The dedicated work of Second Chance Animal Rescue, Swanley

PUBLISHED: 09:01 14 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:01 14 February 2018

Rusty the goat. Picutre: SCAR

Rusty the goat. Picutre: SCAR


During these cold winter mornings, John Ranger, along with plenty of other caring individuals – is up at the crack of dawn looking after sick or abandoned animals or wildlife in need of care.

Podge the Pig. Picture: SCARPodge the Pig. Picture: SCAR

Second Chance Animal Rescue, (SCAR) in Crockenhill, Swanley, is made up purely of volunteers - and hundreds of animals - from humble chickens to mischievous meerkats.

Volunteer and trustee, Kara Lee, said: “Not many charities take in wildlife like birds and hedgehogs.

“We also take on foxes and seem to have so many rabbits!

“We try to keep wildlife that will be sent back into their natural habitats away from people as much as possible, so they don’t get too used to us.”

Trudging through thick mud and dealing with iced over water is just a minute part of a typical winter day at the sanctuary, where committed volunteers work tirelessly in order to help care for the array of animals.

Kara believes the hard work is nothing compared to the resulting reward that comes from rescuing animals: “We took on four horses who were on the brink of death after being neglected and starved - two of them couldn’t walk at the time and vets weren’t sure if they would recover.

“Today though, all four of them are up and rolling around in the mud playing.

“It makes it all worthwhile.”

The charity provide for animals who are either passed onto them by animal sanctuaries closing down, or found in cases of neglect or suffering.

Of the many cats that wander around the sanctuary, sizing up their bigger neighbours such as cows and raccoons, many of them had been feral felines who, with nobody willing to take care of them, would have found themselves in fatal danger.

One such cat, Blue, came to the rescue not too long ago.

Initially weary of humans, he is now the cuddliest of cats you could meet, climbing onto strangers’ shoulders and clinging to them.

“It goes to show that you don’t need to ‘get rid’ of feral cats.

“They have the best characteristics and the nicest personalities towards people.” Said Kara.

Animals you may not expect to see also call SCAR their home – such as meerkats and even an emu, which had been bought off Ebay as an egg before the owner realised what it took to care for such a bird.

“We are hoping to start a ‘meerkat experience’ soon, for people to come and get some first hand understanding of the playful animals.”

Kara also explained about the growing issue of the abandonment/giving up of many black animals, such as dogs, cats and rabbits, who are deemed to be “unphotogenic” in a culture obsessed with selfies featuring pets.

“Most of the rabbits we have here are black for that reason, but it is also a known issue everywhere among several animals.”

Although no stone is left unturned to ensure the comfort, safety and care these animals are provided with, SCAR is run by volunteers only, 365 days a year.

With roughly 70 kind helpers working at the sanctuary today, endless work is done to maintain the great standards of care the charity is able to give.

Found John Ranger, a lifelong animal lover, started SCAR in 2011 as an unregistered charity, and it has since grown into the animal haven it is today, becoming a registered charity in 2015.

John is there every single day, even using his own home to house some of the creatures who couldn’t survive the colder nights.

The dedication of him, as well as Kara and the many other volunteers, are what keeps the charity running, and generous donations are often made to SCAR from all over.

Kara added: “We love our volunteers here and the work they do sometimes helps them as much as they help the animals.

“We get volunteers from all walks of life looking to take away different things from the experience.”

To volunteer or for more information on the charity, visit the website at

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