Fall 2023 Carolina Tails Magazine

Page 1




# 81775

FALL 2023




Protecting Your Pets

K9 Killed in the Line of Duty

On the Record for Animals

Together we give.

YOUR GIFT DOUBLES UP TO $50,000 Thanks to an Anonymous Friend of the Animals

Nov 28, 2023


LOVE THAT GOES THE DISTANCE. You go the extra mile for your pets; we go to even greater lengths for medical excellence.

Let us show you our commitment to being worth the drive.

Compassionate 24/7/365 Emergency & Critical Care | VECCS Level 1 Certification* | Board Certified Veterinary Specialists

------ S E R V I C E S ------

Behavior • Cardiology • Critical Care • Diagnostic Imaging Cardiology • Critical Care • Diagnostic Imaging • Internal Medicine Internal Medicine • Neurology & Neurosurgery Medical Oncology (Acupuncture, Non-Traditional Therapies) Oncology (Chemotherapy + Non-Traditional Therapies) Physical RehabilitationPhysical • Reproductive Medicine (Theriogenology) Rehabilitation Surgery Surgery (Soft (Soft Tissue, Tissue, Orthopedic, Orthopedic, Minimally Minimally Invasive) Invasive)

843.614.8387 charlestonvrc.com

3484 Shelby Ray Court, Charleston, SC 29414 *We are South Carolina’s only VECCS Level 1 Certified Veterinary Hospital, the highest certification level available through the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society. Level 1 signifies that we have the resources and specialty training necessary to provide sophisticated and comprehensive emergency and urgent emergent care. care.


A neighborhood restaurant offering traditional American fare in the heart of James Island.






Publisher: Charleston Animal Society Editor-in-Chief: Dan Krosse Managing Editor: Joe Elmore Sponsorships: Danielle Zuck Graphic Design: mclaughlin design Copy Editors: Joe Elmore, Cristina Guillermo, Anna Lanford, Natassia Donohue, Will Howell, Sarah Baskin Writers: Dan Krosse, Natassia Donohue, Heather Grogan, Joe Elmore, Ted Clifford, Renée Wunderlich, and Eryn Sipling Photographers: Jeanne Taylor jtpetpix.com, Will Howell, Kay Hyman, Dan Krosse, Alexandra Rostad, Heather Grogan, Kylie Wiest, De Daltorio, and Joshua Boucher For inquiries regarding advertising, distribution or suggestions in Carolina Tails contact: 2455 Remount Road North Charleston, SC 29406 (843) 747-4849 CarolinaTails.org Executive Committee & Officers Laurel Greer, Chairwoman Gerri Greenwood, Vice Chairwoman Martin Deputy, Vice Chairman Aussie Geer, Vice Chairwoman Patricia Henley, Secretary Jane Graham, Treasurer Donald M. Smith Louise Palmer Edward “Ted” Corvey, III, Esq. Luigi Bravo Hank Greer, Immediate Past Chairman Members of the Board William Asche, Esq. Linda Bakker Cara Bibbiani Catherine Brack Luigi Bravo Caroline Clark Edward “Ted” Corvey, III, Esq. Martin Deputy Jane Graham Aussie Geer Hank Greer Laurel Greer Gerri Greenwood Patricia Henley Shelly Leeke, Esq. David Maybank, Jr., Esq. Brantley Meier, DC Arlene Morris Richard Murphy Carolyn Murray Robert Nigro Louise Palmer Donald M. Smith George “Pat” Waters President and CEO: Joe Elmore Media & Marketing Consultant: Dan Krosse, dpk media solutions

For sponsorship, please contact Danielle Zuck: dzuck@CharlestonAnimalSociety.org or (843) 329-1541. © 2023 Carolina Tails is published by Charleston Animal Society, 2455 Remount Road, North Charleston, SC 29406. Carolina Tails is a registered trademark. Reproduction in whole or in part without the express, written permission of the publisher is prohibited.




FALL 2023

5 Welcome 6 Pet Pointers 8 Van the Survivor Dog survives horrific ear mutilation


10 The Animal Sheltering System in Crisis 12 Summer Camp Dreams Building team spirit with Humane Education 15 How to Choose a Charity This is the season to give 16 Remembering Rico Outpouring of support for K9 killed in the line of duty 19 Strawberry’s Road to Recovery 20 The Crews Connection Meet Honey and Bo Crews


22 149th Celebration of

Lifesaving Success

24 Meet the Candidates Mayoral hopefuls talk about animals 28 Cats Giving Blood A local blood bank for pets 30 The Coyote Next Door Protecting your pets


ON THE COVER: Robert Crews and his wife Kelley are philanthropists, animal lovers and big supporters of Charleston Animal Society. When the Crews are not busy operating their car dealerships, they love to spoil their two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. (Photo: Jeanne Taylor / jtpetpics.com)


Share your pet’s adoption story with us! Tag us on Instagram or email community@fetchpet.com and you may be featured on @FetchbyTheDodo and @TheDodo.

Fetch by The Dodo presents “We didn’t need to think about [the medica

do whatever is needed to make sure he Adoptionjust Stories: Reuben needs right away.” — Shahar, Reuben’s pet p the “little gentleman” Gotcha day

Nicknamed the “little gentleman” for his calm and positive nature, Reuben was adopted from North Shore Animal League America.

Folloown us gram! Insta

Watch Reuben’s full story and stories. You and your new add Shortly after moving into his forever home, needed our Reuben social media channels nex emergency surgery to repair a ruptured spinal disc. @FetchbyTheDodo “We didn’t need to think about [the medical costs] at all. We could just do whatever is needed to make sure he gets the treatment he needs right away.” — Shahar, Reuben’s pet parent

F proteetccthed

Fetch is the most comprehensive pet insurance Folloown us am! Instagr

Watch Reuben’s full story and other inspirational #FetchPet stories. You and your new addition could be featured on our social media channels next.


Fetch is the most comprehensive pet insurance

Over 300,000 dogs and cats protected

Over 300,000 and cats prot

Rated ‘Excellent’ onup Trustpilot

4.7 out of 5 on Google

Sign up now to save 10% for a to

Sign up now to save 10% for a whole year fetchpet.com | 866.509.0163 up to

fetchpet.com | 866.509.0163




E astB

ay Deli. c o m

For high standards and higher stakes. We’re here for you, with intelligent software designed to accelerate your vital work.





