CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — When the Charleston Animal Society sent out the press release on Thursday, May 28th, about Caitlyn, the dog who’s muzzle was taped shut, no one knew how big the response would be on social media.
Charleston residents and people from around the world started calling WISH-TV’s sister station WCBD offering to donate money to raise the reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for hurting Caitlyn. WCBD received calls from people in cities like Dallas and Palm Beach, wanting to give money and donate to help Caitlyn.
The story made headlines on websites like CNN’s HLN, The Daily Mail and more.
Caitlyn was trending just a few short hours after her story was shared.
WCBD’s Kelly Bazzle received an email from Mike Foland and Jeff Timmons (member of the popular 90’s boy band, 98 Degrees), the creators of the show “Men of the Strip” as seen on the E! Network. Mike told Kelly that their organization is very supportive of non-profit groups and charities and that animal cruelty is a subject that is very close to their hearts. They told WCBD that they wanted to make a donation to help Caitlyn and animals like Caitlyn. They are very dedicated to helping make sure whoever did this to Caitlyn is convicted and justice is served.
Mike shared the story on their facebook page, Men of the Strip, and said “The Men of the Strip organization Is very supportive of Non-profit groups and charities. One subject that is close to our hearts is animal cruelty. We will be contributing to the reward money offered for information leading to the conviction of who ever did this. Please help find this person, “SHARE” this story on you wall. Thank you WCBD News 2.”
As of right now, Caitlyn is doing much better, she has a long road ahead of her, but she’s making progress. According to the Charleston Animal Society facebook page, Caitlyn is resting, her IV fluids have been removed and she is eating on her own. She still has to get surgery on her lips and tongue but she spent Sunday resting up. On Saturday, Caitlyn received laser therapy on her tongue. Doctors are hoping to get back to good tissue to save her from having to lose too much of her tongue. Dr. Kelli Klein, director of emergency care at Veterinary Specialty Care in Mount Pleasant says Caitlyn was placed in a hyperbaric chamber to give her more oxygen, to help her wounds heal faster in the first few days of treatment.
North Charleston Animal Control is investigating the case and looking for whoever is responsible. Charleston Animal Society is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible, and Friday the Humane Society of the United States added another $5,000, making the total reward, $6,000. If convicted of ill treatment of an animal, the guilty could face up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
On Saturday morning, Kay Hyman with the Charleston Animal Society posted a painting of Caitlyn as her profile picture on Facebook. She urged followers to make the painting their profile picture as well. The painting was done by Janet O’Neil. Kay called her an illustrator, designer, artist and animal advocate. O’Neil says she uses her artwork to bring awareness to animals in distress and to help people in grief over loss of loved ones. Janet posted the image on twitter with the hashtag #hopeforcaitlyn and #tobysfund. It is a beautiful representation of Caitlyn and is now going viral as well.
Once again, social media is doing great things to help someone in need, in this case, Caitlyn, a helpless 15-month-old chocolate staffie mix who is now in the loving care of the Charleston Animal Society. Please continue to share this story and let’s hope that the person who did this, is turned in or found.
If you would like to donate to help Caitlyn and animals like Caitlyn, please visit www.charlestonanimalsociety.org/Toby’s-Fund.