GIVE THEM A SECOND CHANCE
By Lisa Dines
Grace follows me from room to room; her bright eyes ask, “What are we doing next?” Gentle and attentive, she is what I call a Tri-colored German Shepard (doesn’t every dog breed come in three colors now?) but I would guess a white chest and paws (with a smaller-than-average German Shepard body, coloring and face) are as a result of some Heeler influence. Oh, and the bobbed tail...
A lovely dog regardless of her actual breeding, Grace was nonetheless abandoned at the Espanola Shelter with a fractured skull and femur. We have stopped wondering how owners can spay and otherwise (it seems) care reasonably well for their dogs, and then abandon them when they get hurt.
And then there are the other types of people who will toss entire litters of puppies out of cars where they are either run over by the next vehicle, or rescued, or lost in the desert, or in some cases, all three occur simultaneously. Or torture a puppy or dog before they toss it out of the car...
We have, so far, rescued examples of all three described above. Since September of 1997, when Kate Bremer and I began The Second Chance Project to help injured, abandoned, yet adoptable animals, we have helped Rex (abandoned after his tail was cut off and his leg broken), Fozzy (abandoned after pelvic fracture), Grace (abandoned after skull and hip fracture), and Kito (abandoned after leg fracture) become rehabilitated and find loving, permanent homes.
We began this project when we could NOT rescue a golden retrieverish puppy with bright green eyes who needed surgery but could not find a benefactor in time. If more people knew about these animals, we reasoned, someone would rescue them before their injuries became too infected and they had to be euthanized. We began advertising these animals to find them homes and before long, we had been in a newspaper article, participated in a fund-raiser and generally become recognizable as Second Chance. Kate’s job as a veterinary technician and knowledge of healing techniques, and my skills in photography and non-profit organizations have added to our interest and viability. When you add our other partner Bob Swandby’s caring input and Wysong donations, and the support from numerous community members, veterinary clinics, the Espanola Shelter, and private individuals, you have a growing, capable effort.
Our ideas for the future include more foster homes, participation in spay and neuter incentives for the community at large (our Second “Chancecateers” are always spayed or neutered when permanently adopted), driving PAWS (Pecos Animal Welfare Society) puppies to Denver where their spay and neuter program is so effective they actually need puppies in their shelters, and providing coupons for gifts and services to new adoptive owners from local animal service providers.
Not to mention T-shirts, mugs, and bumper stickers with our new turquoise and magenta logo! Please let us hear from you in the form of a call or a donation. Every day, animals are being abandoned and hurt, and it is our mission, with your support, to be able to heal and educate so this problem stops. We thank the people who have donated funds and positive energy so far and hope someday the need for our project will be obsolete—second chances won’t be necessary.
Lisa Dines, Kate Bremer and the Second Chance Project can be reached at
(505) 455-1156. They are residents of Nambe and are knowledgeable about local animal rescue efforts.
Note: This article first appeared in the Spring 1998 issue.
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