Carolina Tails Mag | Spring 2020 Edition | Charleston Animal Society

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A Charleston Animal Society Publication



Publisher: Charleston Animal Society Editor-in-Chief: Dan Krosse Managing Editor: Joe Elmore Advertising Manager: Keith Simmons Advertising Sales: Ted DeLoach Graphic Design: Heineman Design Copy Editor: Eve Baker, Rebecca Overdorf Writers: Dan Krosse, Cody Dressler, DVM, Joe Elmore, Amy Scaroni, Ph.D., Anna Vecchione, Ph.D., Sarah Burnheimer, Becca Boronat, Sean Hawkins, Helen Ravenel Hammond, David Aylor Photographers: Jeanne Taylor, Marie Rodriguez, Dan Krosse, Brenna Williams, Alexandra Rostad, Aldwin Roman, Kay Hyman, Jessica Williams For inquiries regarding advertising, distribution or suggestions in Carolina Tails call (843) 410-2577 or

2455 Remount Road, North Charleston, SC 29406 (843) 747-4849

Chairwoman: Laurel Greer Vice Chair: Dillard Stevens Salmons Secretary: Peter Waters Treasurer: Martin Deputy David Maybank, Jr., Esq. Robert Nigro Louise Palmer Hank Greer Members of the Board Linda Bakker Luigi Bravo Caroline Clark Edward “Ted” Corvey, III, Esq. Henry Darby Jane Graham Sarah-Hamlin Hastings

Brantley Meier Carolyn Murray Richard Murphy Celeste Patrick, MD Donald Smith Diane Straney George “Pat” Waters

President & CEO: Joe Elmore Media & Marketing Consultant: Dan Krosse, dpk media solutions

Please contact regarding Carolina Tails distribution, advertising or suggestions. For all other inquiries, please contact Charleston Animal Society. (843) 410-2577 Carolina Tails is published quarterly by Traveler Communications Group, an independent publishing company. PO Box 22677, Charleston, SC 29413 (843 352-9048). Carolina Tails is a registered trademark of Traveler Communications Group. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the express written permission of the publisher is prohibited.


Contents SPRING 2020




Coronavirus & Pets


Safe to Swim? Before your dog swims, what you need to know about algae.


Cat Fat Pouches: What are they exactly?


Pet Pointers


Saved from a Puppy Mill Charleston Animal Society helps save 250 animals.


Celebrating 146 Years A look inside Charleston Animal Society’s Annual Meeting.


Showstopper Otters! Meet Ace & Stono at the SC Aquarium.


Ask a Lawyer


Seven Ways to Be Kind to Animals


Take Me Home Adoptions


Vet Directory


What’s in Your Garden? How the right plants could help save bees & butterflies.


Dog Park Petiquette


Inching Closer to a No Kill State


Statehouse Report: Animal legislative priorities in 2020.


Kids’ Corner: Time to Play!

COVER: With our cover, we hoped to inspire everyone to lean on their pets as a source of comfort during this difficult Coronavirus emergency. Our cover was painted by Johns Island Artist Christine Bush Roman. See more of her work at: Read about Coronavirus and pets on pg. 6

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Welcome DEAR FRIENDS, It's amazing that an 11-letter word, few of us had ever heard before could uproot our lives in such a profound way. C-o-r-o-n-a-v-i-r-u-s has swept around the world and is now here in the United States...and South Carolina. Our prayers go out to the thousands of people who have fallen ill because of this mystery virus and those who have died. Stopping this global pandemic is on everyone's mind which is why we have seen the cancellation and closings of schools, the NBA, March Madness, concerts, and even Disneyland. It’s because of all this, that many pet owners are worried about their four-legged family members. Our Carolina Tails staff and the veterinarians at Charleston Animal Society have done their research and you must read the article we've prepared on page 6. Also in this Issue As we move into an uncertain 2020, we remain grounded by the love we are surrounded with by our pets. In these pages, you will be inspired by the forward momentum of No Kill South Carolina as it inches ever closer to making a No Kill State a reality. We’re tickled that the South Carolina Aquarium has shared an article on two of their biggest stars – Ace and Stono – their beautiful river otters. We have 7 ways you can show some love to your pet during “Be Kind to Animals Week,” the first week of May. Another important story is about the algal bloom we see in our waterways during the Spring and Summer and how it could affect our pets if we aren’t careful.

Charleston Animal Society Chairwoman Laurel Greer holding Chip, one of 250 animals rescued from a puppy mill with the help of the Society. (pg. 15)

Parting Thoughts It is an honor to serve as the Chairwoman of Charleston Animal Society’s Board of Directors. I am looking forward to working as hard as possible for these fur babies we all love so much. As we continue to mount our fight against the Coronavirus, all of us are going to be challenged to rethink the way we live our everyday lives. Together, we can pull through this as a community, a state and a nation – especially with our companion animals by our sides, every step of the way. Sincerely, Laurel Greer Board of Directors Chairwoman



HEALTH ALERT:: Cornonavirus



What You Need to Know! By DAN KROSSE

A man takes photos of dogs wearing masks in a stroller in Shanghai on February 19, 2020. (Photo by Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images)

