SC Coastal Animal Rescue and Educational Sanctuary is a no-kill, no-breed sanctuary for unwanted, abused, and neglected exotic animals. Located in Georgetown, SC, SC-CARES operates a wildlife rehabilitation center, develops educational outreach programs and provides a compassionate environment where animals are treated with love and respect, receive proper care and given a good quality of life.


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Return of Missing Tortoise Leads to New Discovery
May 15, 2009
ABC News 4 Video

Georgetown, SC - A Georgetown tortoise makes a safe return home after mysteriously disappearing two months ago, but that's only half the story.

It's a sixty pound African tortoise. Victoria is the name and this is home, The South Carolina Coastal Animal Rescue and Education Sanctuary in Georgetown. But, during a tour in mid-February, Cindy Hedrick discovered Victoria was gone.

"I was more concerned than anything if they didn't know how to take care of her, it could kill her," said Cindy Hedrick, co-owner of SC CARES.

Hedrick believes someone grabbed the tortoise in the middle of night. They searched for weeks, putting up flyers, hoping for a safe return. Last Friday, Cindy pulled in the driveway and noticed her husband Skip standing in the yard with a look of disbelief.

"He couldn't get his breath he said stop the car and get out, and then he pointed in the yard and there she was," said Hedrick.

Victoria home safe and sound, but here is the twist, Cindy picked up on some promiscuous behavior from the tortoise, and it turns out Victoria is no lady at all.

"She's is a he," said Hedrick.

That discovery led to a name change. The theory surrounding Victoria's or Vic's mysterious disappearance is a female tortoise can go for as much as 2500 dollars to someone looking to breed them.

"Now we know that she is a male, that maybe why they brought her back," said Hedrick.

Hedrick says figuring out the sex of a tortoise is not easy, the reproductive organs are internal so peeking under the shell wont do much good. Boy or Girl, Hedrick just happy to have Vic back.

Bulletins and Upcoming Events

Tuesday, December 31, 2019 • Time:
SC-CARES has been helping animals for over 13 years here in SC and for many years before moving to SC. It was an accumulation of circumstances, a perfect storm, that is forcing us to close. Considering Skips serious health issues (multiple myeloma cancer), our physical and emotional stress, fluctuating financial and vet support, we couldnt see a light at the end of this tunnel. We did not see a way for the sanctuary to continue in the event one or both of us encountered a crisis. We decide for the animals sake we needed to get ahead of things, before their lives are impacted from any sort of crisis situation. Recycle