Thursday, June 18, 2009

Humane Society University to Offer College Degrees in Animal Protection Studies

(June 18, 2009) - Further advancing its leadership in human-animal studies, Humane Society University, an affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States, announced today that it has received a license as a higher education degree-granting institution by the District of Columbia Education Licensure Commission. The HSUS is the first animal welfare organization to receive such authority and distinction.

Humane Society University is the first institution in the nation to offer bachelor degree programs in animal studies and the first in the world to offer a bachelor’s degree in animal policy and advocacy. The degrees are designed to educate students to qualify them for employment with one of the more than 17,000 U.S. nonprofit organizations that seek to protect, provide services to or advocate for animals, and to advance scholarship in the field.

Undergraduate degrees and graduate certificates in animal studies, animal policy and advocacy, and humane leadership will begin in fall of 2009. Offering both online coursework and onsite classes at its Washington, D.C. campus, HSU promotes core competencies in a rigorous and relevant academic curriculum that encourages critical thinking and examination of practices and assumptions related to animals. HSU recruits leading scholars in the field to its faculty, and seeks to attract students who wish to be on the forefront of creating a more humane society by giving them the tools they need to succeed. 

“Offering Bachelor of Science degrees and graduate certificates makes sense in today’s world of complex human-animal relationships,” says Robert Roop, Ph.D., president of Humane Society University. “The programs are designed for students who seek to advance work on behalf of animals by gaining advanced skills and knowledge. The interdisciplinary curriculum offered by HSU is unmatched by any other licensed scholastic body in the world.”

The faculty consists of experts in the field of human-animal studies, including 26 instructors who will teach courses. Twenty of the faculty members hold doctoral-level degrees in animal behavior, policy, psychology, sociology, literature, veterinary medicine, law and other fields.

General Admission Requirements for the Undergraduate Program:

• Applicants must have completed at least 60 college credits, satisfying all general education requirements prior to admittance to HSU.
• The undergraduate curriculum provides the final two years of undergraduate study, enabling students to earn up to an additional 60 credits through completion of an accelerated 8-week semester of either online, onsite, or hybrid classes.
• Candidates may take individual courses but must complete their degree requirements within 5 years of matriculation, and obtain a minimum of 120 credits in order to graduate.
• Students who have completed bachelor or graduate degrees at other institutions are eligible to enroll in graduate certificate programs in animal studies, animal policy and advocacy, and humane leadership.

About The Humane Society of the United States:

Founded in 1954, The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. 

About Humane Society University:

HSU offers 33 courses which lead to an undergraduate degree or graduate certificate, along with a catalog of 45 additional non-credit opportunities to earn a professional certificate, complete a self-paced course, or attend one of the many onsite workshops in animal care, shelter management, and advocacy throughout the United States. To learn more about these exciting and innovative programs and to complete an application for admissions visit, or e-mail

Media Contact
Rachel Querry, 301-258-8255,

Monday, June 15, 2009

Outer Rings of Hurricane Hugo Makes Landfall in Charleston. 2:44pm EST 9/21/89

LCD Hurricane Preparedness Guide for Pet Owners

Make sure that your pets are current on their vaccinations. Pet friendly shelters require proof of vaccines.

Have a current photograph.

Keep a collar with identification on your pet and have a leash on hand to control your pet.

Have a properly-sized pet carrier for each animal. Pet friendly shelters require them. 
Practice putting it together quickly.

Plan your evacuation strategy and don't forget your pet!

Contact hotels and motels outside your immediate area to check policies on accepting pets. Ask about any restrictions on number, size, and species. Ask if "no pet" policies would be waived in an emergency. 

Make a list of animal-friendly places and keep it handy. 

Call ahead for a reservation as soon as you think you might have to leave your home.

Check with friends, relatives, or others outside your immediate area to see if they would shelter you and your animals or just your animals, if necessary.

Make a list of boarding facilities and veterinary offices that might be able to shelter animals in emergencies; include 24-hour telephone numbers.