SURPRISING PHOTOS OUT OF SOUTHEAST ASIA show dogs wearing breathing masks in an attempt to save them from the Coronavirus. Is that going a bit too far? What are the chances of your dog or cat catching the Coronavirus, specifically COVID-19? “From what we know right now, your dog or cat is at a much higher risk of contracting more familiar diseases such as rabies, parvo, distemper and upper respiratory infections,” said Charleston Animal Society Associate Director of Veterinary Care Dr. Cody Dressler. “We need to watch Coronavirus and be prepared. However, don’t forget other viruses exist in our everyday lives and also require our recognition.” That Hong Kong Dog In late February, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that a dog in Hong Kong had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. They emphasized that it was a “weak positive,” meaning low levels of the virus were found. Unfortunately, a weak positive test in a single dog does not provide information to draw definitive 6 CAROLINA TAILS | SPRING 2020

conclusions. There are several possible reasons for the result including infection, environmental contamination, testing or technique error, and cross-reactivity. The dog belongs to a 60-year-old woman who developed symptoms on February 12th and later tested positive, according to the Wall Street Journal. Domestic animals in Hong Kong are now being quarantined if their owners test positive for the Coronavirus. COVID-19 shares many genetic similarities with another strain of coronavirus that commonly circulates in bats, but its specific origin is currently unknown. How COVID19 transferred to humans is currently unknown but continues to be studied. Right now, there is only evidence of human-tohuman transmission. Several global organizations recognize that there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID19. These sources also recognize that there is new information emerging about the virus daily and encourage proper hygiene. Animals can be a source of several other diseases, so it is always a good idea to practice proper hand hygiene when dealing with animals or animal products.

Medical Supply Chain In February, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) put out a notice that there are concerns the Coronavirus pandemic could disrupt the supply chain for medical supplies of pets and medical personnel. Officials there said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is closely monitoring the situation and will assist if needed. In March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said six animal drug firms that source ingredients or make finished products in China have indicated they’re seeing disruptions in the supply chain that could soon lead to shortages. Charleston Animal Society is already feeling the supply chain impact; because of this the shelter is stopping elective surgeries so critical supplies can be redirected to hospitals.

WHAT IS THE CORONAVIRUS? By Dr. Cody Dressler, Charleston Animal Society Associate Director of Veterinary Care Coronaviruses belong to the large family Coronaviridae. Several different strains of coronavirus are known to commonly circulate within human and animal populations. Few strains of the virus are able to spread from animals to humans (zoonotic disease). COVID-19, or corona virus disease 19, is the newest strain of coronavirus within the family. This strain was first identified in China in December 2019. COVID-19 has since spread through the human population infecting tens of thousands of people across the globe and drawing a lot of public attention. Despite the spread of the disease, no domestic animals or pets have become sick. Whether caused by a virus, bacteria, or parasite, any disease that poses a threat to pets should be discussed with a primary care veterinarian so appropriate preventative measures can be implemented in a timely manner. STAY UP TO DATE ON THE CORONAVIRUS AT: The World Health Organization (WHO): The Centers for Disease Control (CDC): CharlestonAnimalSociety,org/coronavirus



A DOG’S LIFE:: Outdoor Safety

Safe to Swim? What you need to know about Harmful Algal Blooms. By AMY SCARONI, PH.D.

If you were too nervous to let your dog swim in local waterways this past summer, you weren’t alone. With news reports linking dog deaths to harmful algal blooms (HABs) in neighboring states, many of us exercised caution when deciding whether or not to let our dogs cool off in the water. What are HABs? Unfortunately, there is no easy way to identify HABs by sight, but there are factors to look for that can help you avoid them. Algae and cyanobacteria (often called blue-green algae) are tiny plant-like organisms that occur naturally in our waterways— both fresh and saltwater. Problems arise when the weather heats up and runoff from rainfall flushes excess nutrients (from things like fertilizers, septic systems, and pet waste) into waterways. This can stimulate the growth of algae, which rapidly multiply, creating an algal “bloom.” If you’ve seen a pond or lake covered in green scum, you have seen an algal bloom. These are more likely to occur in slow moving, stagnant waterways, particularly in the summer and early fall. When the algae die and begin to decompose, this reduces the amount of oxygen in the water and can harm fish and other aquatic life. However, when some species of algae die, they release a toxin into the waterway that can affect any animal or human that is exposed.

Are HABS Always Harmful? You can’t tell if an algal bloom is harmful just by looking at it, and in some cases the algae may stay below the water’s surface and not be visible from land. There are some private labs that can test for HABs, but many waterways and small water bodies are not routinely monitored for HABs. 8 CAROLINA TAILS | SPRING 2020


Pay attention to any swimming advisories issued by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC). The best way to avoid blooms is to err on the side of caution and keep your dog out of stagnant waterways in the summer, particularly after heavy rains.

Dogs often drink water while they are swimming or wading, which can expose them to toxins if there is a harmful algal bloom present. Sometimes dogs are even attracted to the smell of algal scum and may try to eat algal mats that have washed up on shore. They can also be exposed by splashing around or licking their fur after they exit the water. If you suspect that your dog may have come into contact with a HAB, rinse them thoroughly with fresh water as soon as possible. Cyanobacteria produces a toxin that quickly causes liver failure, so it is important to seek help immediately if your dog has been swimming and suddenly shows signs of weakness, excessive drooling, labored breathing, tremors, or seizures.

Photo by Jessica Williams

Protecting Your Dog

Do’s and Don’ts • Don’t let your dog swim in waterbodies that have surface discoloration (often green, or blueish-green, but sometimes brown or red), scum, or mats of algae.

HOPE ON THE HORIZON? Chippewa Lake, a small lake in Northeast Ohio, became the first in the United States to try new technology to combat HABs.

• Do rinse your dog after swimming. • Do bring plenty of clean, fresh water for your dog to drink. • Do report suspected HABs to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. • Don’t leave pet waste on the ground where rainfall can transport the nutrients downstream. Always pick it up and dispose of it in the trash. • Don’t throw your grass clippings on the street, down the storm drain, or into a pond; this will introduce nutrients into waterways that can promote algal growth. • Do get your soil tested at your local Clemson Extension office and follow recommendations for fertilizer use. Using less fertilizer means less nutrients will end up downstream.

Lake Guard™ is a copper-sulfate modified product developed by the Israeli company, BlueGreen Technologies. This scientifically developed product is dispersed over the water surface, where it slowly dissolves, killing and weakening the cyanobacteria until other desirable algae forms are free to grow and return the lake to its natural balance. According to Chippewa Lake’s “Save the Lake Coalition,” after Lake Guard's™ August 2019 application, scientific readings have fallen to record lows, from August through December. All this was achieved with no fish kills and no impact to flora or fauna. Dr. Amy Scaroni is an Assistant Professor of Water Resources at Clemson University. She lives on James Island, SC with her rescue dogs Rosie and Charley.



