Dixie was just four months old when she was adopted from Second Chance. Despite a positive meet and greet with her new 3-year-old sister Dakota, things got off to a rocky start. “There were several issues in the beginning with puppy curiousness and not knowing personal space.” Their owners kept a close eye to make sure things didn’t get out of hand.
“I’m told it was the puppy finding her place in the family…In the beginning I was so close to bringing Dixie back because I didn’t think it was fair to her for us to be so focused or controlling of them playing…I loved her to pieces and didn’t want to. I made the appointment to return her but arriving there, getting ready to hand over her leash, that look she gave me…I just couldn’t.
Now 10 months later they are inseparable…Dixie follows her sister Dakota everywhere…They have fun playing & when Dakota has had enough she has this bed- we call it the ‘I’m done, time to take a break bed’ – she goes there, lays down & Dixie is right beside her, which is fine for both of them apparently. So we all ended up living happily ever after! I’m so glad I gave it more time…I couldn’t imagine her not being part of the family.”
The Irony of Reducing Spays and Neuters to Save Lives
The effects of the pandemic have created a perfect storm, this time on land. As COVID-19 took hold here in Massachusetts, residents took advantage of all the extra time at home to welcome a pet into their family. While many veterinary practices were forced to reduce services or temporarily close, veterinary staff in vet hospitals determined to be there for pets embraced a new curbside procedure and quietly became the essential workers for pets across the state. Those that could worked long hours to see all the pets who needed help immediately and had nowhere else to turn. They were there for the pets that needed them, but it’s taken a toll on their spirit.
The country was already facing a veterinarian and vet tech shortage before the pandemic. Now we have more pets that need care and veterinary hospitals and practices are seeing their staff numbers dwindle due to burnout. Current wait times at some local emergency hospitals are lengthy while some other emergency hospitals have decided to temporarily or permanently close.
Second Chance Animal Services, no strangers to saving pet lives, are meeting the crisis head on with an ironic solution. We have significantly reduced the capacity of the low-cost spay and neuter program at ourNorth Brookfield Community Veterinary Hospital for the foreseeable future to help save the lives of pets in critical need.
Our colleagues at area emergency veterinary hospitals tell us they are doing their best to keep up with demand, but they are strained and operating beyond capacity. The situation is dire. Wait times often exceed 12 hours at some facilities and others have made the decision to close for the remainder of the summer.
Second Chance has significantly reduced the capacity of their low-cost spay & neuter program to do their part to help. Day after day, pet owners are bringing pets to us in critical need of emergency surgical care. Without our help, these pets would die, suffer needlessly, or be put to sleep because surgery cannot be scheduled in time to save the pet. We could not let this happen. We need to help as many pets as we can.
We ask for your patience and understanding. We have been working to alleviate the backlog of pets waiting which began in March of 2020 when spay and neuter services were suspended to conserve critical supplies that were then hard to acquire. Our spay and neuter capacity is not only back to pre-pandemic levels, but higher than pre pandemic.
We encourage pet owners to consider using the spay and neuter services at Second Chance’s Springfield or Worcester hospitals. Second Chance wants to be sure that there is surgical space to help as many pets in immediate urgent need as we can. Spay and neuter surgery is important but life-threatening critical needs must come first. We need to be here for those pets who need urgent surgeries.
Helping 40,000 pets a year means we go through A LOT of supplies. When a company steps up to help with a supply donation, we get really excited – because it means we can help even more pets.
This week AvaCare Medical delivered 1,500 puppy pads to Second Chance. Aside from the obvious use – PUPPIES! – we can use these pads in all our veterinary hospitals for pre-op and post-op care. A donation like this helps us keep veterinary care affordable – and when we keep veterinary care affordable, it helps keep pets out of shelters and with the people they love.
Steven Zeldes, CEO of AvaCare Medical (one of the largest medical supplies companies in the US) says that “at AvaCare Medical, we try to give back to worthy causes, and Second Chances’ mission of giving animals a second chance really touched us. It’s our privilege to be of assistance with helping these animals!”
AvaCare’s donation is already hard at work at Second Chance, helping us provide lifesaving surgeries. AvaCare Medical has a special discount code for 10% off all puppy pads for Second Chance and their supporters: SECONDCHANCEANIMALS10.
Is your company interested in helping save lives? Contact Lindsay.email@example.com to learn more about how your company can give back with a donation.
LAST CALL! The last day to order your Fetch! Sit! Stay meal to-go is Thursday, May 6th.
Order your meal to-go for the May 15th 2021 Dinner Auction. Don’t miss out on the Tito’s Handmade Vodka swag bags featuring everything you need for the evening’s signature drink, Table Talk pies and more!
