73,000 food and supplies being given out to Dorchester County Residents


Taking Place January 21 from 10 AM – 2 PM, the Community Event will Provide Free Pet Food, Supplies, On-Site Veterinary Care and More


When faced with difficult moments, many people must make the incredibly tough decision to re-home or surrender their pets, despite their pets bringing them love, happiness, and companionship. With owner surrender rates continuing to rise, and stray animal intakes reaching double digits daily, many animal shelters are at capacity.

To help address this issue, Dorchester Paws will host a Community Pet Day, providing valuable resources to help pets remain in their homes. At the event, Dorchester Paws will distribute over 73,000 lbs. of pet supplies and food to families in need. In addition to the food and pet supplies, there will be onsite veterinary care and access to a resource village that will help families navigate their future needs.

“The role of animal shelter facilities is changing, and Dorchester Paws is striving to serve not only the animals, but the people that care for these pets as well,” says Burt Connelly, Dorchester Paws Executive Director. “At this time, we do not have the facility to provide the public-facing resources that we wish; however, last year’s numbers suggest we need to think bigger so we can continue to do right by our community. This event will serve as a resource navigator for so many community members. These intervention efforts will help pet owners talk through their barriers before they get to the point where surrendering is their only option.”

This is all tied back to the shelter’s new Pet Support Program, which keeps pets out of the shelter and in homes. After seeing an increase in owner surrenders, and general animal admissions, Dorchester Paws created a Self Supported Rehoming program and expanded their pet supply pantry. Through retention and rehoming support, pets can stay in the home, return to home, or find new placement without ever entering the shelter.

“We are proud of our mission’s role and are humbled that Tito’s Handmade Vodka joined forces with us to champion responsible pet ownership, end unnecessary euthanasia, and keep more pets with their families in 2023,” says Connelly. “Tito’s Handmade Vodka is making sure more lives are saved and supported. We are looking forward to learning more about what our community needs from their local animal shelter, and this event will give us the insight to serve them better throughout 2023.”

All residents must pre-register and be approved to attend.


Event Details

Community Pet Day

January 21, 2023
10 AM – 2 PM

175 McQueen Blvd, Summerville SC 29483

Dorchester County Residents ONLY

(rain or shine)

Veterinarians will be on-site administering the following for pets:

  • Basic Vet Health Exam
  • Rabies Vaccines
  • Microchips
  • DHPP for Dogs (Canine Distemper, Adenovirus CAV-1 and CAV-2, Parvovirus, & Parainfluenza)
  • FVRCP for Cats (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, & Panleukopenia)

Next steps for the public:

“This event would not be made possible without the additional community members stepping up and coming to our community’s rescue,” says Connelly. “The outpouring of support that these community leaders: Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Crews Subaru, Steinberg Law Firm, Gerber Childrenswear, and Charleston Radio Group are lending is incredible. Together we are making a difference for the animals and people of Dorchester County.”