Local News

ASCAS updates members at annual board meeting, clinic to open soon


The feel of the room at the annual A Second Chance Animal Shelter’s (ASCAS) membership and board meeting was a bit different than those of the past. After the opening remarks, introductions and prayer, members began business. This year, though, the mood was electrifying and full of hope.

The shelter is a 501(c) 3 non-profit and has been dealing with lack of funds in recent years. In the past year, ASCAS received donations from the following annual events: an arts and crafts fundraising fair, the fall Boo Gala, and a golf tournament, all hosted by the shelter. Direct donations to the rescue were made by Lake Marion Animal Hospital for shelter improvements, as well as private donations for spay and neutering of the animals. Global 2 by 2 made a donation for emergency medical cases, a local 4H Club made two donations, and Santa’s Grotto, hosted by the Kelleher family every Christmas, brought in funds. The City of Manning’s quarterly grant, totaling $4000, was received by the shelter along with any profit from the Second Chance Thrift Store.

However, with all the donations, grants, and profits from the thrift store, the shelter is still falling short of meeting its needs. Last year alone, the shelter needed a new and updated irrigation system for all outdoor pens, as well as rock landscaping around outdoor kennels to improve drainage and safety. This was made possible by a private donation made by Kevin Dawkins Landscaping and Irrigation. The heat and air system in the main kennel needed to be replaced with a price tag of $10,000.

The shelter continues with the tradition of having turkeys donated at Thanksgiving and Christmas as a special treat for the shelter animals. The staff also loves to celebrate those days with the animals. Members of the Manning Lions Club continue to volunteer their time to transport the aluminum can trailer from Davis Station Recycling Center to the Kingstree Recycling Center. The profit from recycling the cans continues to bring the shelter around $200 each month. The mobile pet clinic, Pets, Inc., helped with spay and neuter surgeries, clinic services such as vaccines, heartworm and flea and tick preventative measures, and nail trims. This continues to be a much needed service for the Clarendon community.

On the educational outreach side, the shelter staff has continued speaking engagements with schools and community and civic groups. Scouting projects also still take place. Last year there were two Eagle Scout projects resulting in an agility course and two lean-on expansions on an existing shed. A Girl Scout Silver Award helped with a campaign for donations of food, blankets, and a video on the responsibility for caring for one’s pets.

The biggest news came toward the end of the meeting. The shelter has obtained the building that was formerly Morris Animal Clinic, located at 2093 Alex Harvin Highway in Manning. The building is undergoing a complete renovation with new veterinary equipment being installed. This is an extension of A Second Chance Animal Shelter and will serve the community as a fully functional, affordable veterinary clinic for Clarendon and surrounding areas with one hundred percent of the profit going directly to the shelter.

ASCAS is hopeful that the clinic will open by the end of September 2025 and has three veterinarians set to work two to three days a week in the beginning, with plans for growth and expansion.

The heart of the annual meeting is not only finances and daily needs to keep the shelter running, but to also celebrate the hard work, compassion, and time that the staff and volunteers put in daily to keep the shelter doors open. Without the people who run, manage, and volunteer with the ASCAS and the thrift store, Clarendon County would not have a shelter. The shelter is vital to solving the stray animal population in Clarendon County.

Unfortunately, many people do not understand that even though the shelter has set hours, the care and needs of the animal occupants has no set time. On holidays, after hours, and weekends, animals still need to be fed, walked, nursed, and kennels still need to be cleaned daily. There are many people volunteering their time to make this happen and the evening celebrated that. The local Dominos donated pizza for the meeting and it was held in the kitchen hall of the First Baptist Church in Manning.

Richard Long serves as President of the ASCAS board, Vicki Kropf is Vice President, Janet Goodwin is Secretary/Treasurer and other board members include Lou O’ Neill and Ruth Lambert. The shelter is still in need of volunteers and members. Donations are also accepted at the shelter or via PayPal and Venmo. To become involved or make a donation call 803-473-7075.

Continue to look for monthly updates on the shelter and the clinic in The Manning Times and on manninglive.com.