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Due to our focus being the rehabilitation of wildlife, we are not open to the public for tours of our facility

Who We Are

Mercedes Curry Founder of PAWS

Our Founder: 

Paws Animal Wildlife Sanctuary, Inc. was founded by Mercedes Curry, better known as MAC, who has 40+ years of experience with North American wildlife. She holds multiple state and federal permits, and has been licensed for wildlife rehabilitation in two states. Mercedes has been praised by other licensed rehabilitators, teachers, volunteers, and members of the public for her depth of knowledge, compassion, and dedication to wildlife welfare. The photo shows MAC with one of her favorite former educational ambassadors, Elroy, a non-releasable Black Vulture..

Our Structure: 

Paws Animal Wildlife Sanctuary, Inc. is a South Carolina volunteer based organization focusing on wildlife rehabilitation and release, and wildlife education towards peaceful coexistence with our wild neighbors. We carry multiple rehabilitation permits from the state and federal governments to assist with as many species as possible. We also hold multiple permits for the legal display of non-releasable animals in wildlife education programs. We are recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3), so all financial and material donations are tax deductible.


Our Mission:
Education: We offer professional, licensed, live-animal educational programs for all age groups. Educational programs provide critical knowledge of the animals in our own back yard which zoos and broadcast television programs often miss. Our goal is to teach peaceful coexistence with our wild neighbors including the need for human safety. Our “professional staff” of educational ambassadors includes a variety of species — all owl species native to SC, several hawk species, a Black Vulture, etc. See our education page for more information.

Sanctuary: Some wild animals with injuries or chronic health problems would suffer or even die if released back into the wild. In such cases we provide a safe haven for these animals. Some of them become trained and licensed to join our education team, some are placed at other facilities to do education there, and some stay with us during their 'retirement' years where we love them and spoil them to the best of our ability.
Rehabilitation: We have over 40 years of state and federally licensed experience rehabilitating wildlife in multiple states, and have resources to assist with any species that may come to us. We rehabilitate orphaned, sick, and injured wildlife and work to return them to their native habitat, where they belong and where they live best. Visit our facebook albums to see some of the animals we have taken in for rehab over the years.

Our Specialty:

PAWS has found a niche offering care to wild animals with difficult or expensive care or situations that other groups might not be able to handle. This is one reason why we take in animals from so many counties across our state. Our wide array of rehabilitation licenses allows us to take in species that other facilities cannot legally handle. PAWS coordinates with other wildlife rehabilitators to fill crucial gaps in care for wildlife. Our guiding philosophy bases every decision on the well-being of each individual animal that comes through our gates, and we are proud of the many successful releases that have resulted from this approach.

Our Reputation:

Thanks to community support, PAWS won a Top Rated Award from Great Nonprofits  EVERY YEAR since 2012, which is when we discovered Great Non-profits and started posting the link!! Check out our profile and reviews from the community at Great

Schools and public organizations frequently hire us for educational programs, and community members value what we do. 

2023 Top Rated Nonprofit

Partners and Supporters

Below are links to the websites of organizations that have helped us along in our mission. Thank you!

Simple Design Websites, Nashville TN - Designed, hosts and maintains our new website at no cost.

Please note that while we thank these groups for their support, PAWS is not responsible for any content within, or views expressed on, any of their websites.


Paws Animal Wildlife Sanctuary, Where The Broken Come To Heal

Located In Laurens, South Carolina

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A Non-Profit Wildlife Education, Rescue and Rehabilitation Organization

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