CATS:: Health



Ripple is not embarrassed about her "primordial pouch." Sometimes mistaken for obesity, this pouch is common in cats.

AS A RELATIVELY NEW CAT OWNER, I inherited what I thought might be a fat cat. My concern was the swaying fat pouch under her belly that moves back and forth as she leads me to her food bowl each morning. But it turns out Ripple is actually pretty healthy. That Sway is OK “Belly flap,” “spay sway,” “apron,” “fat pouch,” “belly bag” – you know what I’m talking about -- that extra fat flap that jiggles and jangles as our cats run and play. Its actual name is the “primordial pouch,” and just about every cat has one. But why? “We once thought it was skin stretching out while a cat was gaining weight,” said Charleston Animal Society Senior Director of Veterinary Care Dr. Lucy Fuller. “But we now know that is not the case.” As Dr. Fuller will tell you, different experts have different explanations for the primordial 10 CAROLINA TAILS | SPRING 2020

pouch – but three general theories exist: 1. The primordial pouch protects vital organs during cat fights. 2. The primordial pouch allows cats to be more flexible when running and jumping. 3. The primordial pouch gives cats room to store some extra food when they overeat. Across the boards, experts do agree that the primordial pouch has nothing to do with being spayed or neutered, despite the nickname “spay sway” for the pouch. In fact, different species have similar “fatty” areas like the primordial pouch. “Female rabbits have a dewlap under the chin. Cows store fat in their brisket area,” Dr. Fuller said. All of these devices are likely products of evolution. The dewlap in the rabbit occurs in female rabbits when they are old enough to reproduce. Being under the chin, the rabbit can reach it to pull out fur to line her nest for the new babies.

Obesity Check But back to cats -- is there a way to tell if your cat is a fatty, or whether he or she just has its belly bag going on? “Gently run your hands down the side of your cat. If you can feel his or her ribs, and they are not protruding, then your cat is in ideal body condition,” said Dr. Fuller. If your cat is obese, it will have a rounder belly and you won’t be able to feel his or her ribs with a light touch. Obesity in cats is a serious challenge. A Cornell University study found one out of every four cats were heavy or obese. If you’re staring at your cat right now and just can’t decide if her swing is an OK thing – or if she may be overweight—settle the debate and have your cat examined by your veterinarian. It’s never too late to start a healthy diet.



NEWS:: You Can Use



New NG Tidb s its

POOP BAGS MAKE THE CUT! Starting in January, Charleston County launched its single-use plastics ban, following on the heels of many area municipalities. It left dog owners worried their poop bags would be banned, but that is not the case. There is a list of exceptions including: bread bags, deli bags, dry cleaning bags, produce bags, straws for customers with disabilities – and poop bags. Find a complete list at

CAROLINASUNITE CONFERENCE CarolinasUnite is a collaboration between the North Carolina Animal Federation and the South Carolina Animal Care & Control Association, aiming to bring together animal welfare professionals from both states for education and networking. This year's conference was held in Myrtle Beach and covered a variety of topics including community-centered animal control and lost pets. The session on pain management in shelters, was led by Dr. Lucy Fuller, Charleston Animal Society's Senior Director of Veterinary Care.


More than 40 Animal Control Officers from around the country came to Charleston for training hosted by Charleston Animal Society. The National Animal Control & Humane Officer Academy (NACHO) held its training February 10th through 14th at the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office. The goal of NACHO is to deliver a higher standard in animal care and cruelty investigation training. NACHO was developed by The National Animal Care and Control Association and Code 3 Associates, two of the leading animal control training organizations in the country. This week-long training is part of a comprehensive and hands-on 120hour course that provides national certification in animal control and animal cruelty investigations for law enforcement professionals.



Three horses, Duchess, Bella and Buddy, were safely transported from Charleston Animal Society to a foster home March 20th. The horses, one with ribs showing, were part of a group of animals seized in mid-March by the Charleston County Sheriff’s Department at a Johns Island home where two dogs were also found dead. One of those dogs died in a kennel, covered in urine and feces. Six other dogs were also rescued on the same property, one with deformed legs. All were eventually placed for adoption. The animals who survived are all safe and have been in the expert care of the veterinarians and staff at Charleston Animal Society. The horses are now being well-fed and running free on a pasture in the countryside. Three adults have been charged with felony “ill treatment of an animal” charges.


Saved from a Puppy Mill In January, Charleston Animal Society helped rescue more than 250 animals from a puppy mill in rural South Carolina. 50 of the rescued dogs were brought to Charleston Animal Society for medical treatment, fostering and eventually, adoption (the others were sent to other state rescue organizations). No Kill South Carolina (NKSC), a program of Charleston Animal Society, helped coordinate the rescue effort. In this article, NKSC’s Project Manager Becca Boronat imagines what the rescue was like from the perspective of “Sasha Luna,” one of the animals whose life had been spent in a wire crate for five years – whose sole purpose was to be bred over and over for online puppy sales. On that January day, Sasha Luna’s life was dramatically changed for the better.