Ask your local animal shelter if it provides foster care or shelter for pets in an emergency. This should be your last resort, as shelters have limited resources and are likely to be stretched to their limits during an emergency.

If you are able, leave early. Don't wait for a mandatory evacuation order. An unnecessary trip is far better than waiting too long to leave safely with your pets. If you wait to be evacuated by emergency officials, you may be told to leave your pets behind.

Animals brought to a pet shelter are required to have:

proper identification collar and rabies tagproper identification on all belongings

a carrier or cage

a leash

a muzzle for dog aggressive dogs 

an ample supply of food, water (1 gallon for every 10lbs.) food bowls, any medications 

specific care instructions and news papers or trash bags for clean-up

Bring pets indoors well in advance of a storm - reassure them and remain calm.

Pet shelters will be filled on first come, first served basis. 

Call ahead and determine availability.

A sailboat pushed onshore by Hurricane Hugo - Lockwood Drive, Downtown Charleston

Walk pets on a leash until they become re-oriented to their home - often familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and pets could easily be confused and become lost. 

Also, downed power lines, reptiles brought in with high water and debris can all pose a threat for animals after a disaster.

If pets cannot be found after a disaster, contact the local animal control office to find out where lost animals can be recovered. 

Bring along a picture of your pet if possible. After a disaster animals can become aggressive or defensive - monitor their behavior.


The North Charleston Coliseum will provide shelter only for those people who can not otherwise evacuate with their pets. Entry is limited to one person per pet.

The following hotel chains are pet friendly and there are several just a few hours away from Charleston that would serve as a refuge from the storm.

Best Western: 800-528-1234
Clarion: 800-252-7466
Comfort Inn: 800-228-5150
Days Inn: 800-329-7466
Econo Lodge: 800-553-2666
Holiday Inn: 800-465-4329
Quality Inn: 800-228-5151
Ramada Inn: 800-228-2828
Residence Inn: 800-331-3131

Also check out, a search engine for vacation and short term rentals across the US. You can search specifically for pet friendly homes, townhouses and villas to rent.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cure Those Post Spoleto Blues at My Three Dogs!

Feeling a bit down in the dumps now that all the Spoleto festivities are over? Never fear, there's fun to be had at My Three Dogs this coming Sunday, June 14th from 12-4pm at their 2nd Anniversary Celebration! 

Bring your dog for great food, music, contests, give-a-ways, local rescue groups and professional photography sessions.

1518 Hwy 17 North, Mt Pleasant 843-884-8818 or for more info.

Worthy Creatures Relocates to the Northwest, has HUGE Relocation Sale

The most loved Worthy Creatures store in Mt. Pleasant will be closing and moving to owner Cheri Wildes' home town of Snohomish, WA. The last day of store business will be Sunday, June 14th.

Since the store's lease is ending and Cheri decided not to relocate to Charleston, even on a part time basis, it makes the most sense to move the store home. The decision to relocate the store was a difficult one, and the community will sorely miss the lovely boutique that served so many. But I'm excited for all the opportunities that lay ahead for her in WA and that she plans on keeping her online store open to us lowcountry folk!  

Cheri is also pleased to announce the following “Moving Sale” Specials will be available from June 4th thru 14th:

15% Off Canned, Dry & Freeze Dried Dog & Cat Food

15% Off Select Dog & Cat Treats

30% Off All Varieties of Harrison’s Bird Food

25% Off All Non-Consignment Pet Beds & Mats

20% Off All Ceramic Pet Bowls & Treat Jars

Additional 10% off All Pet Clothing, Carriers, Strollers & Gift Items Already Marked Down

Sale pricing is good while supplies last. All other merchandise will continue to be sold at current pricing.

Stop by to say farewell and take advantage of some great deals!

Worthy Creatures is located in Seaside Farms in Mt. Pleasant.

Join the pawPawty

My name is Dusty.

I'm a six-year-old Shetland Sheepdog and the star of "Dogged Pursuit: My Year of Competing Dusty, the World's Least Likely Agility Dog", coming out this week from Hudson Street Press.  (My human, Robert Rodi, wrote the actual book -- but his name's not in the title, and it's my picture on the cover, so I think I'm the star.)