EBD 569 Carolina Tails 2022-Q1 3.625x9.75 HPV 4C.indd 1

2/9/22 1:44 PM

Dear Friends, Selecting leaders who champion the humane treatment of our community animals has never been more vital. As you’ll see on pg. 10, the plight of animals is at a perilous crossroads in the Charleston area, and we need leaders who will make animals a priority. In this issue, dive into our special election section (pg. 24) to uncover where mayoral candidates from both the cities of Charleston and North Charleston stand on crucial animal issues. Election day looms large on Tuesday, November 7th. Carolina Tails brings you heartwarming updates on animals close to your hearts. Van the dog (pg. 8) now thrives in Summerville after our dedicated team mended his mutilated ears, a testament to the power of compassion over cruelty. Similarly, Strawberry the horse (pg. 19) is finding her way to recovery with one of our foster families, after she was found with her ribs showing, drinking out of a bucket filled with dirty water. We also pay tribute to our unsung heroes, like Rico (pg. 16), the SLED K9 who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, reminding us of the bravery displayed by our law enforcement officers and their animal counterparts every day. Our humane education team continues to inspire, with innovative programs like “Buffalo Vibes” (pg. 12), teaching teamwork and kindness to our summer camp attendees. We also celebrate the Marsh Tacky (pg. 22), honoring D.P. Lowther, a true champion of this endangered horse breed. Additionally, we address pressing concerns such as the increasing boldness of coyotes on our beaches and in our backyards, offering valuable tips on how to protect your pets (pg. 30). Plus, did you know that animals (like humans) have blood banks? Discover the incredible stories of cats and dogs donating blood to save their fellow furry friends at Charleston Veterinary Referral Center (CVRC) on pg. 28. FINAL THOUGHTS With Charleston Animal Society, you never know what’s around the corner. Who knew that our Applause for Paws Mystical Moonlight Gala would be caught up in “Taylormania?” When we auctioned off two tickets to a Taylor Swift concert at our October 14th gala, the room went crazy. Many thanks to everyone who came to this special evening – especially the “Swifties.” But as the curtain falls on one event, another one rises. The upcoming holiday season marks a crucial period for charities, with a staggering 41% of nonprofit donations pouring in

between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. We urge you to take a moment and read Charleston Animal Society President and CEO Joe Elmore’s insightful piece on selecting a charity wisely (pg. 15) using some simple research. And don’t forget, Giving Tuesday is just around the corner on November 28th, with our Lifesaver Luncheon taking place December 8th. Lastly, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to Robert and Kelley Crews, whose generous support shines through in their dogs Bo and Honey, gracing our Fall Carolina Tails cover (pg. 20). Their unwavering dedication exemplifies the spirit of our community. As we approach the holiday season, our gratitude knows no bounds. From our family at Charleston Animal Society to yours, we wish you all joyous and safe holidays. Thank you for your unwavering support in making a difference for the animals.

Laurel Greer Board of Directors Chairwoman



NEWS :: You Can Use

Pet Pointers



Four animal shelters from around the state received awards from No Kill South Carolina’s Pick Me! SC statewide adoption event. The recipients of the first-ever “Most Pawductive” Awards were shelters that did the best job engaging their supporters to come into the shelter and adopt during Pick Me! “The ‘Most Pawductive’ Award-winning organizations took the marketing toolkit we provided and ran with it! They went above and beyond to bring attention to their shelter, adoptable pets, the event, and the families who brought pets home,” said No Kill South Carolina Chief Project Officer Abigail Appleton, PMP, CAWA. Each winning organization received $1,000 to use toward their lifesaving work. There was one winning organization from each region of the state: • Lowcountry: Dorchester Paws • Midlands: Kershaw County Humane Society • Pee Dee: Darlington County Humane Society • Upstate: Humane Society of Greenwood “We absolutely loved being a part of Pick Me! SC! It was a great morale booster for all — it’s been a while since we had fun like this,” said Kershaw County Rescue Coordinator Clarrissa Glowe. Pick Me! SC is the largest adoption event of its kind in the country. This July, 2,030 animals from shelters and Petcos across the state were adopted into loving homes. No Kill South Carolina 2024 is an initiative of Charleston Animal Society. Pick Me! SC is sponsored by Petco Love and BOBS from Skechers.


The dolphins we see swimming our coastal Carolina waters may not be the bottlenose dolphins we’ve always thought. A decade-long study involving the University of Miami and NOAA scientists has revealed that common bottlenose dolphins inhabiting nearshore coastal and estuarine waters between New York and Florida are likely a separate species from their offshore counterparts. The authors found that they are more closely related to other coastal populations in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico than their neighboring offshore common bottlenose dolphins. Researchers used DNA and tissue samples, skulls, and vertebral columns from dolphins that stranded along the East Coast. The new scientific name for our coastal dolphins: Tursiops erebennus.

AAHA ACCREDITATION This June, Charleston Animal Society learned that it once again maintained its accreditation by AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association). The achievement represents the highest standards of veterinary excellence. Charleston Animal Society became the first combined animal shelter/veterinary clinic in the south to earn the coveted AAHA accreditation. Less than 15% of veterinary clinics nationwide are accredited and less than 10% in the Tri-County area.


SHOTS INSTEAD OF SURGERY? As many of us know, spaying and neutering is the front-line strategy to reduce the overpopulation of cats and dogs. Well, in June, the journal Nature Communications dropped a bombshell report on research that shows a one-time shot of a gene therapy could provide long-term birth control for female cats. The study the research is based on involved a very small sample of just nine cats, but the results were promising, with female cats that received the shots not ovulating for two years.

A growing trend in apartment complexes and planned communities is swabbing dogs for DNA, so any poos left for others to cleanup can be tested and then traced to the dog’s owners. Fines and possible evictions could follow for repeat offenders. But are these DNA tests legal? The short answer is yes — at least in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Companies that provide the service have privacy standards that don’t allow them to share the DNA results with anyone but the pet owners and property managers.

As Smithsonian Magazine reported, “In the study, female cats were injected in their thigh muscle. The shot delivers a viral cell—with the parts that cause sickness removed—and within the cell is genetic material. The DNA tells the cat’s muscles to create a protein called the anti-Müllerian hormone, until it reaches 100 to 1,000 times the normal level, per New Scientist. This appears to stop the ovaries from maturing and releasing eggs.” While exciting, don’t cart away the operating tables just yet. Experts say the shot (if approved in the future) will not do away with spay-neuter surgeries, but will offer veterinarians one more tool in their arsenals to combat the growing cat population, estimated to be 600-million worldwide.





Defying the Odds Dog Survives Brutal Ear Mutilation By DAN KROSSE A young, gray and white dog not even a year old was left bleeding on the side of a North Charleston street on a late afternoon in June. What happened to the dog is the definition of cruelty. “Both of the dog’s ears had been severely cut, leaving the dog mutilated. Someone may have been attempting to ‘crop’ the ears at home, but they left him on a road to die,” said Charleston Animal Society Vice President of Operations and Strategy Aldwin Roman, CAWA. Once the dog, named “Van,” was brought to Charleston Animal Society he received immediate lifesaving care to stop the bleeding and clean his wounds. DANGERS OF EAR CROPPING Ear cropping is more popular among certain breeds of dogs than others. They include Boxers, Schnauzers, Great Danes, Doberman Pinschers, Miniature Pinschers and American Pit Bull Terriers. The veterinary community is split on ear cropping — whether it’s ethical or humane. Yet the practice continues. Ear croppings should only be done in a veterinary office, using general anesthesia and proper medical follow-up including pain control, wound care and bandage changes. Yet, hacks on doing ear croppings “at home” are easily found on the Internet and this puts dogs in great danger. Amazon was selling cropping “kits” as late as 2020, before a petition convinced the retail giant to stop selling them. Charleston Animal Society offered a $5,000 reward for information that leads to a felony animal cruelty conviction in Van’s case. “It was clear that whoever did this did not use any kind of precautions, including anesthesia or pain control,” said Charleston Animal Society Chief Medical Officer Lucy Fuller, DVM. “Van was in a lot of pain. The ear tissue was left to die and just fall off, which could have caused lifethreatening infection, had we not intervened.” Eyewitnesses told police they saw a blue Acura stop and abandon the dog alone, as they sped off on Hampton Ave. in North Charleston. Doorbell video captured the incident and is being reviewed by law enforcement. VAN’S NEW LIFE Lauren Karsen of Summerville was grieving the loss of her dog Cassie when she saw a Facebook post detailing the horrific abuse Van suffered. Lauren called Charleston Animal Society and it was the perfect match – Van was adopted. 8 CAROLINA TAILS | FALL 2023

