Together with our partners at The Animal Rescue Site, we’ve given more than $1 million to shelters and rescue groups through the Shelter+ Challenge. Among them: Second Chance Rescue in Bunnell, FL, which received a $1,000 grant.
Second Chance founder Debi Root wrote to us about how they used the money. “Our rescue was in dire need of large crates, both for overflow at the shelter and for our adoption events,” she said. “With this grant, we were able to purchase 14 extra-large crates and now we can take more dogs to events/adoptions and are finding more homes! We go to our local Petsmart store every Saturday from 11-5 and take as many dogs as we have crates for to meet potential new and forever homes.”
One of the large dogs Second Chance could save thanks to the crates was Kase. “Kase was another guy who was too large for the few crates we [had before] and was adopted the very first time he went with us when we had the new crates!” Debi said.
“This poor guy was rescued after being taken on an abuse/neglect charge in Orange County. He was on a chain in the yard of an abandoned home, starved and living for who knows how long with a collar deeply embedded into his neck and throat (that required surgery to remove). He sends his thanks to you!”
His adopter, Marcia, sent me this story of her adoption of Kase, now renamed Chance.
“On Oct. 11, 2012, our beloved 10-year-old Rottweiler, Lyla, had to be put down because of bone cancer. My husband, Phil, Lyla and I were like the three musketeers, doing everything together: traveling, camping, hiking, jogging, you name it. Her passing left a huge hole in our hearts, and on the day I went to our local vet to donate her food and medications, I mentioned this to Cheryl, the receptionist. Cheryl suggested looking into a rescue dog as a possible way to at least partially aliviate our sadness.
“We had always adopted dogs (Lyla was our third adopted Rottweiler) but never from a rescue. That afternoon, while browsing the Internet, I came across the Petfinder adoption site for the first time. I entered ‘Rottweiler’ and ‘Florida’ on the site and read about Chance, who was then called Kase. I looked at his picture and read his story to my husband while crying about his awful abuse. I was so moved by his story that I immediately filled out the adoption form and wrote to Second Chance Rescue about coming to Bunnell, Florida, to see him the following day.
“Very early the next morning, we were out biking and the phone rang. It was Dana from Second Chance asking if we could drive up to see him. She had called our references and she thought we would be ideal owners for Chance. ‘Yes, we’d love to,’ I told her, and as soon as we were back home from our bike ride, we drove the 70+ miles to Bunnell.
“When Kelly, who works at Second Chance, brought Kase out, my husband I both felt, without saying a word to each other, that he was special -– there was kindness and soulfulness in his face that instantly touched our hearts, along with playfulness and exuberance that seemed totally remarkable, considering the abuse he’d suffered. Although my husband was due to have hip-replacement surgery the following Wednesday, we took him home, only stopping at Petsmart to buy a crate large enough to accommodate him and sign the adoption papers.
“How has Chance’s life changed? For one thing, he is now in a home where he is loved and appreciated for the magnificent animal he is. In fact, everyone in my neighborhood adores him and friends stop by just to see him, bringing along their children to meet him. His demeanor is so friendly and loving that everyone — from our neighbors to the staff at our vet’s office to the guys who pick up our garbage — responds to him.
“I’ve been working for the past few weeks with a dog trainer, and she believes he has the potential to be a therapy dog someday. My husband and I hope to achieve that goal, since we think his story is so compelling: He went from not knowing anything about a house (I don’t think he’d ever been inside one before we adopted him) to becoming housetrained in two days. He is extremely smart and has insatiable curiosity. He loves to ride in our truck and is a fantastic jogging partner, logging two-plus miles a day at my side. He has also learned many commands, such as sit, lie down, stay and come here, and he has never once shown any kind of antisocial behavior.
“The best change in his life, though, is that at night, when my husband and I are reading on the living room couch, he curls up next to us, calm and content, knowing we are there for him. When we first got him, he would go out into our backyard on his own, but only for a moment or two before rushing back into the house. It was clear that he was afraid he’d once again be abandoned. That soon changed, and today, for example, while we were eating lunch, he went outside, stretched out on the grass, and went to sleep in the sun, obviously secure in the fact that he was home for good.
“We love the fact that he has a tail (all our previous Rotties had theirs cropped) since we can immediately sense his emotions by its expressive wagging. They say that when you rescue a dog, the dog, in return, rescues you, and in this case it is definitely true. Absolutely, I believe that Chance helped my husband recover faster from his surgery, and helped us recover from the loss of Lyla. In short, Chance has filled our hearts with love and joy by being the wonderful guy he is.”
Thank you to Debi, Marcia and everyone else who made Chance’s rescue and wonderful new life possible!