By BECCA BORONAT y name is Sasha Luna. My home was a puppy mill in Laurens County, South Carolina. I’ve lived there my whole life with 147 other dogs just like me, plus 107 chickens and ducks. There were also a few “hopping dogs;” humans called them “rabbits.” I’ve always lived in a wire crate and it was lonely and scary. There was no soft bed. My paws hurt from walking on the wired mesh bottom. There were so many of my friends living in the same conditions. It was very hard to breathe there. Every time I took a breath, it hurt. People said it was because of the ammonia. But one day my life changed. That’s when several humans showed up, all covered up with blue gowns, wearing masks and gloves to protect them against any infectious disease. It was pretty scary. One by one, the cages I’d been looking at for five years were emptied, as each of my friends were taken away. Before I knew it, a big hand grabbed me, took me out of my cage and did the most startling thing – she held me against her chest. I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced that before. I could feel her heart beating and for some reason it felt good. My rescuer said, “you are saved now, you will have a better life.” She took me out of that dark and smelly room to a bright and open space and I could breathe fresh air for the first time in my life and it felt great. I remember a long drive in a van that brought me to my new home in Charleston. Everybody kept telling me and my friends that we were safe, and we were loved. But what was love? I guess it’s that feeling of being petted and held and played with. I started kissing the humans back – I couldn’t help it! Walking on grass was a new experience. It felt so much better than the wired bottom of the cage I called home. My paws are better now and it doesn't hurt anymore when I stand or walk. On one of my visits to the veterinarians at Charleston Animal Society, I learned I was in danger of dying. I was pregnant. Of my



Charleston Animal Society's Brittany Wylie and Courtney Gumienny provide medical treatment to a rescued puppy mill victim.

4.8-pound body weight, my uterus with puppies was two-pounds! I had toxemia and needed emergency treatment. I was hospitalized for four days. The friends I talked to you about earlier were also in bad shape. One had two broken legs. Another had eclampsia. Several showed signs of neurological conditions. Others had digestive problems, heartworm, breathing issues and severe dental disease. Thanks to Toby’s Fund, Charleston Animal Society’s medical fund, tens of thousands of dollars were spent to save us. Between my vet appointments, I lived with a foster family. My foster mom was so sweet. I had a crate with no door, a soft bed and several toys. I can’t tell you how many times I fell asleep with her rubbing my belly. For now, I’m safe with my foster family and know that with Charleston Animal Society’s help I will be adopted. For now, I wake up every morning, looking forward to what the new day may bring.

“My rescuer said, ‘you are saved now, you will have a better life.” Adopt, Don’t Shop A takeaway for all of us is that adopting a shelter animal is always your best option, when looking for a new pet. If you decide to purchase a dog or cat, do your research and find a reputable breeder who will let you visit their facility inperson! You must see for yourself how the animals are raised. If the breeder refuses to show you their operation, or asks to meet at a third-party location, this is a red flag, and you should reconsider the purchase.



Charleston Animal Society's Barbara Bryant and Christina Ellwood help unload the dogs as they were brought to safety at the animal care campus.

The dogs lived in stacked, wire cages that hurt the dogs' feet. Many of the dogs had medical conditions or injuries to treat.

AJ Gollum gives some TLC to one of the 50 dogs that were brought to Charleston Animal Society for treatment.

All four of Charleston Animal Society's Veterinarians, including Dr. Cody Dressler, spent hours treating the puppy mill dogs' ailments.

These cramped, stacked crates are where many of the puppy mill dogs lived their lives for years.

After a new owner bought a sick puppy, police showed up at this Laurens County puppy mill and had it shut down, finding more than 250 animals in poor conditions.

INSIDE THE RESCUE The No Kill South Carolina team is always promoting that collaboration is a key strategy for saving lives. Animal welfare agencies and community members can’t save animals, like those in the puppy mill, without teamwork. THESE ORGANIZATIONS MADE THE PUPPY MILL RESCUE POSSIBLE: • Laurens County Animal Control • Charleston Animal Society • Laurens County Law Enforcement • Humane Society of the United States • Anderson County PAWS • Izzie’s Pond

• Charlotte Humane Society • Chihuahua Rescue & Transport, Inc. • Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society

If you want to know more on how to help your community’s animals, please reach out to No Kill South Carolina at




AROUND TOWN:: 146 Years




Charleston Animal Society celebrated 146 years of preventing cruelty to animals on Sunday, January 26, 2020 at Blackbaud World Headquarters. Before hundreds of supporters, the Animal Society presented two significant awards: • The Community Ambassador Award went to Blackbaud, Inc. • The Elizabeth Bradham Humanitarian Award went to Dr. Shirley McGreal, the founder of the International Primate Protection League (IPPL). See our Fall 2018 Carolina Tails for more on the IPPL. Maddie’s Fund Executive Leadership Team Member Mary Ippoliti-Smith delivered an inspiring keynote address. Entertainment was provided by the River Boy Bluegrass Band.

Maddie's Fund Executive Leadership Team Member Mary Ippoliti-Smith was the keynote speaker.

A 30-foot Caitlyn the dog greeted Annual Meeting attendees at Blackbaud World Headquarters.

Former Charleston Animal Society Board President Elizabeth Bradham presenting the Humanitarian Award to IPPL Founder and President Emeritus Dr. Shirley McGreal.

Blackbaud received Charleston Animal Society’s Community Ambassador Award at the Society’s 146th Annual Meeting. Blackbaud President & CEO Mike Gianoni and his wife Kathie are surrounded by Charleston Animal Society Board Members and staff (L-R) Patricia Henley, Joe Elmore, Laurel Greer, Carolyn Murray, and Hank Greer.

Community Relations Director for Hendrick Charleston and Charleston Animal Society Board Member Don Smith attended the annual meeting with his wife Frances who fell in love with one of the dogs rescued from a South Carolina puppy mill.



WILDLIFE:: River Otters



ore than 470,000 people visit the South Carolina Aquarium every year and surprisingly, an unlikely pair of animals is among the Aquarium’s star attractions. Ace and Stono are the main residents of the Mountain Forest exhibit at the Aquarium, and boy are these North American river otters fan favorites. They are true ambassadors for their species and for the Palmetto state as a whole. Their names alone are a nod to South Carolina: Ace is named after the ACE Basin, 350,000acres of protected wildlife habitat; Stono is named after the Stono River, a tidal channel southwest of Charleston.

