Abandoned dog gets 2nd chance

Holly, a female hound mix, was gaunt and malnourished when she was rescued by a good Samaritan on Wednesday and dropped off at Pet Helpers on Folly Road.

An abandoned dog that was dropped off at a James Island animal shelter Wednesday is so malnourished that her bones protrude through her skin, a shelter employee said.

A woman dropped off the dog about 1 p.m., said Lauren Lipsey, outreach coordinator at Pet Helpers on Folly Road. The dog, a female hound mix, was found near the intersection of Camp and Dills Bluff roads.

The dog appears to have been without food or care for many weeks, and she had obviously been outside in the rain for the past several days, Lipsey said.

Pet Helpers' staff named the dog Holly in honor of the good Samaritan who rescued her, Lipsey said. The woman also left a donation to help Pet Helpers care for the animal.

Holly is thought to be about 5 to 8 years old, but the bad condition of her teeth makes it difficult to assess her age, Lipsey said.

The dog's hips, shoulders, and ribs protrude through her skin. She has bed sores on her hips and other joints. Her nails have grown so long that they cross, and her nail beds are irritated and inflamed as a result.

Lipsey said Holly has obviously had several litters of puppies and may have been used to breed hunting dogs. "She could have been abandoned because she was no longer useful," Lipsey said.

Holly was put on a liquid diet at first but already has been moved to a wet dog food, Lipsey said. "She is eating well. She can't stop eating," Lipsey said. Holly was resting on a soft dog bed, bundled with heating pads and blankets. She will be placed in a foster care situation until she is healthy enough for adoption.

Pet Helpers would appreciate donations to offset the costs of care that will accrue in the effort to bring Holly to good health, Lipsey said.

Anyone with information related to this case of animal neglect is urged to call Kristin Kifer, operations manager at Pet Helpers, at 795-1110.

Pet Helpers is a private, non-profit adoption center that serves communities across the Lowcountry. Its mission is to end the euthanasia of all adoptable cats and dogs by keeping all animals until adopted; providing low cost spay/neuter surgeries; offering humane education programs; pursuing animal cruelty prosecution; and initiating animal welfare legislation.

Reach David W. MacDougall at 937-5655.