Now Van enjoys daily walks through his neighborhood and trips to the dog park nearby with Lauren, her boyfriend Kyle and his son Mitchell. “After seeing Van’s ears, people ask me ‘did you do that?’ and I explain ‘no!’ But then I explain what happened and people’s reaction is always, ‘I can’t believe someone would do that,’” Lauren shared. Visiting Van, you would never know what a rough start he had, other than the chiseled ears adorning his head. Despite everything this pittiemix has been through, he is very sweet and lets Lauren pet his ears as if nothing ever happened. Some of his favorite times are “snuggle times” with Lauren. “He has given me a renewed sense of purpose. After losing Cassie, I realized I missed getting out, going for walks – all those things dogs make you do,” Lauren said. But even with a bright, new life for Van, Lauren can’t help worrying about Van’s past and the people who mistreated him. “I think he got away and has a better life now, but I want to find who did this to Van, because my fear is they are doing it to other dogs too.” Charleston Animal Society’s $5,000 reward is still available. Call North Charleston police with any information you may have at (843) 743-7200.

TOP: Van was brought to Charleston Animal Society after someone mutilated his ears. RIGHT: Van at home enjoying time with his new Daddy Kyle Bennett. LEFT: Lauren Karsen adopted Van while still grieving for her previous dog Cassie.

TOP ISSUES :: Moment with Joe

Plight of Animals in Charleston Area at a Perilous Crossroads


By JOE ELMORE, CAWA, CRFE Charleston Animal Society President and CEO Neither animal control (the collection of stray animals), nor animal care (the sheltering and disposition of those animals), can effectively operate prevention and response strategies independent of each other, but that has always been the paradigm in our community. The Animal Society has approximately 800 animals in its care as I write this, yet its shelter has capacity for approximately 230. Since the opening of its current shelter on North Charleston’s Remount Road in March 2008, it has been overcapacity. In September alone, 1,000 animals entered Charleston Animal Society, the local government’s designated shelter, primarily funded through donations, that takes in over 90% of the animals throughout Charleston County. As much as the Animal Society has managed this burden throughout the years, it is no longer sustainable, and the plight of animals in the greater Charleston area is at a perilous crossroad. EUTHANIZING ANIMALS ON THE RISE An increasing number of animal shelters across South Carolina and the country have begun euthanizing animals, especially dogs, due to a lack of space in shelters and a continuing absence of local or state government investing in prevention, primarily spay/neuter strategies. However, the negligence of local governments to effectively plan, prepare, and respond to this public health and safety issue has brought it to a breaking point. Quite frankly, the chickens have come home to roost. Charleston Animal Society’s shelter is adequate for only one principal municipality, such as Charleston or North Charleston, or the unincorporated county, but not all of them. 10 CAROLINA TAILS | FALL 2023

Government funding covers only about half of the costs for animals brought to the shelter from within Charleston County. Although animal sheltering of local Charleston County animals accounted for approximately 40% of the Animal Society’s budget last year, government funding covered only about 20%. The Animal Society cannot continue carrying the government’s responsibility. FAIR AND FULL FUNDING NEEDED As the Animal Society continues to greatly subsidize the approximately $2.5 million annual shortfall of local government, it cannot meaningfully invest in spay/neuter efforts to curtail the overpopulation. The lack of public policy in this area compounds this public health and safety issue. Summarily killing animals as a response to an overcrowded sheltering system neither mitigates the overpopulation nor the public health and safety risks. This has been proven time and again across our state, region and country. Exacerbating the situation is the acceleration in the nationwide intake of animals. Areas such as Charleston County and the state that are experiencing rapid human population growth are more adversely affected. Contributing to this crisis are several variables, such as: 1. Inadequate funding of both sheltering and spay/neuter strategies 2. Weak, if any, public policies addressing the overpopulation 3. Reduced spay/neuter efforts during the COVID years of 2020 and 2021 4. The national veterinary shortage crisis diminishing spay/neuter capacity 5. Inflation stress on families causing more hardship relinquishment and abandonment of animals

6. Animal control agencies operating as silos in multi-agency communities and/ or independent of animal sheltering strategies. There are additional peripheral factors. Continuing to neglect this issue, like not planning effectively for growing communities’ other infrastructure needs, such as transportation and roadways, crime, schools, etc., must not be allowed to happen. And resorting to government wholesale killing of animals must also not be allowed. WHAT YOU CAN DO Citizens, taxpayers, voters, philanthropists, and community leaders must raise their voices to be heard by elected officials. Call to Action: Form a small, credible task force of the key stakeholders: a council member from Charleston County, City of North Charleston, City of Charleston and Town of Mt. Pleasant, along with Charleston Animal Society to address immediate and long-term solutions. Please call your mayors, city and county council members today.

W.B. Henry loves all of their furry friends!




Teamwork Makes the Dream Work


by HEATHER GROGAN Photos by Heather Grogan, De Daltorio and Kylie Wiest behavior evolve into a comprehensive behavioral framework? The answer is quite simple, and one that is familiar to many in the animal welfare world: positive reinforcement! Who doesn’t love rewards? We introduced a fun incentive system called “Buffalo Bucks,” allowing campers to earn paper dollars by showing kindness, empathy, and teamwork. Each buck translated into an entry for a daily prize drawing, making good behavior both fun and rewarding.

Did you know that in the African savanna, Cape buffaloes have mastered the art of survival against fierce predators like the lion? Their secret lies in their ability to stick together, protect their own, and work as a team. This simple yet powerful lesson from the animal kingdom sparked a game-changing shift in our Humane Education department’s summer camp approach this year. BEING BUFFALO

on with our campers. They instantly connected the dots and began drawing real-life comparisons, with campers noting that “bullies are like lions.” Our team loved the opportunity this gave us to highlight how much better it would be if we all were more like empathetic buffalo who focused on taking care of each other. Cultivating the positive, kind attitudes we wanted to see was so much easier when connecting it to the cooperative nature of buffaloes.

We took inspiration from these fantastic animals and applied it to our summer camp philosophy — true strength doesn’t reside in the loudest voice but in the collective unity of the group. This idea became the foundation of our camp’s theme, sparking instant positive changes and propelling this year to be one of the most exceptional yet.

We interwove this concept into every game, lesson, and activity we could. What followed was beyond our expectations. “Buffalo Vibes” became an effective way of managing behavior while helping us successfully achieve positive behavioral shifts, which is the ultimate goal for educators.

