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      Local woman helps those who save animals

      By Victoria Hansenvhansen@abcnews4.com

      MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WICV) -- Animal rescues rescue pets. But who rescues rescues when they need rescuing? No, it isn't a tongue twister or a line from Dr. Seuss. It's what Cristi Gunselman wondered, after she lost a beloved pet.

      "She was the most lovable, independent, smart, yet stubborn dog I had ever known," Cristi said about her hefty, gold retriever named Sunny.

      Sunny was nearly nine-years-old when suddenly, she could no longer use one of her front legs. Cristi and her husband rushed her to their vet.

      "They confirmed our worst fear. She had a malignant tumor."

      It was t-cell lymphoma. Amputating wasn't the answer. So Sunny underwent chemotherapy.

      "It was a struggle in the beginning, but Sunny quickly learned to get around on her three functioning legs," Cristi said. "We bought her a wagon to take her for long walks around the neighborhood."

      Sadly, Sunny only lived another year.

      "When she passed away in 2011, I wanted to do something in her honor. This is how Sunny Days came to life," Cristi said.

      That's where rescuing rescues comes in.

      Cristi created a volunteer-based organization to help animal shelters with their needs. They collect food, bowls, leashes, money, anything a place caring for animals could use.

      Every month they adopt a rescue. April is Paws to the Rescue month. But in just a year they've helped several rescues, including Charm City Animal Rescue, Homestretch Hounds, Animal Lovers of Edisto, Palmetto Paws, Caradobie rescue, and Keep of the Wild.

      Right now Sunny Days has eight volunteers and is always looking for more.

      "They are a special group of people that love animals unconditionally," Cristi said about the volunteers.

      The organization relies solely on donations and fundraisers. Several are planned in the coming months. To learn more, just go to their web site www.SunnyDaysRescueRelief.org.

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