Man's emotional story wins $50,000 for Charleston Animal Society

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston Animal Society received $50,000 from the Petco Foundation on Monday after winning a contest as part of Petco's Holiday Wishes campaign.

The Petco Foundation reviewed over 3,400 applications from dog owners all across the country. 52 winners were selected.

Gil Grooms, who lives in Hanahan, was one of the 52 winners.

He shared the story of how he adopted his dog, Chloe, from the Charleston Animal Society.

"She really has made the worst time in my life a little more bearable," Grooms said. "She gives her love freely."

Grooms refers to the worst time in his life starting last December, just three weeks after he adopted Chloe from the Charleston Animal Society.

"I got a knock at my door from the police officer and the coroner that my son had just been killed on the Isle of Palms Connector," Grooms said.

His son, Zach, was killed in a car accident.

For Grooms, the news was the start of a long journey on the road to recovery, but it was not a journey he would have to walk alone.

"Chloe has been by my side every step of the way," Grooms said.

Grooms' story is what brought the Petco Foundation to the Charleston Animal Society.

"Petco Foundation has awarded us a $50,000 gr ant in honor of that story," Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore said.

The Petco Foundation chose this story out of more than 3400 entries.

"This story is just incredibly touching," Petco Foundation Director of Lifesaving Susan Cosby said. "It's tragic, and it's also heartwarming."

Grooms helped write the perfect end to his story on Monday as he gave back to the group of people who helped him more than they could have ever imagined.

"I wanted them to know that the work they do doesn't just affect the animals they place, but it affects the people that adopt them," Grooms said.

The Charleston Animal Society has a chance to win $25,000 more because of Grooms' and Chloe's story.

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