Saving Lives Four Legs at a Time Sandi Kendrick, The Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach

By Leslie Moore

Bo went home the day we visited Sandi Kendrick, Executive Director of The Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach. The big, sweet mixed-breed dog is the fourth one Sommer and Trey Mintz have adopted, three of which came from North Myrtle Beach Humane Society. Seeing this dog leave an unfortunate past behind for the life of love every animal deserves was overwhelmingly satisfying. And, luckily for the animals that make their way here, this is something that happens nearly every day – sometimes several times over.

“We have a 97% live release rate,” Sandi Kendrick told me as we sat in the tiny office she shares with another member of her team. “No healthy animal is ever euthanized.” For the past seven years, Sandi has led North Myrtle Beach Humane Society in the rescue and adoption of homeless animals, bringing 40 years of non-profit experience and a deep, passionate desire to help.

Last year alone, 1100 animals, mostly dogs and cats, passed through the small Bay Street facility. “At one time more than 200 cats were housed here, but now we only have 100 – and 40 dogs,” said Sandi as we toured the shelter.

Walking through the building, the first thing you notice is how clean it is, in spite of the small size and age of the building. Mornings are a buzz of activity with volunteer dog walkers coming in to give the animals their daily exercise, while others man the reception desk and assist team members in the constant cleaning needed when you are housing so many animals. Everyone had a huge smile and friendly greeting as we passed – this is a happy place. “I have twelve team members who are invaluable – and a wonderful group of devoted volunteers.” Volunteers also go into local schools to conduct programs about caring for pets and the Yaupon Garden Club keeps the grounds looking beautiful with thriving flower boxes and beautifully edged expanses of lawn.

Started in 2001 by a group of five animal lovers, The Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach is straining at the seams of its current building. “I have been working our capital campaign for nearly two years,” Sandi began. “We will officially begin the campaign this February in conjunction with our Macaroni Mania event.”

Aside from the serious lack of space, not only for the animals, but for the administrative staff, the shelter’s kennels are outdated and must be replaced, as well as the chain link fencing that separates and protects the animals, many walkways need repair and the outside lighting is inadequate.

While the non-profit does receive funding, and a lot of support, from the City of North Myrtle Beach, fundraisers are a must to keep this organization afloat. This month, one of the largest, Doggies and Divas, will be held on October 26th. This elegant evening of fun, fashion and food will be held at 21 Main in North Beach Plantation and tickets are $60 per person. Sandi also organizes a 5K run every spring, a poker run and the newest fundraiser, Macaroni Mania, to be held on February 17th.

Running a non-profit is a demanding, full-time plus job, leaving Sandi, who was widowed several years ago, very little time for leisure. This pretty, petite woman does enjoy traveling, going to Cape Cod to spend time with her father every chance she gets. Like all of us who live along the coast, Sandi loves the beach, but puttering in her garden is where she finds her peace. Her favorite thing of all is seeing her two beautiful granddaughters who live with her daughter and son- in-law in North Carolina.

“In spite of the long hours and endless work, I love what I do,” said Sandi as we were leaving. “We are making a difference.”

To find out more about The Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach or to purchase tickets for Doggies & Divas, visit www.humanesocietynmb.org or call 843-249-4948.

About this writer

  • Leslie Moore

    Leslie Moore

    Leslie Moore is the editor for Strand Media Group. A 25 year resident of Pawleys Island, she is blessed with a life filled with the love of family and friends and satisfying work to do every day.

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