The notion of “Being Buffalo” or embracing “Buffalo Vibes” quickly caught


Here’s the best part: this theme fostered inclusivity! Working as a team required campers to exercise their compassion muscles and adapt their communication styles to support fellow campers of various ages, personalities, and backgrounds. If you’ve ever worked on a team, you know all of these factors can be difficult. It had been a huge hurdle that we painstakingly tried to navigate each year of camp. However, it was easily circumnavigated with “Buffalo Vibes.” Sounds pretty magical, right? We think so too, and the magic doesn’t have to end at camp. Our compassion programming is year-round, and we welcome all to learn more by coming to a program or visiting us at CharlestonAnimalSociety. org. We are always looking for new participants and education volunteers!

How did a simple lesson about buffalo

As the saying goes, kindness is contagious, and each day that was proven as we noticed the number of buffalo bucks increasing. 12 CAROLINA TAILS | FALL 2023

Campers became cheerleaders for each other’s accomplishments and spread pawprints of kindness around the entire shelter with gestures such as holding doors, helping fellow campers clean their areas, and sharing compliments freely with all (even our kid-shy shelter staff!).

Editor’s Note: Heather Grogan is Charleston Animal Society’s Humane Education Director and is on the National Board of Directors for the Association of Professional Humane Educators (APHE).

The 2023 Summer BARK camps at Charleston Animal Society sold out in just six minutes and had more than 300 children on the waiting list. These special camps cater to children as young as five and extend up to teenagers. Camp is centered around learning, having fun, and inspiring kids to take action in support of the things they care about. Each week, participants assist in volunteer activities such as building enrichment, cleaning cages, and making marketing materials for adoptable pets.





only 2X winner



GIVING SEASON :: Smart Decisions

How Do I Choose a Charity? By JOE ELMORE

CAWA, CRFE, Charleston Animal Society President and CEO Did you know the average person makes 24% of their annual donations between Thanksgiving and New Year’s? This means charities receive 41% of their donations in the last few weeks of the year. This is why Americans, among the most generous people on the planet, are overwhelmed with requests to support an infinite number of causes. With over 1.5 million charities in existence throughout the United States, how does one receive the highest impact or return on investment with their gift? DO YOUR RESEARCH Donors should take the time to ensure their hard-earned dollars are going to the most efficient and effective causes close to their hearts. Here are some tips and resources donors should be familiar with as they make their end-of-year gift:

PRIOR TO MAKING END-OF-YEAR GIFTS, RESEARCH A CHARITY ON THE FOLLOWING WEBSITES: Charity Navigator touts itself as the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities. It examines a charity’s financial health and its accountability and transparency. It uses a 4-star designation for its toprated charities. GuideStar Candid states that it is the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations. It provides information about each nonprofit’s mission, legitimacy, impact, reputation, finances, programs, transparency, governance and more. It uses a Platinum Seal for its top-rated charities.

Charity Navigator suggests researching the charity for its fiscal responsibility, ethics and effectiveness. There are ways to examine a charity’s finances.

Better Business Bureau (BBB) rates national charities through its affiliated Give.org website and some local charities on a state-bystate basis. South Carolina does not rate local charities. However, accreditation of businesses, including charities, is another level of scrutiny for trust and integrity. In addition, the business or charity may earn BBB’s highest rating of A+.

The charity should have an • Audit • Tax form (i.e., Form 990) • Annual report readily available on its website to make a review user-friendly

GreatNonprofits states that it is the leading platform for communitybased stories about nonprofits and uses an individual-based rating system. Stories and reviews are typically submitted by clients, donors, volunteers and others. Top-rated charities receive a badge and certificate based on a minimum level of positive reviews.

Ensure a charity is accountable and transparent. Charities that are open books and follow good governance practices are less likely to engage in unethical or irresponsible activities.

Local reviews may also assist the donor with its overall impression of the charity. Publications such as Charleston City Paper, The Post and Courier and Mom’s Choice offer “Best Nonprofit” or similar polls throughout the year. While these are popularity-based, they do have merit.

Look for signs of effectiveness. The charity’s ability to bring about longlasting and meaningful change in a community is the key reason for its existence and for your donation. Make sure you find evidence of its impact. Many times, this is what an annual report brings to light. A CHARITY CHECKLIST A key indicator of a charity’s position is if it is credentialed. Ask if the charity is currently accredited in its field by a bona fide and relevant accreditation body. It either is or isn’t. Does the charity have strong leadership? Good charities usually have formidable leaders, more so even than in the for-profit sector. Look for a charity with a dynamic, proven leader. Organizations with high turnover usually struggle, and the inability to retain quality leadership is often a red flag for instability. Avoid charities that don’t change their board leadership on a regular basis or where turnover of their chief executives is frequent.

PLEASE CONSIDER CHARLESTON ANIMAL SOCIETY At Charleston Animal Society, we have worked very hard at becoming South Carolina’s most honored charity 11 years in a row. The Animal Society has consistently earned top rankings. In addition, the Animal Society has been named Best Nonprofit by every poll it has entered, including Charleston Magazine, Charleston City Paper, The Post and Courier, Lowcountry Paws, Moultrie News, Mt. Pleasant Magazine and Mom’s Choice. The Animal Society was the first combined animal shelter and clinic in the entire Southeast to earn the coveted American Animal Hospital Association accreditation and one of only two nonprofits to earn this distinction at the time. Its highly credentialed staff are unmatched by any other animal organization in South Carolina and most in the country. All of this takes a tremendous amount of time and hard work to earn the community’s trust. The Animal Society is committed to the highest standards of excellence and believes that the animals it cares for and our community deserve nothing less. This holiday season, remember to do your homework before giving and thank you for your generosity, trust and confidence. FALL 2023 | CAROLINA TAILS


K-9 REMEMBERED :: Hero Dog

Celebrity Paws in the ‘Ultimate Sacrifice’ Park Walk for Animals


K-9 Killed in Action Layed to Rest

Crews Subaru announced as Presenting Sponsor celebrating animals and the people who love them. By Ted Clifford family. He saved that family.”


On Sept. 28, Jennifer Hunton said a prayer. Her husband, Richard Hunton III, a SLED K-9 handler, was preparing to join a manhunt for a suspect who had already shot a passerby and a sheriff’s deputy. With Richard was his K-9, the 3-year-old Belgian Malinois mix, Rico, who had served with SLED since 2022. “I was saying, ‘Please God, save Richard. Protect him. Protect everyone he’s with,” Jennifer remembered. Rico was the answer to her prayer.

Rico was very much a part of that family. He lived with the Huntons, and Jennifer, who described herself as Rico’s mom, remembered the first picture she saw of him. He looked like a strange “dinosaur” perched on top of a table away from a group of other dogs.

