PICKENS COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – Safe Haven rescues and provides sanctuary for exotic animals surrendered by owners or seized by animal control. Recently, the nonprofit, which cares for over 250 animals, has begun to struggle to feed its many mouths due to rising costs of supplies and vet care.

According to Director of Education Kim Chiswell, annual costs for food alone rose about $8,000 between 2021 and 2022. Each month, she estimates the nonprofit now spends about $2,500 between food, heating and veterinary care.

“Our donations did not increase to cover that,” she said. “It’s been very hard.”

To help cover its operating costs, Safe Haven will hold a fundraiser – complete with hands-on learning about its animals – on Saturday, June 10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, click here.

The group typically receives its exotic animals after ill-equipped owners forfeit them. However, Safe Haven does accept special animals from local animal control operations and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

“We’ve had Greenville County, Pickens County, Oconee County having to confiscate animals,” Chiswell said. “A lot of times, they will send us cos it’s something more specialized they can’t handle.”

The organization has saved hundreds of animals since it was first founded in 2007.