Out of a tragedy comes the kind of good deed that leads people – and puppies – to smile and maybe wag their tails.
The Joye Law Firm, a North Charleston-based personal injury law practice, recently donated $100,000 to the Charleston Animal Society to honor a client who died and the animals he loved. The gift is revitalizing the pet shelter’s play yard where the client’s dogs once frolicked after their owner tragically passed away.
Thanks to the firm’s gift, the play area is now called the “Gina and Luca Play Yard, in Memory of Johnny Scott.”
Scott, a Charleston resident whose broad smile warmed his customers at Coliseum Liquors near Tanger Outlet, died in September 2021 from injuries sustained in a car collision. Even as he was fighting for his life in a local hospital, his main concern was making sure his two Cane Corsos got loving care.
Joye Law Firm attorney Jeff Gerardi handled Scott’s case.
“For Johnny, like for many of us, his dogs were more than pets. They were family,” Gerardi said. “This contribution will go to help other families and pets during difficult times, which we feel is an appropriate way to honor Johnny’s memory of him and help preserve his legacy of him.”
When Scott died last year, the animal organization took on Gina and Luca. They ensured both found good, loving homes. And recently, Gina returned to Charleston and visited the shelter to play.
“She was greeted like a celebrity and tons of Charleston Animal Society team members came out to greet her,” one observer said. Sadly, Luca passed away recently from cancer.
Praise for the Charleston Animal Society
“The Animal Society did so much good during such a bad situation,” said attorney Ken Harrell, managing partner of the Joye Law Firm. “The people of Charleston are extremely lucky to have a world-class animal rescue organization right here in our backyard.
“Our firm has been a proud supporter of theirs for the past 15 years, but getting a firsthand view of how they went above and beyond under these tragic circumstances gave us pause. We knew we needed to recognize the good they did for our client and his dogs from him, as well as for the thousands of others in our community during their time of great need.
The firm’s $100,000 donation is from its portion of a confidential settlement made in a personal injury case brought by Scott’s estate. His family from him received its full share of the settlement.
Firm’s generosity makes big impact
The Charleston Animal Society says it’s still wowed by the generosity of the Joye Law Firm’s gift to help animals get a different kind of joy at the play area.
“It never ceases to amaze me how much light and love can come out of such a dark and sad situation,” said Kay Hyman, director of the organization’s community engagement program. “Johnny loved his dogs and only wanted to know that they would be cared for before he died.
“His dedication to his dog family and the honest representation of his wishes by Jeff Gerardi and Joye law firm will leave a legacy of hope for animals for years to come.”
President and CEO Joe Elmore concurred.
“We see so much pain and suffering in animals, most often, caused by people,” he said. “However, we also see more folks, such as our friends at Joye Law Firm, step up each and every day to help us ease the pain and suffering.
“Without compassionate people, the plight of animals would be a dark, dark place. Joye Law Firm is a light for animals.”
About Joye Law Firm
Joye Law Firm has been providing legal services to the people of South Carolina for more than 50 years. Founded in 1968, the law firm has offices in North Charleston, Columbia, Clinton, Myrtle Beach and Summerville.
As part of the firm’s commitment to community service, Joye Law Firm established Joye in the Community—a year‐round program that encompasses the education scholarships and other community activities that the firm supports. The initiative is designed to enrich the lives of everyone involved and raise awareness about the needs of those in the communities we serve.