admits there’s no reason to freak out about swimming. “I guarantee you there is a shark within 50-yards of you at any given point in time—and they’re not going to bother you.” To learn how you can join the Cooperative Shark Tagging Program go to:




We love catching people, pets and animal lovers enjoying life Around Town!

After her Charleston show, Singer/Actress and animal advocate Bernadette Peters (center) visited backstage with Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore, Humane Education Director De Daltorio and Carolyn Waters and her husband, Board Member Peter Waters.

Brently Cooper gives his pet rabbit a smooch as his mother Mandy pets Hoppers. Photo: Johnny Preston

Charleston Animal Society’s Pet for Life Program received the National Champions Award. (L-R) Ashley Mutch, Conor Thompson, Amanda Arrington, Aldwin Roman, Jason Schipkowski, Daniel Burke and Rachel Thompson. Photo: Dan Krosse


Amy Burkert with speaks with a visitor at Charleston Animal Society in North Charleston. Amy is traveling the country with her husband and pets in an RV, sharing safe travel tips for families with pets. Photo: Dan Krosse

Audubon SC Volunteer Mary Ann Radke educates a dog owner at Harbor Island in Beaufort about the new collaborative program to protect shorebirds with Audubon SC and Charleston Animal Society, “Let ‘em Rest. Let ‘em Nest.” Photo: Audubon SC

Britta Corbett, a guest on Lowcountry Live, gets a big hug from Cheyenne, who was also going on the air at the ABC News 4 studios in Mt. Pleasant. Photo: Kay Hyman





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

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