He grew to be more than 90 pounds, and appeared an intimidating juggernaut of dark fur and teeth with a remarkably big and ferociouslooking head. One On Broad River suspect fleeing a “It was always comforting to know that he had our back … Road, American flags building leaped in hung suspended the air and threw ready to put himself in harm’s way.” from ladder trucks himself on the — SLED Lt. Keith Thrower provided by the ground in surrender Lexington and just on hearing Columbia-Richland Rico’s bark, Richard fire departments. In an extraordinary ceremony, an urn containing Rico’s remembered. But his family remembered him as a goofy, lovable cremated remains were carried in a procession, led by a bagpiper and companion. He was hardheaded, high maintenance, and so demanding flanked by South Carolina Highway Patrol troopers in full dress uniform. In of affection that he would nearly knock tables over in order to be petted. his opening remarks, the normally stoic Chief Keel appeared choked up as “He never gave me a reason not to trust him,” Jennifer said. Richard he honored Rico’s “ultimate sacrifice” and paid tribute to the danger that had a previous K-9 that had not worked out, but his bond with Rico was SLED’s K-9s, “amazing animals,” experience everyday. unshakable. “Rico was his favorite person,” Jennifer said. At his core, Keel’s remarks were followed by prayers from a law enforcement though, Rico was a working dog. He was very much a member of the chaplain and prepared remarks from the Hunton family and other SLED elite brethren of SLED’s SWAT team, and his willingness and obedience special agents. In attendance were law enforcement officers from all embodied the elite unit’s motto, which is drawn from the Bible: “Here I across the South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster — a dog owner — and his am, send me.” wife, First Lady Peggy McMaster. “It was always comforting to know that he had our back. I look back in my While the ceremony may have been the first of its kind, McMaster said it memory and I realize that I was so relieved whenever Rico was with us shouldn’t come as a surprise that the state of South Carolina would pay on SWAT calls or staring down a violent fugitive, ready to put himself in tribute to a dog’s heroism. “We love our dogs,” McMaster said. Richard harm’s way,” said SLED Lt. Keith Thrower. “There was never any doubt that Hunton III was presented folded American and South Carolina flags by Rico would not have done his job.” Rico wanted to be in the action, and McMaster and Keel. was only unhappy when he saw others doing work without him, Richard said. He did everything asked of him, whether it was rappelling from a Following a rifle salute, Rico’s family processed to their cars, carrying building, scrambling through a crawl space or riding in a helicopter. his ashes, flanked by more than 100 law enforcement K-9 handlers and their dogs. The mournful howls of some hounds nearly drowned out Richard remembered that in the hours leading up to his death, Rico the bagpiper, who played Danny Boy to accompany Rico on one final eagerly joined the search for Burbage, leaping into an armored journey home, where his remains will stay with the Huntons. It was the personnel carrier. Lying in the back of the vehicle, he gladly accepted memorial befitting of SLED K-9 who died upholding the working dog’s pets from nervous law enforcement officers, who were sent to clear oath: To lay down his life and expect nothing but love in return. houses on Johns Island, 30 hours into the search. Looking back, Richard said he thinks now about the prayers he offered to God for protection But the ceremony was also a recognition of the extraordinary family that and guidance that afternoon during the tense manhunt. Now he says he Rico had become a part of. His handler, Richard, had “grown up at SLED,” knows there was an answer. “God asked ‘who would go first?’” Richard Keel said. Richard’s father, Maj. Richard Hunton, oversees homeland said. “And in his big ol’ head, Rico said, ‘Here I am, send me.’” security at SLED. Hunton’s wife, Jessica, is also a SLED special agent with the crime scene department. “This is a family dedicated to SLED, the Editor’s Note: This article was re-printed with permission from The State service to this state and its citizens,” Keel said. “He (Rico) preserved that Newspaper. 16 CAROLINA TAILS | FALL 2023


ABOVE LEFT: Rico, 3, was a Belgian Malinois mix and joined SLED just over a year ago. ABOVE RIGHT: Rico’s handler SLED Special Agent Richard Hunton III at Rico’s funeral. BELOW LEFT: More than 100 law enforcement officials from around the state paid their respects to Rico, including a motorcade on I-26 in Charleston. BELOW RIGHT: Dozens of other K-9s from across the state sat quietly as they paid final respects to Rico.




There’s still time! Donate your Walgreens Cash rewards and support Charleston Animal Society today!

Now through November 30th 18 CAROLINA TAILS | FALL 2023

HORSES :: Cruelty Investigation

A New Lease on Life By DAN KROSSE


A 21-year-old emaciated horse is recovering after being rescued August 9th. A Charleston County Sheriff ’s Deputy was dispatched to a property on Jacksonboro Rd. in Ravenel after an eyewitness called to report concerns about the horse’s condition. The female horse named “Strawberry” was found alone in the field with only a bucket of dirty water and two bales of hay that appeared to be weeks old. The deputy said the animal’s ribs and spine were easily visible and her hooves were in “deplorable” condition. The owner was found across the street in a house and said he buys Strawberry hay once a month and did have the horse de-wormed every three months. The owner is being charged with “ill treatment of an animal,” a felony in South Carolina, for not providing proper nourishment for Strawberry and for not providing adequate veterinary care. The sheriff ’s office seized the horse and brought her to Charleston Animal Society to recover. An equine specialist veterinarian determined the horse had a body condition score of 1 [out of 9] on the Henneke Equine Body Condition Score Chart, which meant she was very thin and emaciated. An equine veterinarian also noted that the horse’s hooves were in bad condition and she had a sore on her face from the halter being left on for an extended period of time. Strawberry also had ticks in her ears and on her body and had a fungal skin condition. STRAWBERRY IS RESCUED Strawberry is now continuing her recovery with a Charleston Animal Society foster family. Charleston Animal Society’s foster program is a vast network of more than 500 volunteers that help the Society take care of everything from dogs and cats to pigs and horses! As of this publication, more than 260 animals are living with Charleston Animal Society foster families. “Charleston Animal Society provides everything the animal needs and the foster provides the love,” said Charleston Animal Society Foster and Rescue Manager Christina Ellwood. “In Strawberry’s case, she is receiving food, medical care and other equipment.”

CAUSES FOR HORSE NEGLECT Horse neglect around South Carolina has been an issue for years. One big reason involves money. A horse can cost approximately $3,000 per year, and when a horse owner falls into tough economic times, a horse’s welfare can plummet as a priority. Horses require substantial resources, including food, shelter, veterinary care, and grooming. When ignored, malnutrition, untreated illnesses, and overall neglect can follow. Additionally, lack of education is a contributing factor to horse neglect. Proper horse care requires specialized knowledge about nutrition, healthcare, and training. Ignorance often leads to unintentional neglect, as owners might not recognize signs of illness or understand the dietary requirements of their horses. While laws exist to protect horses, they are not always effectively implemented or enforced. Luckily, in Strawberry’s case, a concerned citizen saw her and did the right thing by reporting her condition to police so they could investigate. For now, Strawberry is recuperating in the countryside, receiving regular medical checkups and a balanced, nutritious diet. She’s also enjoying fresh air, clean water and open fields. Once she is fully recovered, Charleston Animal Society will place Strawberry up for adoption, so she can continue to live the life she deserves.

ABOVE: Strawberry’s ribs were protruding from her body when she was first brought to Charleston Animal Society in August. Ticks and a fungal infection were found during her medical examination.



COVER STORY :: Crew Connection

The Crews Connection By NATASSIA DONOHUE

Robert and Kelley Crews with their dogs Bo and Honey enjoying their downtown Charleston home.

