PETSInc Casino Night offers a taste of Vegas to benefit pets

Allen Wallace photos.

Not many nights of gambling end with everyone going home a winner, but it happened Friday in Columbia.

The inaugural PETSInc Casino Night brought more than 100 people to the Hilton Garden Inn on Columbiana Drive, where a ballroom turned into a little slice of Las Vegas for the evening.

Guests enjoyed food and drink and danced to ABBAs songs, but the main entertainment was at the gambling tables. Gambling experts and novices alike, guided by friendly dealers, pushed in their chips in craps, blackjack and roulette, but with only chips on the line, as all actual money spent went to support PETSInc.

Founded in 1991, PETSInc is a nonprofit animal rescue and shelter devoted to helping unwanted or found animals through addressing their physical and emotional needs and facilitating successful adoptions.

With help from donors and sponsors, PETSInc has recently added the Marty and Valerie Byrd Fort Critical Care Unit to the on-site animal clinic at the organization’s home on Orchard Dr. in West Columbia.

Renovations at the facility’s adoption center and pet rehabilitation building are nearly complete, and the rehab building will soon be named in memory of longtime supporter Carol Heitlinger.

PETSInc is currently working to raise money to expand the low-cost clinic’s services with alternative veterinary treatments such as hydrotherapy and acupuncture.

“We cannot express our gratitude to the community for the support that they have shown us over the years, especially this year as we have expanded our clinic service to better serve the state,” said PETSInc CEO Reid Barrett.

The PETSInc Neuter Scooter Vet Clinic is open to all, offering a wide variety of services at low cost. Hours and a full list of services are available at

The next opportunity to support the organization’s mission is during Midlands Gives on Tuesday, May 7. Details are available at

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Columbia, Richland County