After rescuing three Dobermans from euthanasia, Lynn Brown wondered whether she could work with others to provide the same type of service in Fayette County. Four years later, Brown and other volunteers with Second Chance Animal Rescue are celebrating another achievement in doing just that.
Second Chance, which was started by Brown in 2004, invited the public to view its new rescue shelter and boarding kennel on Saturday.
Located about 2 miles south of Bluff City, the organizations new 1,800-square-foot facility offers enough room for about 25 dogs and up to five cats at one time.
The rescue shelter and boarding kennel was built on land donated by the family of Katie and the late Orville Schukar.
Prior to the startup of Second Chance, "Sug" Schukar provided some of the services now offered by that organization.
The opening of the facility marks a significant milestone for the organization, which has adopted more than 500 dogs and cats and transported another 600 animals to other no-kill shelters since its formation.
I am ecstatic, Brown said. This organization has turned out to be so much more than I ever expected it to be. I am so proud of this building and what we have been able to accomplish.
Four years ago, we started out with a bank account of $200, and to end up where we are today is, to me, just amazing, she said.
This facility is really state-of-the-art, Brown said. Its what Ive always wanted us to have.
Brown is also proud of the fact that Second Chance has been so successful without any financial assistance from local, state or federal governments. It is, however, with the opening of the facility and its increasing expenses, considering seeking out a grant, she said.
To date, Second Chance has raised about $75,000, Brown said, with those funds being donations and proceeds from fundraising activities and events.
One way Second Chance will be generating funds in the future is by boarding pets for individuals taking family vacations or otherwise being away for home for awhile. The boarding fee is $10 per day
Those pets will be housed in luxury suites that have various themes, including NASCAR, Harley-Davidson, Fighting Illini and princess.
Thoughout the facility is artwork created by art students at Brownstown High School.
Since its inception, Second Chance has operated with up to 30 foster homes. It currently has nine foster homes.
With the opening of the shelter, Brown said, the need for foster homes has decreased. However, the foster home concept is still a vital part of the organization.
The basic concept is housebreaking, crate-training and socializing a dog in a home environment, she said. With the use of foster homes, the adoption of the dogs is so much more likely to be successful.
If we can keep that going, the adoption rate of the animals we receive will be so much higher, Brown said.
While Brown and other Second Chance volunteers will continue to focus on rescuing dogs and cats that would otherwise be euthanized, they also will concentrate on spreading the word on how county residents can reduce the strain put on the organization.
My goal is to, first, find a good home for the animals that need a home, Brown said. Our second goal would be to get the pet owners to spay and neuter their animals.
Spaying and neutering is the answer to the problem, she said. If we can get people to do that, then eventually there would be no need for rescues like this.
We have some people who keep turning animals over to us, Browns said. If they would take care of the dogs that keep having puppies, they wouldnt need us.
And despite the teamwork and effort of its membership, Second Chance cannot handle all of the unwanted dogs and cats in the county.
People still need to remember that they just cant drop off animals here, Brown said. They need to contact me first, she said. Brown is available by calling either 283-0898 or 267-4002.
If we have a dog or a cat dropped off here, and we dont have the room, we will contact the animal control warden. They should contact me, and if we cant take that animal, we will refer the person to the animal control warden.
More information about Second Chance Animal Rescue is available at the organizations Web site, www.2ndchancevandalia.com.