THIS YEAR, CREWS SUBARU AND CHARLESTON ANIMAL SOCIETY WILL CELEBRATE 14 YEARS OF AN INCREDIBLE PARTNERSHIP THAT HAS HELPED SAVE THOUSANDS OF ANIMALS. ONE OF THE DEALERSHIP’S FIRST-EVER VEHICLE DELIVERIES WAS IN AUGUST OF 2009, A WRAPPED FORESTER FOR KAY HYMAN, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT. And while that got the ball rolling, owner Robert Crews has had a love of dogs for far longer than he’s owned the car dealership and has continued to share that love with so many others. “I’ve had a dog all my life,” Robert said, his voice reflecting the smile on his face. “You can’t not smile when you have a pet.” Robert and his wife Kelley currently have two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels that keep them active around 20 CAROLINA TAILS | FALL 2023

the house and provide companionship and an added layer of fun during their travels. Honey and Bo are both around three years old, having been adopted as puppies during the pandemic. Early in 2020, the Crews’ beloved dog Ginger passed away, leaving a dog-sized hole in their home and hearts. “Every time you looked at the door and didn’t see her nose, it was just a void,” Robert said. So, in June of 2020, they

adopted Honey, followed by Bo just months later in August. Robert noted that while the puppy phase was entertaining, both dogs have settled into their personalities. They love making friends near their home in downtown Charleston and traveling to Asheville with Kelley. He said that Honey loves to keep up with everything, following people around, while Bo much prefers to be fed, scratched, or napping.



ADOPTING “THE KIDS” Although Robert always had a dog growing up, that was not Kelley’s experience. After their fourth child, they adopted a puppy — something Robert said the kids may have talked Kelley into. It didn’t take long for her to embrace all that dog ownership involves, especially the joy that they are able to give and receive. Both Robert and Kelley have even taken to calling Honey and Bo “the kids.” “They got us through the pandemic, they would come to work with us every Wednesday,” Robert explained. “The pet events we have put a smile on people’s faces. It’s fit to have a company like Subaru that truly understands the pethuman connection.” Even Ken French, Marketing & Events Guy at Crews Subaru, feels the joy Honey and Bo bring to work. “They sure like to be at work, they’re like the greeting committee,” Ken said. “You have to smile when you see them – it’s good energy! We almost always have a dog or two in the showroom, or in the service area while people are waiting.”

that for this wish, Robert even got down on the floor to play with the young boy and Honey and Bo, making for a sweet moment. “It simply makes life better. Once you feel that unconditional love, everything is worth it,” Ken said. He and Robert both agree that making a dog’s day, helping a dog get the right home, it’s the right thing to do. It’s only fitting for Robert to work with Subaru because they

understand the human-pet connection and give him the opportunity to help even more animals through their partnership with Charleston Animal Society. “We could not be more proud to work with an organization that makes such an impact,” Robert said. “The unconditional companionship, love, and happiness– pets make every situation brighter, and your whole day picks up.”

ABOUT CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIELS If you’re looking for a small dog that’s great with kids, other dogs and even strangers, The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel may be for you. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), “the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are the best of two worlds, combining the gentle attentiveness of a toy breed with the verve and athleticism of a sporting spaniel. The Cavalier’s all-around beauty, regal grace, and even temper mark him as one of dogdom’s noblemen. A toy spaniel no more than 13 inches high, and usually doesn’t weigh more than 18 lbs. Cavaliers may be aristocrats, but they gladly descend from their royal high horse for a backyard frolic or a squirrel chase. They can be upbeat athletes or shameless couch potatoes, depending on an owner’s lifestyle.”

GIVING BACK Giving people a positive pet experience extends beyond their showroom too. Robert and Kelley have a deep commitment to giving back to their community, simply because they believe it’s the right thing to do. In 2021, Crews Subaru was awarded the Subaru Love Promise Retailer of the Year, the highest honor a dealership can receive, commemorating their commitment in action. While Crews Subaru is a dedicated supporter of Charleston Animal Society, their generosity has also extended support to other organizations for pets and people alike, such as Hallie Hill, Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital, Lowcountry Food Bank, and Make-AWish Foundation to name only a few. “We did a Make-A-Wish event about six weeks ago. It was a fly-fishing event for a young boy, but he spent a lot of the time rolling around and playing with the dogs,” Robert shared. Ken explained that Crews Subaru sponsors about four wishes a year, always in the showroom, something that makes the whole team better. He added FALL 2023 | CAROLINA TAILS



149th Celebration of Lifesaving Success



ABOVE: Members of Mount Pleasant Town Council, Mayor Will Haynie and Police Chief Mark Arnold accepted this year’s Community Ambassador Award. RIGHT: Daniel Lowther, grandson of D.P. Lowther, accepted the Elizabeth Bradham Humanitarian Award on behalf of his grandfather. Elizabeth Bradham presented Daniel a painting of his grandfather posing with one of his beloved Marsh Tackies. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when this year’s Elizabeth Bradham Humanitarian Award was given posthumously to Marsh Tacky hero D.P. Lowther at Charleston Animal Society’s 149th Celebration of Lifesaving Success.

Lifesaving Center. The Elizabeth Bradham Humanitarian Award is the highest honor given by Charleston Animal Society.

Lowther dedicated his life to saving the Carolina Marsh Tacky, a rare breed of horse that once roamed freely on South Carolina’s barrier islands. The Marsh Tacky is also a critically endangered horse and the only horse native to the Palmetto State.

Charleston Animal Society’s 149th Celebration of Lifesaving Success took place Thursday, September 7, 2023, at Hotel Indigo in Mount Pleasant. Highlights included a special look back at how Charleston Animal Society led the way to Charleston County becoming the first No Kill Community in the Southeast 10 years ago.

Lowther’s grandson Daniel accepted the award on behalf of his grandfather, who passed away last year. Wearing a cowboy hat and sharing memories of his family’s love for the Marsh Tacky, Daniel said his grandfather would have been very honored to receive the award. The paths of Charleston Animal Society and Lowther first crossed in 2019. That’s when at the age of 86, Lowther drove 150 miles roundtrip to come help rescue four Marsh Tackies at the 22 CAROLINA TAILS | FALL 2023


President and CEO Joe Elmore also gave a state of the organization address, which included an update on the planned campus expansion. The evening was hosted by Board Member and News 2 Anchor Carolyn Murray and included a welcoming speech from Board Chair Laurel Greer.

This year’s Community Ambassador Award went to the Town of Mount Pleasant. This municipality has been a great partner to Charleston Animal Society and has provided key leadership among government entities in Charleston County by recognizing that the overwhelming majority of pet owners consider their animals part of their families. Each year, Charleston Animal Society recognizes a business, organization or as in this year’s honoree – a municipality that goes above and beyond in their support of the Animal Society’s lifesaving work. The Town of Mount Pleasant has consistently demonstrated its support of Charleston Animal Society’s initiatives and activities over the years and has provided key support and, more importantly, recognition that animal care and control are public safety and health issues affecting the entire community and are best addressed through a public-private community partnership. In addition, Charleston Animal Society nominated the town of Mount Pleasant as a certified city in the national Mars Petcare Better Cities for Pets program, which it successfully received in 2022. Mayor Will Haynie, Town Council Members and Police Chief Mark Arnold accepted the Community Ambassador Award.

In Loving Memory of

BARBARA EGGERS As a past president of Charleston Animal Society’s board of directors, barbara’s dedication to the humane care of animals will always be remembered.



