About Us

Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for abandoned and mistreated dogs and cats until they can be placed in loving homes.

Raising awareness through public education, community outreach and a wellness clinic, we seek to promote respect for the live of cats and dogs by breaking the cycle of abuse, neglect and pet overpopulation in our community.

Saint Frances Animal Center is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization serving Georgetown County. Our tax id is 57-0785170

History of Saint Frances Animal Center

The Saint Frances Animal Center was created in 1983 ago by a small group of community members concerned about the plight of the area’s soaring population of homeless dogs and cats. Then known as the Georgetown County Humane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the group pushed for – and won – significant improvements in humane care for animals and made great strides in ensuring better efforts were made to find responsible adoptive homes. Led by Pawleys Island resident Betty Harris, public education about both the joys and responsibilities of adding a pet to the family and establishing a spay and neuter program were key initiatives.

It soon became apparent that more space was needed to care for the dogs and cats while loving, adoptive families were being sought. Negotiations with city officials resulted in the acquisition of an old house that was placed on the lot behind the city dog pound on Ridge Road. It was remodeled and repaired for use as an animal shelter, through a combination of volunteer labor and a trust established in the 70s by local animal lover Laura Abrams.

On December 13, 1986, the Georgetown County Humane Society opened its doors. The shelter was originally set up to house 50 animals, but in no time, there was as many as 80. A manager and an assistant were hired to run shelter operations and Dr. Randy Smith served as veterinary advisor.  Money was tight, staff turnover was high and basic needs – such as a runs for medium and large dogs – were lacking. A generous donation provided a cat room and an outside dog run, which proved helpful. However, finances were still a constant concern. The fate of the Humane Society looked very bleak. .

And then something wonderful happened.

In the fall, a long-time loyal supporter from Pawleys Island set up a charitable trust for the society in accordance with her deceased husband’s wishes. She also donated some personal money to help the shelter get back on its feet. Her only request was for her identity to be kept confidential and the money to be put to good use.

Staff, volunteers and supporters alike were ecstatic. The funds were used to purchase desperately needed equipment and hire more staff to provide proper care for the animals. Cooperative relationships with local animal control and city and county officials also were established, allowing a unified approach to caring for homeless pets and great camaraderie. Adopt-A-Pet days and flea markets were held, increasing publicity by leaps and bounds.


  1. Hunter's Mom says:

    We adopted “Hunter” on February 27th 2012 and couldn’t be happier. He was a little underweight and very hyper when we got him. Since then he has learned to sit, heel and he’s eating 2 times a day. He has a new sister as well, “Zyva” that we also got from here, now named “Dixie” and she is doing very well too!!!
    We highly recommend adopting 2 dogs so they can be best buds and keep each other company. Many best wishes to everyone at the shelter!!!!

  2. windie says:

    I worked for SF years ago, working there made a difference in my life. I also adoped a dog for a friend and when I had to move and could not take my sweet baby cat, Putter, they took him and found him a home. I miss my job and all the friends I made there….four legged and two legged.

  3. I just want to say that Miss Ruby is happy in her new home. She seems to have turned down her memory foam pet bed for my son’s old toddler bed. It was going to go in the yard sale… guess not now. She has definitely made her way into our hearts. Thank you!

  4. Latie says:

    We Adopted Mary Lou (but we renamed her Maggie), and we couldn’t be happier!! I was greatly impressed with the well-being of the dogs, and the attendance of the staff. We drove 5 hours to get Maggie, and it was all worth it. I just want to say thank you! We had been looking for a month to find a dog, and we finally found one!! Our 12 year old daughter takes care of her all by herself and is doing an excellent job! She just has the cutest personality. Now that I have her, I can’t imagine life without her!! I just really want to thank y’all for making this possible!

  5. nam says:

    I adopted my dog from this place in 2007. Doberman/RR mix. It was wonderful dog. He died from aggressive cancer in 2012. I adopted another dog from someone else year ago. And I noticed difference. The dog adopted from SF animal center was well fed, up to date with his shots, de-wormed (stomach and heart). All in all well kept dog. The dog from another place came not de-wormed (even though we were told he was in good health and well taken care of), underfed…. Even though I just have 2 shelters to compare, SF animal center, seems to me, treats their animals well.
    I keep donating to SF animal society every year in memory of my first dog.

