I first meet with Lindsay Doray, Development Manager for Second Chance Animal Shelter, in a large, comfortable, well-lit room used as a waiting area for spay & neuter events…until now. As Lindsay begins the tour, she describes how this spacious room will soon be carved into several new spaces by a contractor. Partitioning will create offices, a break room, and most importantly an Intensive Care Unit. She explains that Second Chance’s on-site hospital needs the space to serve the ever-increasing number of pet owners seeking medical help for their dogs and cats. “We see a lot of blockages, especially in cats. One cat we worked on actually had 30 hair ties in its stomach. We’ve also been seeing a lot of orthopedic cases: dogs and cats with broken legs.”
The original purpose of my visit is to see the new Almost Home building. When animals arrive from outside Massachusetts, state law demands that shelters quarantine them for 48 hours. Second Chance’s new building will not only serve animals arriving for adoption from this shelter, but will also act as a quarantine for animals in transit to other shelters in New England.
As we make our way through the facility, we run into Sheryl and Joe Blancato, founders of the Second Chance. I am feeling a little embarrassed when I greet them, having just visited in January. I wonder if they wonder: “What is he doing back so soon?” Well, the answer is that I have been coordinating with Lindsay to put up some information about Second Chance on straybutlooking.com and she invited me back to take another tour. Wanting to stay connected with these folks who do so much for dogs (and cats), I didn’t hesitate to accept.
As the tour continues, I learn what I had already guessed to be true: being Development Manager for a constantly growing animal shelter is hard work. Lindsay has to know where all the money goes all the time and her philosophy is “a penny saved is a penny earned.” Some things the shelter uses all the time are more mundane than dog or cat food or toys. Think bleach, copy paper, gloves, paper towels and even toilet paper: “Anything that we use in the building, if we can get it donated, that is money we can use for an animal in need.” Lindsay is also point person on fundraising events, of which there are many. That means long days, extra hours, and lots of multi-tasking to keep the shelter running.
As I write this last line, it feels strange to even refer to Second Chance as a shelter. It is so much more than that. In fact, I double check to find the proper title to be Second Chance Animal Shelter & Wellness Clinic except, that seems to fall short also. If you check out my previous post on Second Chance (The Evolution of Dog Rescue) or look at the Second Chance website: https://www.secondchanceanimals.org/ you will see all the different programs they coordinate.
So I finally reach the Almost Home building, but we don’t go into see the dogs because…guess why? It is a quarantined area. There is no let down though. What I learned from Lindsay on my walk through gave me more of an appreciation for how dedicated these folks are to saving dogs and cats, and even bunnies. (A side note about bunnies, Lindsay mentioned that in a private clinic it costs around $500 to spay/neuter a bunny! Second Chance is able to do it for less.) I cannot say enough about Second Chance Animal Shelter and Wellness Clinic!