Taking Care of Otters At the Aquarium, animal care can vary across species and even individuals; it’s the role of the animal care team to accommodate each animal’s needs and incorporate a series of health and wellness opportunities to achieve balance in an animal’s physical, behavioral and mental health. For Ace and Stono, that’s no exception. This way of thinking enables the Aquarium animal care team to continually stretch their creative muscles to ensure Ace and Stono remain healthy and thriving. 18 CAROLINA TAILS | SPRING 2020

What’s All that Stuff?


If you’ve visited the Aquarium, you may have noticed some unexpected items in the Mountain Forest exhibit such as PVC pipe, coconuts, building blocks and even water jugs. Though these objects may seem out of place at first glance, they actually serve a much greater purpose for Ace and Stono; these are enrichment items! Enrichment is a great opportunity to foster natural, investigative and interactive behavior that replicates behaviors river otters would exhibit in the wild. For example, fish frozen in an ice mold enable Ace and Stono to practice foraging behavior, just as the addition of branches or car wash strips promote exploration and curiosity throughout their habitat. These enrichment opportunities all work in tandem to create a dynamic and interactive environment for Ace and Stono. Regular training sessions allow the animal care team to cooperatively work with Ace and Stono, allowing them to participate in their own care; among other behaviors, they are trained to step on a scale for monthly weight checks.

Looking to the Future The Aquarium has been lucky to have these two bonded bachelors for many years. Now, as they become senior animals, Ace and Stono’s care is starting to shift to accommodate the aging process, and the Aquarium has sprung into action with alterations to their habitat and healthcare. For starters, Ace and Stono’s private area off-exhibit (accessible by a hidden ramp) underwent a mini-home renovation. This ramp was altered so the incline is not as steep, and they have an easier time going to and from their private and public habitats to do whatotter their hearts desire! Because Ace and Stono have been Aquarium residents for years, the Aquarium has had the ability to build baseline medical data for them through annual tests and daily observations. The animal care team knows their history and understands their norms; if they see irregular behavior or fluctuations in their appearance, they take note and act accordingly. Despite their older age, Ace and Stono are still fairly active. They groom each other, interact with their enrichment and even build their own nests – all signs of fulfilled otters. When their mobility and vision changes, the Aquarium is prepared to adapt their enrichment items to better suit their abilities. For example, if they currently work to finagle fishy treats out of small holes in PVC pipe, those holes might be expanded in the future to encourage activity at a level that works for Ace and Stono. Together, these efforts help the Aquarium to assess Ace and Stono’s overall welfare, ensuring their physical, behavioral and mental health are in balance. Stop by and see the otters during your next Aquarium visit – learn more at

Sarah Burnheimer is the Strategic Communications Manager at the South Carolina Aquarium.




LAW & ORDER:: Your Pets


ASK A LAWYER No matter how much we love our pets, there’s always the chance they will run into a legal situation…including cats! In this “Best of” Ask a Lawyer, we compile Attorney David Aylor’s best answers on your questions about cats! QUESTION: My child was playing at a friend's house and was bitten by their cat. His bite injury required extensive IV medications and multiple trips to the doctor. How do we approach the family for help with expenses? Are they legally bound to help pay? – Martin, Hanahan DAVID AYLOR: Depending on your relationship with the cat owner, a letter or phone call requesting their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance information would be the best place to start. Generally, the animal owner is liable for the damages suffered by the person bitten or otherwise attacked. In most instances, the cat or animal owner’s homeowner’s or renter's insurance, if available, will provide coverage for such an incident. Insurance coverage amounts can vary and policies can contain certain exclusions or limitations that may affect coverage, but, if there is insurance, it should cover your child’s medical bills and other damages. QUESTION: Is there a leash law for cats in North Charleston? My friend says she was stopped and told she had to put her cat on a leash, unless it was "ear-tipped." Any scoop? – "No Leash" Lisa, North Charleston DAVID AYLOR: Lisa, yes, there is a cat leash ordinance in North Charleston, and in fact, many other area municipalities have similar laws on the books. While usually not enforced, animal control officials can give you a ticket for a cat on the run. We're told that you will likely get a warning before any ticket. (Feral or free-roaming cats which are "ear tipped," signifying they have been spayed or neutered, are typically exempt from enforcement). But, the law is the law, and in North Charleston your cat must technically be on a leash if outdoors. Typically, your cat will only gain the notice of animal control if there are complaints from a neighbor, or if your cat is continuously getting into trouble around the block. Getting cited is no laughing matter. You could end up with a fine of $1,092 or spend 30 days in jail! If you are stopped, remember to be polite and respectful and make your case in court -- not on the street, where your anger could work against you. QUESTION: My cat took her kittens to my neighbor’s yard. Can I just go grab them, or do I need their permission to do so? – Paul, Ridgeville DAVID AYLOR: Paul, If you have a good relationship with your neighbor and often enter and exit his property without express permission I wouldn't think you would have an issue. However, if you are not close or even on bad terms with him or her I would suggest getting their permission before stepping in their yard. Keep in mind that even though it's your neighbor it is still private property. David Aylor with his son Fletcher and English Lab, Belle.






TRIVIA: DID YOU KNOW BE KIND TO ANIMALS WEEK (MAY 3RD– 9TH) GOT ITS START IN CHARLESTON? Lowcountry native Henry Lewith proposed the idea in 1914 after sinking almost a million dollars (in 2020 dollars) into animal advocacy. The idea began as “Humane Sunday” and grew into a national tradition ever since. More than 100 years later, we are still celebrating this special week – but this year, Coronavirus is overshadowing that celebration because of social distancing. Here are seven ideas that will show kindness to the animals we care for at Charleston Animal Society during this challenging time:

1. Start your own fundraising campaign for Charleston Animal Society on Facebook.

2. Adopt a Homeless Pet see our animals 24/7 at

3. Donate Amazon Wishlist items for the shelter. Use Amazon Smile (which gives back to the shelter!) Find our wishlist at:

4. Become a Guardian by giving a monthly donation.

5. Call your local lawmaker and tell him or her to vote for the bills we support on page 31.

6. Make Dog Toys Out of Recycled Household Items Your pet will love them! We’ve posted some great ideas at

7. Donate Coronavirus can’t stop our dedication to saving animal lives. Please help with whatever donation you can afford: 22 CAROLINA TAILS | SPRING 2020

Sean Hawkins is the Chief Advancement Officer at Charleston Animal Society.

