JAMES ISLAND -- Holly, the malnourished hound dog that was dropped off at Pet Helpers last week, was riddled with cancer and had to be euthanized Saturday.

The female hound mix was brought to the shelter on Folly Road on Sept. 29. She had been found abandoned near Dill's Bluff and Fort Johnson roads.

"If she had not been found and brought to us, she could have had a horrible death out on her own," said Lauren Lipsey, outreach coordinator for Pet Helpers.

An X-ray and ultrasound Friday revealed spots in the dog's abdomen, Lipsey said.

Surgery was scheduled for Saturday and during the surgery, they found a cancerous tumor had grown in and around the dog's internal organs.

A decision to euthanize Holly was made during the surgery, Lipsey said. "It would have been more painful for her to undergo the cancer treatment."

The dog may well have been abandoned because she was sick, Lipsey said. "There was still evidence that she was neglected for a long period of time. Inability to pay for medical treatments is a common reason people give up their pets."

Lipsey urged pet owners who feel unable to care for a sick animal to call Pet Helpers.

"You should not leave an animal on the side of a road," she said. "We will do everything we can to help the pet stay with the owner. We have a list of vets we work with."

Some veterinarians will accept payment plans, she said.

A story in Thursday's editions of The Post and Courier prompted an outpouring of donations for Holly, Lipsey said.

"We had thousands of dollars in donations for her. It was unbelievable."

For the last few days of her life, Holly was comfortable and happy, Lipsey said. "She was warm and had gained about five pounds. Her little personality was starting to come back."

Folks who donated money for Holly after she died have been contacted and they've all said to use the money for the care of other animals, Lipsey said.

Pet Helpers has Holly's ashes and plans to have a memorial scattering of those ashes at some date in the future, Lipsey said.

"She won't be forgotten."