  6. Makayla2826 says:

    How old do you have to be to work at this facility?

    • Melissa Ide says:

      Hi Makayla – We have volunteer opportunities for all ages! But you would need to be 18 or older to pursue employment. Feel free to call the Center for more information.

  7. Josh says:

    How much does it cost to adopt a dog? My mom is having to put her dog down and I would love to surprise her? Thanks

    • Melissa Ide says:

      Hi Josh – prices vary a good bit based on several factors, but our priority is matching our shelter pups with the right family. We would be happy to discuss specifics with you, please feel free to contact the adoptions staff – you will find them easy to work with and talk to!

  8. cassie says:

    We love our new addition to the family
    Savannah is loving her new home. Thank you so much!

  9. THE HOFFMANS says:

    Today we adopted Mimi a boxer/bulldog mix.. an absolute beauty.. she’s already made herself at home, lots of cuddles, napping, and playtime!! She truly is a perfect fit to our family.. Much thanks to the staff for taking their time for us to get to know Mimi before bringing her home.. we also met Nora, a super sweet shy docile chocolate lab that needs a home.. I really hope she finds her furrever home soon..

  10. Gary S. says:

    Thanks we adopted Calvin a Dachsound mix puppy and he has become a great companion for our daughter and is doing well in VT. Thanks for what you do. We’ll send pictures soon.

  11. Paris says:

    We adopted Paris at prtsmart and she is wonderful and we love her so much!

  12. Donnaluna1 says:

    Here is a link to my FaceBook page where Coral and Ashton have come to play. We’ve renamed Coral to Chloe because she
    Is more like that name. I’ve recorded and posted the videos of homecoming, play time and nap time. They’ve adjusted very
    Well and we are all one big happy family. We are so grateful for St. Francis.

  13. Jewel Moyer says:

    I am a volunteer at another shelter. We have an over abundance of toys, leashes, collars, halters, and dog chews. Are you short on any of these?

    • Melissa Ide says:

      We are always short on these items! Especially leashes and collars. If you have any you are able to donate, they would be greatly appreciated. Please contact the Center and ask for Ed or Ashley. Thank you for thinking of us!

  14. Loretta says:

    Hi, I need your help, I have a male chi/Pom mix and he’s less than 5 lbs, he’s about 4 years old. I love my pets but I’m seriously worried that he’s gonna get hurt by my other dogs. ( I have 2 boxers, a puggle and a Pekingese) he plays with the female boxer and the puggle like he’s there size. I can’t afford to have him neutered so he’s constantly after the my 3 females who all have been spayed. I just worry that one day my boxer(female/70 lbs) is gonna just shake him like a rag, he plays with them like he’s her size, I know she loves him but there’s gonna be a bad day. I need to find him a forever home that doesn’t have big dogs. He’s smart and very lovin, I will miss him dearly, but I have to put him first. Please can you help me find him a forever home with lots of love.

    • Melissa Ide says:

      Hi Loretta. Please call the center and ask for our Center Director, Ed Ritchie. He will be glad to speak with you and discuss options and ways we can help.

  15. A white pit mix answers to Koupa big ol’baby went missing from home. Lead wasnt put on post correctly ran off in the williamshill area on Old Pee Dee rd, dragging 25ft lead with him. I fear he may have got caught up in the woods. We have been searching sence Monday afternoon. The Pamment family has bottle fed this baby dumped with a sister who did not survive. My family misses there baby boy Koupa.

    • Melissa Ide says:

      I’m so sorry to hear this, have you found your Koupa? Does he have a microchip? Please call the shelter at 843-546-0780 for up to date information on dogs brought in by animal control.

  16. Hi says:

    I was just wondering how much would it cost to borrow a humane trap and can you adopt a cat that’s gone though TNR?

    • Melissa Ide says:

      At this time we have a program offering free “rental” of humane live traps and spay/neuter for free-roaming cats. Once spayed/neutered the cats are returned to you for release in the same location. Call the Center for more information on this great program!

  17. I recently adopted my first dog, Ottis, a black lab puppy. I couldn’t be more happy with the staff, and their patience in answering any questions I had. St. Frances truly takes pride in uniting animals with the right owners. I will never go anywhere else when adopting a pet!

  18. New adoption says:

    I am coming tomorrow to meet Masey…I hope she is still available and I was wondering what the adoption fee usually is?