The van pulled out at daybreak Friday, drove onto Edisto Island and drove away with 53 dogs and 12 cats. They'll be returned tonight— spayed and neutered, nails clipped, checked over by veterinarian, complete with doggie bags including collars and leashes.

The Charleston Animal Society, helped by a grant from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, held a twin-surgery ward, four-veterinarian mass clinic, performing $4,000 worth of medical care with staff time thrown in free.

It all started when an emaciated dog that had been struck by a car limped up on the steps of an island church.

Read more in Saturday's editions of The Post and Courier.