Community Support at Dorchester Paws

We are evolving our organization to better serve the community and the pets that reside in Dorchester County. The mission of Community Support Services is to keep animals from entering the shelter system by providing resources to the community, increasing return to home rates, increasing communication within the community and ultimately reducing the number of animals entering the shelter. 

The change in pet population over the last two years has significantly changed the animal welfare world; there are not enough homes for the amount of animals in shelters. So supporting the pet owners who can keep their pet is the more realistic alternative.

Nail Trims

On Sunday’s you can get your animal’s (Cat and Dogs) nail trims at our clinic. There is a $20 fee per pet. Please know this is a donation back to our shelter. Please also note that all animals will be muzzled for the safety of our staff.

To book an appointment, click here.

Need Help with Your Pet?

The best option for your pet is to stay in its home with you! But, if there is something that you need help with to keep your pet, that is where we can try to help! Launching the new Community Support Services department in 2023 will help families like yours. 

Need help with spay/neuter for your pets?

Need help containing your dog?

Need help with behavior issues with your pet? 

Email us with your needs at

Low Cost Veterinary Care

Dorchester Paws does not have a public clinic. We recommend looking up veterinary clinics in your area, below are some that are in the Summerville Area:

Summerville Pet Clinic

LowCountry Pet Wellness 

LowCountry Pet Vaccine Clinic

Charleston Animal Society

Emergency Vet Care


Charleston Veterinary Referral Center 

Urgent Care

PawMed-West Ashley

FlowerTown Animal Hospital

Need to Rehome Your Pet? 

Times are tough right now, we get it! Rehoming a pet can be very stressful for all parties and we are here to help the best that we can. Surrendering to the shelter should be the very last option- if there is something keeping you and your pet from staying together we want to help! Sometimes it is the only option to rehome or surrender, we understand that- so to best help you and your pet please fill out the application below so we can get as much information as possible. Once the application is submitted and documents are emailed, a staff member will review to plan your pets best pathway

If you are able to keep your pet for a little while longer but ultimately cannot keep them, try these rehoming sites: 

Dorchester Paws has stayed at capacity for months, in fact most shelters across the country are at or over capacity. We cannot take same day surrenders because we simply have no kennel space. It is imperative that you reach out to us so we can SCHEDULE your pet.

Dog Rehoming Application:

Cat Rehoming Application: 

Once the application is submitted AND pictures and medical are emailed, a staff member will email you back with the next steps.

Things to keep in mind before submitting your application:

  • No cat or dog does well in the shelter environment- its stressful, adoption rates are slowed resulting in long length of stays. Surrendering should be the absolute last resort
  • Most of our adopters work full time, have kids and other pets. The ideal “no kids, no pets and a  fenced in yard” does not exist anymore! 
  • We truly want to keep your pets in their home- so please let us know if there is anything we can do to help, we may have the resources to help!


If you need help finding pet friendly housing please reach out to us! If you know you are moving into a place that does not allow pets, reach out as soon as you know when you are moving- do not wait until it’s too late! When moving, ask the property manager for the breed restrictions beforehand.

Pet Food Pantry

Dorchester Paws has a donation based pantry for pet food that is open to anyone needing assistance within Dorchester County. Our supporters donate dog and cat food throughout the year for members of the public that need some help! 

If you are needing assistance with pet food, fill out the form below and a Community Support staff member will get back to you! Once the form is submitted, you will receive an email with further instructions on when and where to pick up- so keep an eye on your email!

Community Cats/Trap-Neuter-Release

Have some cats hanging around?

Cats are all around in the community and  can actually be beneficial. But, they need to be spayed/neutered! Dorchester Paws is committed to ending unnecessary euthanasia of healthy, feral cats by implementing TNR aka- Trap, Neuter, Release.

TNR clinics are held 1-2 times a month. 

Our TNR clinic dates (no appointment required) will be on September 11th and October 4th

How it works:

  1. TNR clinics are first come first served for the FIRST 25 cats! Check in will be from 8am-8:30am. Please do not block the gate entrance. 
  2. Only 2 cats per person.
  3. They MUST arrive in a trap- if they are not in a trap they will not be accepted.
  4. Cats must be from within Dorchester County.
  5. The fee is $25 per cat- this will include vaccines, ear tip, microchip, spay/neuter

You will pick up the cat you brought in that same day between 3-4:30pm.

Cats need to be released back to their exact location the following day.

We cannot accept personal pets- these resources are utilized for cats that don’t have a home. If you need assistance with your personal pet, please see the Community Support page for more resources 

Traps can be rented from the Pet Support Department here at Dorchester Paws for $15! We are open from 12pm-5pm daily.

Have more questions? Email us at: 


We are here to help! If you have any questions or don’t know what or who to ask, send us an email at