October 5, 2015
Good Samaritan’s who answered the cry for help at a flooded South Carolina animal shelter were rewarded with their cars being towed by a nearby business owner.
The call went out October 3 from the Dorchester SPCA (d.b.a. Frances R. Willis SPCA) in Summerville asking for volunteers to foster dogs who were standing in kennels flooded by Hurricane Joaquin. Potential foster parents quickly made their way to the shelter to rescue one of the 75 dogs available.
Due to the flood waters, many of these Good Samaritans parked their vehicles at a nearby Shell station on Highway 78. When returning to their vehicles with dogs (and cats) in hand, these people who risked their lives discovered their cars had been towed by the station owner.
It’s alleged the Shell station owner knew people were going to the SPCA to rescue the dogs. The cost to a rescuer to reclaim a vehicle was $250 or more. Many consider this price gouging during an emergency. The Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone whose cars were towed to get in touch. An October 5 Facebook post stated
“As of this time, we have not received any phone calls from anyone that had their cars towed while trying to assist the SPCA with evacuating animals. Please call the DCSO non-emergency number 843-873-5111 or 843-832-0350.”
Victims of the towing may also contact Detective Alan Smith at 843-832-0300 to arrange a meeting. Shell executive officers were contacted by animal advocates on Monday. Although this station is privately owner, Shell stated they would follow up on the situation and speak to the owner. Contact information for Shell can be found by clicking here.
Dorchester SPCA posted a note of thanks on their Facebook wall October 3 saying
“I would like to a moment to reflect on today and the overwhelming out pour of support that YOU, the caring loving citizens of Dorchester County, provided us today! When we made the decision to ask for help this morning I could never imagine YOU would answer our call like you did!! THANK YOU to each of you that fostered one of the 75 dogs.”
All dogs that could be placed in foster are now in comfortable homes. Remaining dogs were transferred to Pet Mahal. The cats at Dorchester SPCA have been moved to another part of the facility away from the flooded areas. At this time cleaning supplies are needed and donations to help restore the shelter can be made on the Frances R. Willis SPCA website.