RESCUE:: Adopt, Don’t Buy!



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

Hi, I'm Luna. I'm a bit of a chatterbox, but that's just because I crave attention. Don't you? My owner died recently, but we had 8 lovely years together and I'm hoping my next home will be just as sweet.

My name is Jamieson. I'm 10-years-old but here at Charleston Animal Society, they call me a "purr machine!" Come give an ol' gal a second chance. See you soon!

They call me Perkins and I don't even like pancakes. But I do love a good game of fetch or a nice walk in the park. Please come visit me at Charleston Animal Society and let's make a Springtime of memories together

They call me Baskerville. I'm a Hound with an awesome personality. I can be a bit shy at first, but when I warm up, you better get on your running shoes, because I love to fly.

In January, Charleston Animal Society helped rescue more than 250 animals from a puppy mill in the Upstate (see pg. 14). 50 of the dogs were brought to the shelter and have been receiving medical attention. Many of these dogs will soon need new, loving homes once their medical concerns have been addressed. Please visit us at 2455 Remount Rd., North Charleston 29406, or




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

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

Olde Towne Veterinary Clinic (843) 723-1443 17 Pinckney St, Charleston, SC 29401

Animal Care Center (843) 556-9993 1662 Savannah Hwy #135, Charleston, SC 29407

Lezotte Animal Chiropractic (843) 410-3420 Mobile

Animal Medical West (843) 766-7387 704 Orleans Rd, Charleston, SC 29407 Charleston Veterinary Referral Center (843) 614-8387 3484 Shelby Ray Ct, Charleston, SC 29414 VCA Charles Towne Animal Hospital (843) 571-4291 850 Savannah Highway Charleston, SC 29407 Banfield Pet Hospital (843) 766-7724 2076 Sam Rittenberg Blvd, Charleston, SC 29407


Lowcountry Pet Wellness Clinic (843) 556-7387 5900 Rivers Ave, Unit D-1, North Charleston, SC 29406 Veterinary Specialty Care (843) 793-2161 3163 West Montague Ave, North Charleston, SC 29418 Dorchester Veterinary Hospital (843) 552-0259 5617 Dorchester Rd, North Charleston, SC 29418 Coastal Carolina Veterinary Specialists (843) 747-1507 3163 W Montague Ave, North Charleston, SC 29418 Charleston Heights Veterinary Clinic (843) 554-4361 2124 Dorchester Rd, North Charleston, SC 29405 Northwoods Veterinary Clinic (843) 553-0441 8320 Rivers Ave, North Charleston, SC 29406 The Animal Hospital of North Charleston (843) 608-8948 8389 Dorchester Rd, North Charleston, SC 29418 Banfield Pet Hospital (843) 797-4677 7620 Rivers Ave, Charleston, SC 29406



2016 Chili Cook-Off

Charleston Animal Society and Carolina Tails want to always promote the best habits for animal care possible and seeing your veterinarian regularly is key to having a happy, healthy animal.

Mount Pleasant Exotic Vet Care (843) 216-8387 814 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 East Cooper Animal Hospital (843) 884-6171 993 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 Island Veterinary Care (843) 628-1941 Mobile Mount Pleasant Animal Hospital (843) 884-4921 1213 Ben Sawyer Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 Pet Vet Animal Hospital (843) 416-9304 307 Mill St, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 Shuler Animal Hospital (843) 884-4494 1769 Highway 17 N, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 Veterinary Specialty Care (843) 216-7554 985 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 Advanced Animal Care of Mount Pleasant (843) 884-9838 3373 S Morgans Point Rd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29466

Animal Eye Care of the Lowcountry (843) 881-2242 1131 Queensborough Blvd Suite 100, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Tidewater Veterinary (843) 856-7300 1964 Riviera Dr Suite G, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Animal Medical Center of Mt. Pleasant (843) 881-5858 958 Houston Northcutt Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Banfield Pet Hospital (843) 971-7460 911 Houston Northcutt, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Cats Only Animal Hospital (843) 849-1661 1492 B North Highway 17, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 Long Point Animal Hospital (843) 971-7701 757 Long Point Rd, #B, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 Palmetto Veterinary Hospital (843) 881-9915 2443 Hwy 17 N, Mount Pleasant, SC 29466 Park West Veterinary Associates Park West Veterinary Associates Simply Spay & Neuter (843) 856-9190 1054-C Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 Southeast Veterinary Dermatology & Ear Clinic (843) 849-7770 1131 Queensborough Blvd Suite 100, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Banfield Pet Hospital (843) 971-7460 (843) 388-1701 676 Long Point Rd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Isle of Palms Sandy Cove Veterinary Clinic (843) 885-6969 1521 Palm Blvd, Isle of Palms, SC 29451

James Island Folly Road Animal Hospital (843) 762-4944 1038 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412 Charleston Veterinary Care (843) 789-3222 51 Windermere Blvd, Charleston, SC 29407 Maybank Animal Hospital (843) 795-3131 1917 Maybank Hwy, Charleston, SC 29412




James Island

Goose Creek

Oceanside Veterinary Clinic (843) 795-7574 1509 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412

Creekside Veterinary Clinic (843) 824-8044 431-G St. James Ave, Goose Creek, SC 29445

Sea Islands Veterinary Hospital (843) 795-6477 1310 Camp Rd, Charleston, SC 29412

Mt. Holly Veterinary Clinic (843) 405-7765 113 St. James Ave, Goose Creek, SC 29445

