SUMMERVILLE — The return to post-pandemic regular has proven its draw back: a rise in pet surrenders for Dorchester County’s sole animal shelter. 

The place through the pandemic residents have been extra prepared to foster animals as a consequence of working remotely, they’re now surrendering them, Dorchester Paws’ Government Director Maddie Moore mentioned.

Many households are additionally dealing with monetary hardships, and including a pet to the record of issues has made issues sophisticated.  

“It is simply arduous on everybody,” Moore mentioned. “Our animals are sitting on our adoptions ground longer.”

To assist with overload, the shelter has began a program referred to as “Mutts for Miles.” It is an opportunity for native runners to enroll and have one of many shelter’s pets be part of them on considered one of their runs. 

The thought was launched by Lanea Wilson, the rescue and rehabilitation supervisor for Dorchester Paws. 

“We had plenty of assist from the volunteers and the general public,” Wilson mentioned. “I’ve at all times needed to start out this program.” 

It really works this fashion: residents who’re join on-line and specify their operating tempo. That may vary from a gradual stroll to a dash. The reason being in order that volunteers are paired with animals that match their tempo. 

After signing up, volunteers will go to the Sawmill Department Path in Summerville each Wednesday. There, Dorchester Paws workers will carry one of many shelter canines to hitch in on the train. 

The canines which are chosen are those that present essentially the most noticeable indicators of what Wilson refers to as kennel deterioration. These stress indicators can vary from canines barking at kennel doorways when approaching them to leaping off the partitions and licking the doorways. It usually occurs with canines who’ve been on the shelter for too lengthy or are returned after being adopted.

“With out intervention, it’s extremely severe,” Wilson mentioned.

These fascinated with Mutts for Miles or donating can go to the shelter’s web site at They’ll additionally e mail Wilson at for any further questions on Mutts for Miles. 

On the peak of the pandemic, Dorchester Paws was unable to host its typical variety of volunteers for security causes, so there have been fewer alternatives for lots of canines to get walked.

In 2020, Dorchester Paws noticed a rise within the variety of individuals prepared to foster animals. By the tip of 2020 it had 1,700 animals in foster properties.

Moore mentioned one of many good issues in regards to the pandemic slowing has been the return of volunteers. They have been additionally lately gifted a van that the workers and volunteers can use to move pets to rescue areas outdoors of South Carolina.

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Earlier than workers needed to both use their very own automobiles or hire a van for a day from an area dealership to make transports. Final yr, many rescuers have been shut down because of the pandemic. 

In the meantime, the group is having to lift $18,000 by the tip of the month to cowl medical payments whereas additionally saving funds for a brand new shelter.

The workers mentioned they’re longing for the way forward for Dorchester Paws. The shelter is internet hosting its first gala on June 19 on the Dorchester Shrine Membership referred to as Promenade on the Pond. 

They’ve additionally lately began again internet hosting orientations to coach new volunteers. 

Attain Jerrel Floyd at 843-937-5558. Comply with him on Twitter @jfloyd134.


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