PET POLITICS :: Candidate Spotlight

City of Charleston MAYORAL RACE Election Day is November 7th and there is a crowded field vying for the top job in the City of Charleston. Incumbent Mayor John Tecklenburg faces challenges from former Statehouse Representative William Cogswell, activist and podcaster Mika Gadsden, Charleston School of Law Professor Debra Gammons, public affairs professional and National Guardsman Clay Middleton and Charleston City Councilman Peter Shahid. Carolina Tails asked each candidate two questions to let you know which candidates are putting animals on their policy agendas. Mika Gadsden did not respond to our request.

2023 Candidates

Clay Middleton 24 CAROLINA TAILS | FALL 2023

William Cogswell

Debra Gammons

Peter Shahid

John Tecklenburg (I)


The community is in dire need of stringent measures to curtail the overpopulation of dogs and cats, which is increasing, leading to more dog attacks and costs to taxpayers and donors. Will you support ordinances for incentivized spay/neuter of owned animals through a registration system, along with subsidized mandatory spay/neuter for the most overpopulated animals?

WILLIAM COGSWELL: It is crucial to take a humane and responsible approach to tackle this problem while ensuring the safety of the community and the welfare of animals. I would support an ordinance that provides low-cost or free spay/neuter services for low-income residents and implement a registration system for dogs and cats. Cities like Austin, Texas have implemented similar measures that have resulted in more responsible pet ownership and relieved pressure on animal shelters. I would support a fiscally responsible program that reduces the number of animals in shelters and on the streets, promotes responsible pet ownership, and improves public safety.

for mandatory spaying/neutering for the most overpopulated animals. We can’t shelter our way out of the problem and frankly, we can’t afford to keep doing the bare minimum. By being thoughtful, we can save taxpayers money and promote better public health and safety measures that are often overlooked. Our city and region need to set the right example for others in South Carolina to adopt meaningful ordinances and form similar partnerships.

DEBRA GAMMONS: As Mayor, I will support and encourage measures that (1) educate pet owners on the importance of taking proper care of their animals; (2) encourage pet owners to spay/ neuter; and (3) provide economic assistance to pet owners who are financially unable to pay the costs to spay/neuter their pets. We have a responsibility to take care of our animals and ensure the safety of our neighbors.

PETER SHAHID: I will support measures that will help reduce the overpopulation of animals either by enacting new ordinances or aggressively enforcing existing state and local laws. In addition, the city needs to prevent what is commonly called “backyard breeding.” I fully support the Charleston Animal Society’s efforts to encourage the spaying and neutering of animals. While these efforts have led to positive results regarding overpopulation issues, I recognize that more needs to be done. Before I support a registration system, I would need more details as to the parameters of such a system to ensure the safeguards of individual privacy concerns.

CLAY MIDDLETON: I am in support of sensible ordinances and partnerships to encourage and incentivize spay/neutering of owned animals through a registration system, along with subsidized options

JOHN TECKLENBURG: Spaying and neutering is a critical issue for our community, and I would certainly be interested in hearing specific and detailed proposals to curtail overpopulation.


As of this printing, a local entrepreneur will have received South Carolina DMV approval for his electric carriages. Will you support his application to provide tours in Downtown Charleston as an additional alternative to the animal-drawn vehicles tourist attraction?

WILLIAM COGSWELL: Our city and residents have amazing stories to share with over 8 million visitors who come here every year. I myself was a tour guide for several years during college, and some of my greatest memories are from that job. It is important to provide a variety of transportation options to tourists. The electric carriage alternative is a great addition to our already diverse range of tour options, including walking tours, culinary tours, and horse-drawn tours. By working together and offering different modes of transportation, we can enhance and modernize our tourism industry and create unforgettable memories for visitors. DEBRA GAMMONS: As Mayor, I will support electric carriages that are safe and abide by our City’s Ordinances. I will work to make the City a safe environment for people to walk, ride their bikes, and ride carriages. Having visitors and residents learn about our rich history – bad and good – is important for a strong future.

CLAY MIDDLETON: I do not see a problem with having an electric carriage as an option for people to have as they see and enjoy our city. PETER SHAHID: I have met with this local entrepreneur, Kyle Kelly, numerous times to discuss his efforts to launch electric carriages. I believe he has created a viable alternative to carriage rides. I will support his efforts as long as these carriages are safe, comply with state and local laws, and maintain the character of our historic city. JOHN TECKLENBURG: Once electric carriages have been approved by SCDMV, I would like to see them regulated like other city tourist conveyances here in Charleston. That said, the process for getting there could take time, as it would require City Council approval of multiple ordinance changes before the electric carriage regulations could be enacted.



PET POLITICS :: Candidate Spotlight

City of North Charleston MAYORAL RACE Voters in North Charleston also go to the polls on November 7th to pick their next mayor. After 29 years, Keith Summey announced he will not run for re-election. 10 candidates have stepped forward to throw their hats in the ring including: Former Police Chief Reggie Burgess, FedEx Operations Manager and veteran Russ Coletti, Retired Summary Court Judge Stephanie Ganaway-Pasley, District 2 Councilwoman Rhonda Jerome, Defense and information technology professional Curtis Merriweather, Realtor and former Councilman Todd Olds, County Councilman Teddie Pryor, Businessman John Singletary, Rev. Samuel Whatley, and Take it to the Streets Nonprofit Founder Jesse Williams. Each candidate was given the opportunity to respond to a question from Carolina Tails magazine. Coletti, Olds, Singletary and Whatley declined to respond.

Reggie Burgess

Stephanie Ganaway-Pasley

Rhonda Jerome

Curtis Merriweather

Teddie Pryor

Jessie Williams



The community is in dire need of stringent measures to curtail the overpopulation of dogs and cats, which is increasing, leading to more dog attacks and costs to taxpayers and donors. Will you support ordinances for incentivized spay/neuter of owned animals through a registration system, along with subsidized mandatory spay/neuter for the most overpopulated animals?

REGGIE BURGESS: As with many issues that are presented before us, as Mayor my priority is to listen to what the citizens want and then work with City Council to make sure we do what the citizens want. I will support any ordinance or initiative that is humane and supported by the community at large as they pertain to spaying or neutering our beloved pets. At the end of the day, the biggest concern is the safety of our residents, while being empathetic to the vital roles that pets play in many of our families. STEPHANIE GANAWAY-PASLEY: As mayor, I would prioritize the safety and welfare of the community, which includes addressing the overpopulation of dogs and cats and reducing dog attacks. To address these issues, I would consider supporting ordinances for incentivized spay/neuter of owned animals through a registration system, along with subsidized mandatory spaying/neutering for the most overpopulated animals. However, I would ensure that these measures are implemented in a thoughtful, humane, and community-engaged manner. Before implementing such ordinances, I would engage with the community to raise awareness about the importance of spaying/neutering, responsible pet ownership, and the reasons behind these measures. RHONDA JEROME: State law allows municipalities to enact ordinances and regulations for the care and control of dogs, cats, and other animals. I would entertain discussions to make sure that any ordinances that are written would protect the animals and their owners. These discussions should include members of the City of North Charleston, Charleston Animal Society, and members of the community to ensure the best possible practices. CURTIS MERRIWEATHER: In addressing the overpopulation of dogs and cats, I support a balanced approach that respects individual freedoms while addressing the concerns raised. While we are concerned about increasing costs and safety issues related to overpopulated animals, our administration will advocate for education and voluntary incentives to promote responsible pet ownership. We believe in personal responsibility and freedom of choice, even as we work towards finding practical solutions to this problem. TEDDIE PRYOR: Yes, I would support ordinances for incentivized spay/ neuter being paid for by the owner of the animal. Requiring all animals to be registered thru the CAS. Also I would encourage all municipalities to pay into a fair system depending on the number of animals that they bring in to help defray the cost to the county and CAS.As more animals are being left in the streets and brought to CAS it requires more resources and we all should pay our fair share and help CAS meet their budget numbers to continue the services they provide.