James Island Veterinary Hospital (843)795-5295 756 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412

Animal Medical Clinic of Goose Creek (843) 569-3647 102 Central Ave, Goose Creek, SC 29445

Banfield Pet Hospital (843) 406-8609 520 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412

Goose Creek Veterinary Clinic (843) 553-7011 501 Redbank Rd. Goose Creek, SC 29445

Pet Helpers Spay and Neuter Clinic (843) 302-0556 1447 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412

Johns Island Angel Oak Animal Hospital (843) 559-1838 3160 Maybank Hwy, Johns Island, SC 29455

Hanahan Best Friends Animal Clinic (843) 414-7455 1000 Tanner Ford Blvd, Hanahan, SC 29410 Hanahan Veterinary Clinic (843) 744-8927 1283 Yeamans Hall Rd, Hanahan, SC 29410

Bohicket Veterinary Clinic (843) 559-3889 3472 Maybank Hwy, Johns Island, SC 29455


Johns Island Animal Hospital (843) 559-9697 1769 Main Rd, Johns Island, SC 29455

College Park Road Veterinary Clinic (843) 797-1493 186 College Park Rd, Ladson, SC 29456

Riverbank Veterinary Clinic (843) 277-2250 2814 Maybank Hwy, Johns Island, SC 29455

Ladson Veterinary Hospital (843) 900-1600 3679 Ladson Rd, Suite 101 Ladson, SC 29456

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


Moncks Corner Foxbank Veterinary Hospital 113 Foxbank Plantation Blvd. Suite A, Moncks Corner, SC 29461 (843) 405-4611 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 1357 Bacons Bridge, Summerville, SC 29485 Westbury Veterinary Clinic (843) 873-2761 1497 W 5th North St, Summerville, SC 29483 Central Veterinary Hospital (843) 851-2112 1215 Central Ave, Summerville, SC 29483 Shambley Equine Clinic (843) 875-5133 122 Kay Ln, Summerville, SC 29483 Knightsville Veterinary Clinic (843) 851-7784 478 W Butternut Rd, Summerville, SC 29483 Nemasket Veterinary Clinic (843) 871-4560 605 Miles Rd, Summerville, SC 29485 Oakbrook Veterinary Clinic (843) 871-2900 1705 Old Trolley Rd, Summerville, SC 29485 Sweetgrass Animal Hospital (843) 225-9663 9730 Dorchester Rd, Suite 101, Summerville, SC 29485 Summerville Pet Clinic (843) 718-8980 1915 Old Trolley Rd Summerville SC 29485 Veterinary Specialty Care (843) 216-7554 319 E. 3rd North Street Summerville, SC 29485

GARDENING:: Bees & Butterflies



Your plant choice could help save bees and butterflies By ANNA VECCHIONE, PH.D.

THE UNITED NATIONS RELEASED an alarming report in 2017, warning everyone that bees, butterflies and other pollinators are going extinct because of human impacts on the environment, including pesticides. Their extinction would take an enormous toll on the food supply around the world. So how do we fight back and help save these creatures before it’s too late? There is something all of us can do – especially as we plan our home gardens. Urban wildflower strips can attract bees, hummingbirds, and different kinds of butterflies, including swallowtails and monarchs. Farmers and citizens, in general, can help pollinator communities by creating wildflower areas with native plants and abstaining from the use of pesticides. In Charleston, several initiatives have been implemented to help pollinators. The Hampton Park staff in Charleston County, who tend a variety of flower beds with native plants, are adamant about not using pesticides. The Johns Island library staff has created a small pollinator and bird haven in the library’s backyard; their flower strip is mainly composed of native plants. Community organizations, such as Butterfly Conservation in Charleston, are creating pollinator feeding stations by connecting individuals who share the same passion for conservation. When advocating and providing for pollinators, it is essential to take the right steps, educate ourselves and follow the advice of scientists that have been conducting research in the field of pollinators for years.

The Power and Dangers of Milkweed One way to attract key pollinators is to create flower strips in which native milkweeds are included. Milkweeds (Asclepias sps.) and close relatives are plants upon which monarch caterpillars feed. One concern with milkweed is that it is toxic to dogs and cats. So be sure to keep your pets away from this part of your garden! Experts also suggest, when preparing beds for the winter, that all milkweed plants should be cut back to reduce the risk of Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE), which is a protozoan parasite that infects butterflies. The cutting removes contaminated shoots and leaves. Also, cutting back milkweed in the winter will stop female monarchs from laying eggs out of season. Female monarchs should retain eggs and stored sperm until spring when native milkweeds begin to sprout new growth. Non-native tropical milkweed is the only milkweed that often continues to grow into late fall and through winter. Native milkweeds are perennial plants, and their foliage is rapidly declining by midNovember.

Mail-Order Butterflies Sometimes citizens order caterpillars or butterflies by mail for educational purposes. They then release these creatures into the environment. Local researchers are very concerned about the rearing, introduction, and release of any butterflies that are not known to be descendants of local populations. Billy McCord, an expert from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, has noted that these practices can introduce unfit genotypes and adults outside of the natural local timing for adult broods, and may introduce parasites and diseases, such as OE. McCord also stated that it is crucial we understand the importance of using native milkweed – and not milkweed from other parts of the world. Let’s do the right thing; let’s educate ourselves and follow the advice of experts for better conservation of Carolina pollinators. Anna Vecchione, Ph.D., does research in immunology, marine biology and zoology. Through the community outreach activities of Sea Life Conservation and Arts, she raises awareness about preserving our natural resources. SPRING 2020 | CAROLINA TAILS


CANINES:: Behavior



It's no coincidence Charleston has won the honor of being named “Dog City USA.” There are miles of beaches and several dog parks where dogs can get together and play. But do you know the rules of engagement? Here’s a “Petiquette” guide provided by our friends at the Charleston County Parks System – to help us all have the best dog park experience possible. As of publication, Charleston County Parks and some area beaches are closed due to the Coronavirus. Hopefully, they will reopen very soon. Photos by JEANNE TAYLOR / JTPETPICS.COM

