Real Estate Goes to the Dogs

Real Estate


When a local charitable organization receives an unsolicited $9,000 donation from a local company, it’s a big deal.

That big deal happened Aug. 18 when Chip Collins, owner and broker-in-charge of Collins Group Realty, presented the check to Lovable Paws Rescue in Hardeeville, a 501(c)(3) status organization since 2015.

This was the dramatic result of a charitable initiative by the real estate company called “200th Home Sale for Charity.” The public was invited to submit their nominations earlier this year for the most deserving charity, and 3,065 local residents did so for 106 different organizations.

“I’m stunned and very much appreciative of it because the community has been wonderful,” said Steve Allen, director of the all-volunteer rescue team. “They are behind us.”

The concept was conceived late last year, and the Collins group went public to tie-in its expected 200th closing milestone in 2020 with a charitable vote-in campaign. It reached its home closing goal just 10 days before the check presentation.

“We’re just so proud of the entire team to further a cause that is meaningful,” Collins said. “It’s a moment of celebration for the whole company.”

“Thank you all in the community and supporters,” said Allen, who has been a volunteer since 2005. “This will help with a number of dogs with medical cases, heartworm treatment, with food, with maintaining the building, with keeping everybody happy and keeping those adoptions coming in.”

On the day of the celebration, Lovable Paws had 32 puppies and about 15 adult dogs under their love and care. Unlike other animal shelters in the Lowcountry, it never closed during the pandemic.

“This year is a game-changer,” Allen said.

In past years, the dog rescue team handled about 300 to 500 dogs annually.

“We’re probably going to double our services from last year,” Allen said.

In addition to providing temporary or long-term comprehensive care and safety to lost and at-risk companion animals on-site, it also offers free home assistance for dogs with medical needs, vaccines, spading and neutering.

Collins described the genesis of his company’s effort: “This gave us an achievable goal that we felt we could hit, and it gave us a new dimension of giving back…we have food drives, we have toy drives. We all individually donate and give our time and talent to other organizations. We’ve always been about giving back to the community because the community is what supports us.”

Each of the nominated charitable organizations were entered into a lottery to receive a $1,000 prize. The Children’s Relief Fund emerged as the winner. The two other finalists who joined Lovable Paws as the top vote-getters in the promotion were MHA Island House and Pledge the Pink.