I founded Lowcountry Lab Rescue in 1999 with the mission of re-homing stray and unwanted Labradors in South Carolina.
Since 1999, LLR has rescued several thousand Labradors from being euthanized in shelters. Our mission has been accomplished by the hard work and dedication of volunteers and wonderful foster and adoptive families.
Recent media attention has unfairly focused on one comment made by a frustrated volunteer instead of the 13 years of work LLR has done to promote responsible pet ownership and improve animal welfare in South Carolina. In response to this, we have received several negative letters. But for every negative letter, we have received 10 in support.
LLR rescues dogs like Ozzy all the time. Over 90 percent of our rescue dogs are heartworm positive, and most of them are black males because those are the most unadoptable dogs in shelters.
LLR treats these dogs for heartworms, updates their vaccinations, sterilizes them, and then places these dogs in compassionate foster homes until we can find them permanent homes. LLR covers the cost of treating and transporting these dogs through donations to our organization.
The Post and Courier and Charleston Animal Society have focused on the negative aspects of this situation and missed a valuable opportunity to educate the public.
Euthanasia is a reality. Charleston Animal Society’s website encourages pet owners to “exhaust other options before considering the surrender of your pet.”
The website goes on to say they “cannot guarantee that will be able to re-home your pet.”
If this story was newsworthy, it was only in that it presented a chance to encourage a community conversation about the responsible treatment of pets.
Spaying and neutering our animals is critical — as is providing monthly heartworm protection and regular veterinary care. There is now a waiting list for Ozzy, but what makes him any more special than all the other homeless dogs at CAS?
This story also provided an excellent chance to talk about the pressure we face as volunteer rescuers — intimate and often powerless witnesses to death and loss day after day.
We invite the reporter, Brenda Rindge, to meet our foster families and — most importantly — join us on a trip to one of our state’s shelters. We feel that she has touched a nerve in the community and that The Post and Courier should pursue this valuable discourse.
While I do not condone the email Ms. Fabri sent, there was a great deal of truth in it and I stand behind her as a friend and a volunteer. I understand her frustration that we were not given the chance to help Ozzy before he had entered the shelter system.
LLR is a registered 501c3 in good standing with the state of South Carolina and the IRS. While the annual public charity filing for 2009 was missed, it has since been corrected. Our federal Form 990-N is not due again until May of 2012.
SAN LeBOEUF Executive Director
Lowcountry Lab Rescue Hillcreek Boulevard