Other dog-friendly cities
? Austin, Texas (national winner)
? Eureka Springs, Ark.
? Gettysburg, Pa.
Charleston is lately the alpha dog of national accolades, but now even its pooches are getting into the act.
Fido and Fifi are living in the best city in the Southeast in 2014 - no hang dogs here. Dog Fancy magazine is barking about what a great town this is for man's best friend, and it's one of the most widely read magazines on the subject.
Readers nominate towns, and the publication's editors choose the winners based on the cities' dog-friendly businesses, events like Yappy Hour and Pups, Yups and Food Trucks, rescue programs and, of course, places to walk your pups like those great romps on the beach (even if they are somewhat restricted during the summer.)
The Charleston Animal Society nominated Charleston, and CEO Joe Elmore said the city's pack mentality when it comes to adoptions nudged it to the top.
"The ultimate measure of how a community cares for animals is if that community is a no-kill community, and as the first one in the Southeast, we really impressed them," said Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore. "We're really proud. Our adoption rates are double what the state average is."
Whitney Law, manager at Dolittle's pet store in Mount Pleasant, said she's not surprised by the city's win.
"When I was little, you never saw people taking their dogs to restaurants or anything. Since I first moved here about four years ago, it's really blossomed," said Law, who owns a chihuahua and two Lab mixes. "The adoption rate has gone way up. I still know a few people that do breeders, but it's really refreshing to know that the word gets out about rescues."
She said the number of county parks with included dog parks and beaches with dog-friendly hours are an asset to the city, as is the walkable downtown.
Mount Pleasant resident and dog owner Tracy Ali recently moved to the area, but she said she's already impressed by the dog friendliness she has found.
"Everywhere I go, I see dogs," she said. "Where we live, we have a path where a lot of people walk dogs, and I see a lot of restaurants and places where you can bring dogs."