I thought your people-audience might be interested in the latest Twitter phenomenon: the global "paw pawty."  Once a month, thousands of animal enthusiasts Tweet in the voice of their pets -- cats, dogs, guinea pigs, horses, rabbits and more -- to raise money for worthy animal causes, like shelters and rescue organizations.

The next pawPawty is this weekend -- beginning at 2 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 13, and running for 24 solid hours.  There are interactive games, quizzes -- even music, as the "anipals" have chosen an 80s theme, and many are dressing up their avatars accordingly.  (The event's main organizer is @FrugalDougal, a feisty terrier from the English countryside who keeps a clever blog.)

Best of all, five lucky winners will receive the very first signed and paw-tographed copies of Dogged Pursuit.
If you'd like to learn more, log into Twitter and search for #pawpawty to see what the anipals are doing to get ready for this weekend.


Your friend, 

Friday, June 05, 2009

New Doggy Daycare Opens on James Island

The Wag Factory, located at 832 Folly Road on James Island will have a Grand Opening Celebration this Saturday June 6, 2009 from 11am to 3pm.  There will be food, treats, facility tours, games and free daycare & boarding give-aways.

I'm pretty excited about this new company, not only because it fills a need for those residents on James Island, Downtown and in West Ashley for quality daycare and boarding, but also because owner Ryan Reed is offering quite a few unique services for area dog owners! He has really thought outside of the box to offer an unparalleled level of service Here's a run down of some of the neat things The Wag Factory offers.

#1 EXPERTS The trained staff is knowledgeable in canine first aid, CPR, skin care, nutrition, and animal behavior. You can truly feel you are leaving your dog with complete experts.

#2  FREE PHONE CALL OR EMAIL. No need to call and check in on your dog during their visit, the Wag Factory will do it for you! That’s right, every few days you’ll get a complimentary call or email (your choice) letting you know just how much fun your dog is having. And you can check out your dogs through the Wag Factory Web Cams too!

#3  FREE COFFEE. Because who has the time to drop off their dog AND stop by the coffee shop? Bring in your mug and fill ‘er up! 

#4 FREE WI-FI. You supply the laptop, Wag Factory supplies the internet

#5 FREE GOING HOME BATH. Most places charge but not at the Wag Factory. Nobody likes picking up a stinky dog after getting home from a long vacation or business trip. That’s why the Wag Factory makes sure if you’ve been gone for more than 5 days, your “best friend” is clean and odor free. 

So this Saturday go on by and check out this state-of-the-art facility and register to win your dog a "staycation" at the Wag Factory!

For more information, please visit the Wag Factory online at 

Also, please feel free to contact owner Ryan Reed directly at 843-743-3366 or 

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Model Contest 2009 - Lucy is our Winner!

This year's Pet Fest and LCD Model Contest was such an amazing success. More than 3,000 people (and their dogs) had a fantastic time enjoying dock dogs, canine good citizen tests, rescue and vendor tents, Frisbee demonstrations and FOOD! 

LCD was a marquee participant at the event for the 4th straight year, hosting our annual ( and insanely popular) model contest. We've had a great turn out in 06, 07 and in 08 but 2009 was by far the fiercest competition we've seen. 600 dogs posed for our cameras, vying for the prize of top dog. In the past we've had a purebred a Vizsla, a rescued Border Collie and a show Papillion win the title, but this year it was Lucy, a mixed breed of unknown heritage, who won our hearts with her unusual good looks.

Adopted from the Charleston Animal Society (formerly the JASPCA), Lucy had a rough start. She had everything from mange to kennel cough and almost didn't make it. But her sweet spirit carried her through the difficulties and she is now living a happy and healthy life with her owner, Jennifer Montini.

I wish I could have fit more of her photos in the June/July issue. It's not quite a good as seeing her in print, but I wanted to share them with you here on the dog blog.  Enjoy looking at this sweet, scruffy and adorable dog having a ball out at the (always dog friendly) Magnolia Plantation.

