Spring is in the air, and animals are waking up from a long winter's rest. As the days grow longer, they will start to run and play, and many will soon be having babies.

It is very important to drive slowly this time of year, especially at dusk and dawn. Most animals do not see the same way people do, and this makes crossing roads dangerous for them.

SC Wildlife Rescue Each day in South Carolina alone, thousands of animals are killed by cars. Worse still, many are hit but do not die. These are attacked by insects and vultures or left to suffer, sometimes for days.

Newborns are especially tender and at risk. February brings a sharp increase in calls to South Carolina's local wildlife rescue groups. These organizations usually have trained volunteers who can help you pick up an injured animal, or you may be able to bring the animal to them for rehabilitation and care. It is a good idea to have a sturdy box, a large towel, and a thick pair of gloves ready in case of a springtime emergency.

Please help keep a watchful eye on South Carolina's wildlife this spring. Our guide to licensed SC animal rescue organizations is the most complete in our state. Bookmark this link and spread it around. It just might save a life!

UPDATE: Some of the links in this article no longer work. Sadly, bear baiting is still active in South Carolina. No laws have been passed against it.

By Andrew Page – Humane Society of the United States

Bear baiting is legal only in South Carolina and Pakistan – that's it. Help us end this barbaric blight on our state. Add your name in support of SC Senate Bill 201 today (link no longer active).

Five months ago the Humane Society of the United States released a national investigation showing disturbing video (you will be required to enter birthdate as video may be inappropriate for some users) of four bear baiting competitions in South Carolina.

Stop SC Bear Baiting This is the first time that images of these violent events, sometimes called "bear baying" by participants, have been available for the public to see – and they show sustained acts of cruelty that South Carolinians have been appalled to learn about.

Senator Joel Lourie of Richland has introduced Senate Bill 201 to rid our state of this sick sport. Now, the legislature must stand up and stop this cruelty. (Write your state leaders now with this quick and easy form - form no longer available.)

This horrifying practice only takes place in South Carolina – specifically in Spartanburg, Hickory Grove, and Travelers Rest. No other state permits this blood sport.

In South Carolina's bear baiting competitions, a captive bear is tied to a stake in a fenced area. Hundreds of howling dogs are released – from one to three at a time – to lunge, bark, and bite her flesh.

The bear's claws and some of her teeth have been cut, rendering her defenseless. Cornered and terrified, the bear has no way to escape. She is attacked for hours at a time without access to food, water, or shelter.

Dogs are judged on how successfully they can torment and control a bear, and their handlers are awarded trophies and prizes. Almost unbelievably, crowds of spectators watch and encourage the ordeal. Undercover agents for the Humane Society found events occurring just about every weekend.

Stop SC Bear Baiting Who could watch the abject terror of this trapped animal and not want to put an end to this appalling mistreatment? Who could allow it? Sadly, here in South Carolina we have condoned bear baiting for years. We even specifically exempt bears from our state law outlawing animal fighting.

If SC Senate Bill 201 is not passed, scheduled bear bays will carry on this spring. The same bear shown in this video (you will be required to enter birthdate as video may be inappropriate for some users) will be abandoned to hundreds of other barking, biting dogs.

For her sake and for the sake of all the other bears like her, please ask SC lawmakers act immediately and do the right thing now.

SC Dog Friendly Travel Guide Traveling with your four-legged friend is fun, but it requires some extra planning.

Our SC Dog Friendly Travel Guide will help you plan your South Carolina adventures with dog-friendly destinations and tips.

We feature restaurants, hotels, inns, beaches, and parks. If you have any additions, just email us at and we will add the information to our guide.

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