Giving homeless pets in Murray hope
Story by Courtney Scoby, Staff writer
Second Chance Dog Rescue, an animal rescue organization established in the spring of this year, seeks to strengthen the community of individuals and organizations fighting for animal welfare in Calloway County.
“We are not here to take away from any other organization,” said Steven Reed, secretary of Second Chance Dog Rescue. “We are here to assist.”
Second Chance Dog Rescue works with other animal welfare organizations in Calloway County, but is uniquely positioned to help the cause in different ways.
“The Humane Society does a great job of shipping a lot of puppies and small dogs out of the area, which is wonderful because it saves their lives,” Reed said. “But people are going out of town to get their dogs when there are dogs right here.”
For this reason, Second Chance focuses on fostering local homeless animals until they can find loving homes.
“We have actually fostered some dogs from local area shelters, and primarily it has been dogs that have perhaps medical needs that the Humane Society or the animal shelter doesn’t necessarily have the funds to take care of those animals,” he said. “So we get them spayed and neutered, all the vet care that they need, get them used to being in a good [foster] home and then get them adopted out.”
Although Second Chance’s title specifies the organization as a dog rescue organization, Second Chance does take in all kinds of animals.
“We are called Dog Rescue, but we do rescue cats, kittens and things like that,” said Carrla Stokes, treasurer of Second Chance Dog Rescue.
The organization has taken in such uncharacteristic pets as a goat and a turtle.
Second Chance, although primarily a rescue organization, has other goals for the future as well.
“We would like to raise awareness of shelter animals and of spaying and neutering – that’s ultimately how you end dog overpopulating, is good spay and neuter programs,” Reed said. “Personally though, my first love will always be rescuing puppy mill dogs.”
However, the board members recognize the limitations of Second Chance as a relatively new organization.
“We’re still in our first year, we don’t have a facility, we just have foster homes,” Reed said. “If someone called today and said, ‘I have 20 dogs,’ there wouldn’t be anything that we could do.”
At the same time, Second Chance aims to rescue and re-home as many animals as possible within their means.
“We have learned the biggest problem for rescues is they go and they rescue all these sick dogs and they get their medical care and they can’t pay their vet bills, and so they go defunct because they go financially bankrupt,” Reed said. “We’re trying to be responsible and to have slow growth each month.”
This can be extremely difficult for a rescue organization, especially a new one.
“Our average cost has been around $300-$350 per dog,” Reed said. “Our adoption fees, depending on the dog, are anywhere from $100-$250, so you lose money on every single dog that you place, but we’re not in this to make money anyway.”
Second Chance is committed to picking the right family for each animal they rescue as well.
“We check vet references, we check personal references, we typically do a home visit,” Reed said. “If the family has other pets, we want to make sure that the dog or the cat gets along with other animals in the family.”
Fortunately, the community has been very welcoming to Second Chance.
“All of the vets in Murray have been very receptive to us and helped greatly, and groomers too,” Stokes said.
Although Second Chance is still in its beginning stages, it is looking forward to a bright future.
“We would love to have our own facility at some point, as funds and things allow,” Reed said.
“I would love to eventually be able to go to the grade schools and educate the children on the importance of spaying and neutering, because that’s the key to the overpopulation,” Stokes said.
In the meantime, the organization is “in desperate need of fosters.”
“We’ve been lucky so far that every time we’ve had a dog come in, we’ve found a foster, but three of our fosters have foster-failed and are keeping the dogs that they fostered, which is wonderful, but then there went three of our foster homes,” Reed said.
Second Chance Dog Rescue can be contacted at 270-293-3012, through their Facebook page or at asecondchancedogrescue.org.