THE DOG PARK DO LIST: • Leash and unleash your dog in the double-gated entry/exit area. Leashed dogs may experience anxiety, fear or defensive posturing when approached by unleashed dogs. • Monitor your dog for inappropriate behavior. Handle any conflicts with kindness and good manners. • Remember that this is a dog “playground.” Please watch your children closely; dogs and children both frighten and excite easily - and react differently - which can create a dangerous atmosphere. • Be prepared for behavior you may not like that is natural and not necessarily aggressive. Examples include growling, barking, charging, humping, posturing, play biting, curling of lips and wrestling. • Keep your leash in-hand at all times so that you’re prepared to enforce a “time out” and remove your pet from the park if he misbehaves.

THE DOG PARK DON’T LIST: • Don’t take your dog to a dog park if your dog is timid or aggressive. (Keep your dog at home for their safety and enjoyment). • Don’t bring newly adopted dogs to the dog park before you get to know them, their personality and their demeanor toward other dogs and people. • Don’t bring puppies or dogs to the dog park before they have had ALL their vaccinations. • Don’t pick up or carry your dog or child, as this sometimes causes excitement in other dogs who may jump up and nip at them. • Don’t bring your dog’s favorite toy if they don’t like to share.

OFF-LEASH DOG PARKS JAMES ISLAND COUNTY PARK 871 Riverland Drive, James Island (includes large lake for swimming) PALMETTO ISLANDS COUNTY PARK 444 Needlebrush Parkway, Mount Pleasant WANNAMAKER COUNTY PARK 8888 University Boulevard, North Charleston (includes splash play pad and dog washing station)


Content for article provided the Charleston County Parks System.

NO KILL STATE:: Livesaving




No Kill South Carolina aims to eliminate unnecessary euthanasia in our state. A key strategy is encouraging communities across the state to embrace programs that keep animals out of their shelters – with fantastic results! Check out the maps to see the progress we’ve made statewide! What does “No Kill” mean? At No Kill South Carolina, we define “no kill” as saving every healthy and treatable animal – eliminating unnecessary euthanasia for dogs and cats. Pets with no medical or behavioral issues should be saved, as well as those that would have a good quality of life if their issues were addressed. Heartbreakingly, some animals deserve euthanasia in the most humane sense or the word: those unhealthy and untreatable animals are either suffering from severe injury of illness, or they simply are not safe to put out in society. You might have heard that a no kill shelter is one that euthanizes fewer than 10% of the animals they take in. That definition is fine, but the qualitative approach makes more sense for us. After all, who says 10% of animals that enter a shelter are unhealthy or untreatable? Here in Charleston County, it’s only about 6 or 7%. In some communities it may be higher, in some it may be lower. Many


shelters in South Carolina don’t have the capacity to track that level of detail. Suffice to say that communities saving more than 90% of their sheltered animals are doing a really good job! The Difference Between a No Kill Shelter and a No Kill Community Any shelter can close its doors and stop accepting animals so they aren’t forced to euthanize animals to make room. Many wonderful shelters go that route! But it doesn’t say anything about what’s happening to companion animals in the community at-large. A No Kill Community is one where no healthy or treatable animal is euthanized, anywhere. Charleston County is a No Kill Community. Greenville County is now a No Kill Community. We’re working to make South Carolina a No Kill State. The Lifesaving Equation Eliminating unnecessary euthanasia is only half the lifesaving equation. Quality of life is just as important as life itself. Eliminating euthanasia without changing any other policies could lead to an inhumane hoarding situation, since the number of animals leaving the shelter is lower, but intake is the same as ever. Lifesaving cannot come at the expense of humane care.

HOW YOU CAN HELP MAKE A NO KILL COMMUNITY Homeless animals are a community problem that requires a community solution. Keeping animals out of shelters in the first place is the best way to prevent euthanasia in your community. You can help! • Volunteer as a foster parent. • Provide support to pet owners in need in your community. • Spay and neuter your pet. • Keep your pet safe at home with a microchip and tag. • Help spay and neuter community cats in your neighborhood. • Found an animal? Try to locate its owner first before calling animal control. • Invest in training for your puppy. Naughty behaviors aren’t so cute in adult dogs. • If you need to rehome your pet, use or to find a new owner yourself

Abigail Appleton is the No Kill South Carolina Director. The program is an initiative of Charleston Animal Society and is made possible thanks to investment from the Petco Foundation.



AS WE APPROACH THE SPRINT TO THE end of the current legislative session, which started in January 2019 and concludes in June 2020, nearly all animal-related bills have been put on the back burner. This is not new to our South Carolina legislature. Approximately 35 bills have been introduced by members of the SC Senate and House. Two bills have passed into law:


S0281, which penalizes individuals who intentionally misrepresent service animals and S0105, which addresses a variety of issues related to animal cruelty; however, some of the key meaningful provisions of the original bill were removed in order to pass the bulk of the bill. That’s politics, but it is a reality. Charleston Animal Society and other animal organizations, both animal shelters and animal control agencies, strongly support the passage of S1108, introduced by Senator Paul Campbell and its sister bill, H3709, introduced by Representative Chip Huggins. This LIFESAVING bill responds to the disproportionate number

of Pit Bull types of dogs euthanized across South Carolina by incentivizing, not requiring, spay/neuter. Pit Bull types of dogs, arguably the most adopted dog in South Carolina, make wonderful additions to the family; however, due to simple supply and demand, they are frequently euthanized due to the overwhelming numbers entering shelters. Why not incentivize spay/neuter of all dogs? Simple: all dogs are not overpopulated. Pit Bull types of dogs are. Here’s a closer look at how Charleston Animal Society supports some of the major animal legislation being proposed:





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

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