Georgetown's Animal Sanctuary
SC-CARES: The Animal Sanctuary
I love it when I go places and learn new things. This time, I went to Georgetown’s own animal sanctuary, S.C. Cares and took a tour of the grounds. Skip Yeager and Cindy Hedrick own the facility that houses several of these animals. If their names sound familiar, it should, they also own and operate Sweeties Chocolates on Front Street. Cindy (picture 1) took us around and let everyone meet a few of the animals there at S. C. Cares. We met up with a tour group of people, John, Mary, Oliver, and Thelma (Picture 2), who were there touring as well.
Cindy first introduced us to the tortoises. “One of the differences between a turtle and a tortoise are the feet. The turtle has more of a flipper to accommodate swimming while the tortoise does not,” explained Cindy. I did not know that, however, as you can see from Pictures 1 and 2 these little babies do not have flipper feet. Pictures 3 and 4 show their little hideaway boxes, heater included, as turtles are cold-blooded animals and love warmth.
Unlike Cindy, I could not remember all of their names. She knows each and every name of all the animals and she says they know their names as well. The owl in Picture 5 couldn’t be re-released due to his wing being severely impaired. To keep him safe, he has his own little owl hut.
Pictures 6 and 7 are mother and son goats.
Next, we visited the horses. Motioning toward the two speckled horses in the back (Picture 8), Cindy says, “Contrary to popular belief, mares are in charge of the herd while the males protect it.” The male being Picture 9. He was big and very beautiful.
Barkly, the hound dog, was in a nice sized pen near the horses. We snapped a couple of photos of him too – Pictures 10 and 11. The Carolina Dogs in Picture 12 are next to Barkly. To explain their lineage, Cindy said of the Carolina Dogs, “They are cousins to the Australian Dingoes.”
Pictures 13-15 are of various wolves and mixed breeds. They are truly beautiful canines.
Picture 16 shows my favorite, the llama. “He’s a spitter,” Cindy warned. “He likes new people so he might not spit on you, but he sure will shoot me since he knows me.” I’m guessing he spits at her affectionately.
A woman who owned the llama kept him as a dog “He’s a crazy llama,” Cindy added. “Sometimes they get angry and try to kick their way out and break free. They’ve been known to even kill people when they get like that.”
Pictures 16-19 are the pigs. “The big white male pig is blind so he always stays close to his house.”
Picture 20 is of the bovine who thinks he’s a dog since that is how he was raised.
Pictures 21-23 are of some of the rooster and hens on the place. Simon the rooster is quite a character. He thought we were going to bother his hens Mary and Mary Belle. He took off running after us. I tried to catch that on video and suffice to say, he was quicker than I was. Simon did let John pet him though (Picture 24).
Picture 25 is of one of the few deer on the property.
Picture 26 is of the bird hut that houses several birds, which I took several photos of, along with different animals that do not do well outside. Pictures 26-39 show those animals.
Snuggles is Picture 27, she’s perched on Mary’s arm – true to her name, she loves to snuggle and is an attention hound.
Pictures 28-31 are the guinea pigs and ferrets.
Picture 32 is of Albert. He did not like us by his cage at all. He got a little sassy with me when I tried to take his pictures as you can see from the blurriness. Picture 33 is of another bird who looks like Albert.
Pictures 34-35 are the reptiles. “Wait a minute,” I said to Cindy. “Snakes eat live food. You’re not feeding them the guinea pigs are you?”
Laughing Cindy explained, “No, no, we do not feed anyone here live food. We order everything pre-killed and sent to us. We keep things in the freezer until we need to use them for feeding, including food for the snake.”
Another of my favorite moments, Picture 36 shows Garfield the cat with Snuggles the bird. We should all follow by example of these two adorable critters.
Picture 37 is the Sugar Babies that like to hide.
Pictures 38-39 are a couple of the larger birds in the bird hut – don’t try to touch them, they do not like to be handled.
As we finished the tour, I noticed a little tiki area for relaxing with the animals and nature (picture 40). Picture 41 shows the pet cemetery where many of the animals have passed and entered the big animal kingdom in the sky.
I talked with Cindy for a few minutes before leaving and asked her where she received her animals. “Do you go and pick them up?”
“No, we’re not able to pick anyone up so we ask the people to bring them to us. We are an animal rescue sanctuary. Right now though, we just do not have any more room, so sadly, we’ve had to turn away quite a few animals.”
As I wrote notes I asked, “How do you get the money to feed them?”
“We accept donations of money and food. If anyone gives us money, we always keep accurate documentation of it,” Cindy assured. “We can show who sent what, how much they sent, and exactly where it went to. Skip and I do not keep any of the money for ourselves. We use it on food and electricity for like the Bird Hut, to keep it going and the animals inside warm and fed.”
“What about employees?”
“Fortunately, we have a few volunteers who donate their time and we will accept anyone who would like to do that; even if it’s just a couple of hours a week, we really need all the help we can get.”
I truly enjoyed this little tour and if you get the chance, I would highly recommend it. Because they are small they still need a lot of help to keep it going, I’d like to see more Georgetonians taking care of this place. I’m proud to say that Georgetown has their own little animal world and would like to see it grow and prosper.
If you’re interested in donating food or dollars, there are several ways to do this and it’s all simple to do.
1. The obvious, drop off dollars or food at 236 Abbeville Dr., Georgetown, SC 29440 (It would be best to call first and find out what kind of food they need 843-546-7893)
2. If you’re local, that address is in Plantersville – turn left at the blinking light and go about 3 miles. After passing a series of green signs on the right, look for the road, Abbeville, also on the right.
3. They accept Pay Pal, mailed in donations, and in person.
4. Again, if you’re local, you can always drop off food or dollars at Sweetie’s Chocolates.
5. All contact information may be found by visiting http://www.sc-cares.org.
p.s. Also, I’ve included a few short videos under the tab “Meet Georgetown” to show these beautiful fur babies in action.