All photos are copyright Lowcountry Focus Photography and can not be reproduced or re-posted online without consent of the photographer and LCD.

Local photojournalist Paul Zoeller did such an excellent job on the Veterinary ER article in this issue of LCD. If you haven't read the article yet, do so HERE. We had a difficult time choosing photographs to include with Paul's story. Here's a few more that we thought were fantastic, but just couldn't fit in. 

Thanks again to Paul and the staff of the North Charleston Emergency Veterinary Clinic

All photos copyright Paul Zoeller. Photos can not be reproduced without consent of LCD and the photographer.

Stella, a Labrador mix, has her tail shaved before getting stitches after getting the tip caught in a recliner.

Rachael Baczewski, on left, vet technician, and Annie Hall, student observer, fit a collar on Stella, a lab mix.

Vet technician Felicia King inserts an IV into the leg of  Holly Bell, a 15-year old Dachshund. Holly Bell was hit by a car.

Dr. Jeremy Libby examines the foot of Pinky, a Chihuahua, after he was brought in with a painful swollen paw.

The staff work tirelessly through the night.

Vet Technician Catherine Goode runs a scanner over a stray cat looking for a pet locator in hopes of finding its owners.

Vet Technician Catherine Goode checks on a patient.

Bailee, a Bichon Frise, is walked around with the aid of an extra leash as he recovers from back surgery.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Native Dog - A Continuation of the Carolina Dog Article in the June/July Issue

I'm so glad that LCD had the opportunity to interview the discoverer of the Carolina Dog, Dr. I Lehr Brisbin, after his lecture to the Charleston Audubon Society.  If you haven't read the article yet, you can read it online HERE

We'd last spoke with the Dr. about these native dogs back in 2005 and the dogs have come a long way in "dog world" since then.  Kennel clubs are taking note of this incredible dog, but with that attention has come controversy. Some lovers of the breed call for a complete immersion into mainstream dog fancy. This means registration with the AKC and the ability to show the dogs in an AKC registered show. But with registration comes the inability to breed captured wild dogs and according to Dr. Brisbin, the characteristics that make the Carolina Dog a Carolina Dog might be domesticated out of the dog

Top to bottom: Trink, Lady Jane & Hunter ( who we incorrectly named Tucker in the print edition) are all three full blood Carolina Dogs. Photos by Juanita Oser.

I'm curious to hear what LCD readers think about this breed and it's future. Do you feel that Brisbin, who currently owns the studbook, should continue to keep the line open? Should he continue to breed his dogs with captured wild dogs in order to keep certain characteristics strong ( snout pit digging, regurgitation, along with physical characteristics, etc.) or should he register the dogs and give them credibility with the AKC?  Let us know by leaving comments here on the blog.

Also interesting to hear about hybridization in our interview with Dr. Brisbin. As people encroach on the Carolina Dog territory it makes sense that the wild dogs would start breeding with our already domesticated dogs. I'm sure the local shelters are filled with Carolina Dog "hybrids." Take a look at local photographer Robbie Silver's dog, Gingy. Robbie (and Robbie's vet) believes Gingy is a Carolina Dog hybrid.

And last but not least, what should you do if you think you have a Carolina Dog, but you aren't sure? The Carolina Dog Association has some questions for you.

1. Is the dog's origin documented as being within the southeastern US , east of the Mississippi River and South of the Ohio and James Rivers?
2. Is the dog documented as having come from an isolated or rural area with few human inhabitants?
3. Does the dog fit the general description as set forth by the American Rare Breed Assoc. standard for the breed?
4. Does the dog exhibit primitive behavior traits, including, but not limited to: pack hierarchy with other dogs, strong prey drive, snout pit digging from Sept. to Feb., regurgitation for pups, communal pup rearing, digging of nesting dens, feces covering etc. At least one of these traits should be present.

If you answered YES to these questions, email photos and description of the dog to the Carolina Dog Association President Jane Gunnell at, or mail to Jane Gunnell, 262 Eastgate Drive, #342, Aiken, SC 29803. You can also speak with local Carolina Dog enthusiast Charles Ginetto at