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Natural Awakenings Charleston SC

Community Spotlight October 2019

Sep 28, 2019 01:23PM ● By Toni Conover

Southern Tails for Precious Paws: Where Every Paw has a Tale to Tell

By Jen Iamele Savage

 Southern Tails for Precious Paws (STPP) was born from an invitation that founder Lisa Guido received to volunteer at a very rural, under-served, high kill shelter outside of Charleston. Guido describes her experience, “I was in shock at the number of dogs being brought in daily, the overcrowded kennels, the dogs in need of medical treatment and those that were left behind by their families. In an effort to get the adoption exposure that was so desperately needed, which seemed impossible to achieve so far out in the country, I thought to bring them to Charleston. Here, their stories could be told and their chances of finding a forever home were very high! That's when I realized their voice would never be heard while sitting on "death row" without an advocate....hence, Southern Tails for Precious Paws was born....where every paw has a tale to tell.”  Guido explains that her board members all share the same passion; some are nurses such as herself but all have a passion to help save as many dogs as possible in these underserved, poorly funded, and overcrowded shelters.

Southern Tails for Precious Paws helps serve the lowcountry by having adoption events at small dog friendly businesses such as Low Tide Brewing, Munkle Brewing, and Boone Hall Farm Market. They also team up with like-minded community resources such as Pet Wants operated by Jeremy and Erin Johnson,  Pink House Pup’s doggy bandannas whose founder is Colleen White, and photographer and  author Samantha Hill who wrote the children's book series "The Adventures of Brutus and the Red Rooster". Hill also sells delicious, organic doggy treats and donates the proceeds to Southern Tails for Precious Paws. 

STPP is always looking for volunteers at their adoption events to help walk their dogs and to keep the puppy adoption floor clean. Southern Tails Rescue is a non-Profit 501-C 3 that operates solely on the generosity of donations and financial support of the community. They are a foster based rescue which means they do not have a brick and mortar building, therefore they are limited to the number of dogs they can pull by the number of fosters they have. So, increasing their foster support is so crucial to saving lives as well as having the financial means to provide medical care that their fur babies need. 

One of the greatest "Southern Tails" to tell is of Lisa’s beautiful gal named Athena, a gorgeous blue nose Pitbull, who was used as a breeding dog for a known dog fighter in a rural area.  Her belly and legs were covered in scars from forced breeding.  She was found as a stray and taken to the shelter in October, where she sat and waited for anyone to help her but after months of waiting, no one seemed to be coming. She had 2 strikes against her: she was heartworm positive and she was a Pitbull.  Over time she became restless and anxious from the stress of being kept in a cage, from lack of exercise, and from no contact or attention. The vet suggested to euthanize her because of the direction she was heading.  This is when Lisa’s dear foster friend, Stephanie Kannon, also a nurse who has a huge soft spot for the Pitbull breed, asked if she would pull Athena so that she could foster her.  So, they did exactly that.  Getting Athena adjusted  to a normal home life came so easy in Stephanie's home.  But because of the stigma the breed carries, Athena did not get adopted right away.  It was not until April, that another Pitbull lover read Athena's profile and had to meet her.  It was love at first sight. Athena was adopted by an incredible woman named Sinita, who was looking for a companion for her boxer mix.  After a proper introduction, the 2 dogs hit it off and have been inseparable ever since! Sinita and her family are so in love with Athena, they can't imagine their lives without her!

Athena’s tale is inspiring and thanks to Southern Tails for Precious Paws and the help of potential volunteers like our inspired readers, there will be many more tales like Athena’s to come.

            If you would like to find out more about the organization, email Lisa at [email protected]

 Jen Iamele Savage is a teacher, author, and coach.  For more information go to

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