JESSE WILLIAMS: As Mayor of North Charleston, I am committed to addressing the overpopulation of dogs and cats. Implementing ordinances for incentivized spay/neuter programs, especially for vulnerable pet owners, is crucial. By subsidizing these procedures, we can promote responsible pet ownership, reduce dog attacks, and decrease the number of homeless animals. This initiative would be funded through the city budget, ensuring citizen safety from stray dog attacks and easing the burden on animal control resources. It’s a proactive step toward a safer, more sustainable environment for our residents and their pets.

Announcing the






GET TICKETS TODAY! The Stono Ferry Racetrack 5000 Old York Course Rd Hollywood, S.C.

SteeplechaseOfCharleston.com Sponsored By



CATS :: Medical

Cats Need Blood Donors Too!


Just like humans, it’s important for animals that emergency veterinary centers have a fully stocked blood bank. Your cat (or dog) could be a lifesaver for another animal in need. Blood banking is a community effort! Animal hospitals like Charleston Veterinary Referral Center (CVRC) see dog and cat emergencies around the clock, 365 days a year. Pets can require life-saving blood transfusions for many of the same reasons humans do such as injuries, surgeries, or when diseases cause the body to destroy its own blood cells. The CVRC blood bank relies on dog and cat donors and their owners to help us provide this invaluable resource. BLOOD BANK NEED GROWS The number of cats and dogs in need of blood transfusions continues to grow as the pet population continues to increase. With the help of pet donors, the goal is to meet this ever-increasing demand to help save the community’s critically ill and injured pet population. CVRC’s blood banking team screens, collects, separates, and stores blood. Each unit of whole blood is broken down into packed red blood cells and plasma (called component therapy). This process requires special equipment and training for the CVRC blood bank team. Having fresh blood products allows CVRC to provide the gold standard of medicine, allowing their skilled veterinarians to care for the sick and injured pets in the greater Charleston community whenever the need arises. CALLING ALL CATS Did you know that cats have three different blood types? A, B, and AB. Most of the cat population has type 28 CAROLINA TAILS | FALL 2023

Jet getting ready to donate blood for the CVRC animal blood bank. A. Type B can be found in about 5% of the population and Type AB is very rare. There is no blood type in cats that is considered “universal.” At CVRC, four type B and 20 type A donors are currently enrolled in cat blood donor program. However, this emergency clinic is actively seeking new donors. Your cat could qualify if they meet these requirements: • Healthy with no existing medical conditions • 1-7 years of age • Up to date on vaccines, flea/tick prevention • Not on any long-term medications • Agreeable temperament • No history of prior blood transfusions • Indoor-only • Greater than 9 lbs. with a lean body weight

Becoming a blood donor does carry some serious perks for you and your pet, including an annual physical exam by a licensed veterinarian, annual blood work, infectious disease screening, blood typing, a generous discount on future emergency and specialty care, an eye exam, plus a branded treat bag filled with pet-friendly toys and treats. Your pet’s picture will also join the “Wall of Heroes” inside CVRC. But most of all, you will beam with pride knowing that your pet is helping to save the lives of other pets with each blood donation. To become a Cat Hero – call CVRC at (843) 614-8387 or email bloodbank@cvrc. com for more information. Editor’s Note: The information for this article was provided by the CVRC Blood Bank Team.

#81775 PET TOYS!




Help us build a No Kill State with a NKSC 2024 plate!

Right inside the shelter, we have an amazing retail space that has everything you need for your pet! Every purchase goes to our lifesaving work! Charleston Animal Society 2455 Remount Road North Charleston, SC 29406 WEEKDAYS: 12 - 5 l WEEKENDS: 10 - 6




WILDLIFE :: Coyotes

The Coyote Next Door

It’s been a busy spring and summer for coyote encounters across the Lowcountry. Here’s what you can do to protect your pets.

A coyote charged into the backyard of a James Island family in June, leaving a woman and her dog to fight it off, before her husband came and shot the coyote four times, killing it. This summer there were numerous reports of coyotes being aggressive with dogs walking on the beach of Sullivan’s Island. In August, one small dog was carried off into the dunes by coyotes and most likely killed. On the Isle of Palms there have been more than 30 sightings of coyotes this year. Two years ago, a coyote was found hiding in a bathroom inside Cane Bay Elementary school in Summerville. From Mt. Pleasant to Kiawah, coyotes are everywhere. In fact, according to the Post and Courier, South Carolina hunters kill more than 27,000 coyotes in the Palmetto State each year. Coyotes live in every state except Hawaii. COEXISTING WITH COYOTES Many municipalities are finding ways to manage what appears to be a coyote explosion. On Sullivan’s Island, beach 30 CAROLINA TAILS | FALL 2023

paths are marked with signs warning that trapping is taking place. This summer four coyotes were trapped and then euthanized. But depleting a coyote population isn’t a long-term solution. Officials with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) tell us that if you remove all coyotes from a specific area, new coyotes will move in. Could “hazing” be a more effective solution? According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) hazing and securing food sources are more effective solutions to coyote problems than killing. Hazing is a method that makes use of deterrents to move an animal out of an area or discourage an undesirable behavior or activity. Hazing can help maintain a coyote’s fear of humans and deter them from backyards and play spaces. HOW TO HAZE Using a variety of different hazing tools is important to keep coyotes fearful: • Yelling and waving your arms while approaching the coyote

• Noisemakers: Voice, whistles, air horns, bells, “shaker” cans full of marbles or pennies, pots, lids or pie pans banged together • Projectiles: sticks, small rocks, cans, tennis balls or rubber balls (to throw toward the coyote, not at the coyote) • Other: hoses, water guns with vinegar water, spray bottles with vinegar water, pepper spray or bear repellent The simplest method of hazing a coyote involves being loud and large. Stand tall and wave your arms and yell. Continue until the coyote runs away. There are several tools that you can carry with you while walking your dog that can be used to repel coyotes including whistles, air horns, squirt guns and pepper spray. If at home, squirt the coyote with a garden hose, vinegar water and bang pots and pans together and be sure to store garbage in secure containers and feed pets indoors. Coyotes can be persistent, and it may take more than one hazing encounter for a coyote to get the message, but eventually most will learn to stay away from humans.

Want a

10,000 golf cart for $100 ? $

enter to win! Go to eventgives.com/leaders2023 or scan code below A raffle to support

Charleston Leaders is a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to connect professionals in the Charleston metro area to create business, community and individual success. We coordinate a wide a range of forums, events and introductions, and also work within our schools to foster future leaders. Find out more at charlestonleaders.org




Anniversary Coming in 2024

s p u P

! s k Par

Zuzu White, Charleston Animal Society alumna at Johns Island County Park

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.