-Marsala Steak Tips
-Roast Airline Chicken
-Risotto with Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms (Vegan)
One of saddest things is watching a pet owner walk out a shelter door in tears, leaving behind a bewildered and often scared pet they love, but could not afford to keep. Second Chance is more than just a shelter, providing access to affordable veterinary care, a pet food pantry program and more to help keep people and pets together.
Since the shelter was founded 22 years ago, time and again owners coming to our shelter door to say goodbye to a beloved pet told us they could not afford to keep their pet. Some could not afford veterinary bills when their pet was suddenly taken ill, others had lost a job or a spouse and could no longer provide basic care and food. For seniors on fixed incomes, veterinary care for an ill pet can quickly add up beyond their budget. Covid has wreaked havoc on many household budgets. With your help, pets can get the help they need and stay with the people they love.
Second Chance Community Veterinary Hospitals provide access to affordable veterinary care to underserved communities and brings services directly to pets in the community through the Homebound to the Rescue program and local vaccine clinics. Our pet food pantry program distributes pet food to local food pantries so no pet goes hungry.We created this special challenge for the Global Giving Accelerator. From now through April 23, our project will be vying for bonus prizes. When you make a donation through this post, you can help Second Chance secure additional funds so we can help as many pets as possible.
Adoption Center Supervisor Aimee offers advice for would-be adopters
Lately we are hearing how difficult it can be to find a pet to adopt. With people spending more time at home, pets are being adopted faster than ever before. We recognize how frustrating searching for that special new family member can be right now, so we’re here with the inside scoop on how our adoption process works.
Did you know that the adoption page of our website is live? That means the animals you see listed under our adoption pages are exactly who we have available. The moment a pet is adopted they no longer appear on the site, so we recommend checking frequently.
Small biographies are created for each animal as we learn their personalities. It is a good idea to read these biographies closely before heading to the shelter. Sometimes pets require special arrangements such as no other animals or no children, or even no beards! In these instances, we have learned what frightens a dog or cat most and will actively avoid placing the animal in a home that will cause them stress.
Adoptions are on a first-come-first-serve basis because the adoption process hinges on a face-to-face interview. We need to see everyone who will be living with the animal interact to make sure everyone gets along. Once you are in an interview area with an animal, our focus is on how the animal reacts to you. We’re hoping to see positive interaction: wiggly tail wags from the pups or purring head boops from the cats. From you we are hoping to see patience and a friendly demeanor that invites the animal’s trust. This sometimes takes a while.
If you have another dog, we do require the two animals to meet. Some animal personalities simply don’t mesh and we want to be sure both dogs get along to move forward. Nobody wants a dog fight in their home and we need to be reasonably certain of everyone’s safety.
Assuming the pet interview goes well, we do same day adoptions, so you can expect to go home with your new family member provided all requirements have been met. If you rent, we need to see proof from your landlord that you have permission to bring an animal home. The adoption survey can be done through our website or in person, and our adoption fees are based on age.
We do our best to match personalities but keep in mind that the kennel is not like a home environment for these animals. Their whole lives have turned topsy-turvy. It is going to take some time and care before their true colors begin to shine. That calm dog here in the kennel could become the most exuberant creature in your home.
We love each animal that enters our care and want to be certain they find their perfect forever home. Sometimes, however, an adoption does not work out which is why we have a lifetime return policy. If you have questions or needs after an animal goes home, please feel free to call us. If we don’t answer the phone right away, it just means we’re busy feeding or cleaning the animals in our care. Leave a message and we’ll get right back to you! We’re here to help.
Caring for some very special pets.
One-year-old Chance came to Second Chance in need of so much help. This poor pup was so uncomfortable. He was born with entropion – a genetic abnormality that made his eyelids curl in, causing hair to rub on the surface of his eyes. He was so uncomfortable. He also suffered from ear infections his whole life, which scarred his ear canals so badly that we could not even fit a q-tip into his ear canal. His ears were very painful from the scarring and recurrent ear infection.
Second Chance surgeon Dr. Kristen Cormier has been helping Chance – performing surgery to correct the entropion followed by a total ear canal ablation surgery. This TECA surgery involves the complete removal of the ear canal, leaving only the flap (pinna) to make Chance much more comfortable.
Update from Chance’s surgeon, Dr. Cormier.
“Chance went to his foster home yesterday! Before he left I went to say goodbye and he gave me his paw and held it there as a thank you 😊 It’s hard to see but it was so sweet and sincere. He is much more comfortable and playing like a puppy now.”
Chance’s surgeries were extensive but seeing this sweet dog so happy yesterday makes it all worth it and is a perfect example of why we do what we do.
Two-year-old Turner recently came to Second Chance from an overcrowded shelter in Georgia. Dr. Jackie tells us he also suffers from entropion – his lower eyelids are curling in so hair is rubbing on the surface of his eyes. He is very sweet, despite how uncomfortable he must be.
He’s scheduled him for surgery next week so he can finally be free of pain from this condition. After recovery, he will be available for adoption.