Second Chance Animal Rescue is a registered charity that operates with the help of foster carers & volunteer to rescue & rehome dogs and cats that need a second chance. Second Chance Animal Rescue is a Pro-Life organisation in Melbourne Victoria. Our aim is to connect the dots, do what needs to be done for these guys so eventually they will end up at their perfect forever home and never look back.
As we say goodbye to another busy month it’s important to look back at what we have accomplished before setting our sights on what lies ahead.
During the month of May our team rescued over 90 homeless animals from pounds throughout Victoria and some that had been surrendered to our Campbellfield shelter, we spread the good adoption word at the annual Dog Lovers Show, we assisted 25 underprivileged pet owners with their animals needs via our growing outreach program and most importantly found wonderful new homes for 89 dogs and cats.
Throughout June we will begin unravelling our big plans for our community animal hospital, this will be our biggest milestone yet in reducing the cycle of animal homelessness in Victoria and a sure way of keeping pets in homes and out of Australian pounds.
Cats really don’t like the cold temperatures in winter months so we need to do our best to help keep them warm.The following are some tips for keeping your cat warm, safe and happy during the colder winter months.
Keep your cat inside if possible. If they are an outdoor cat make sure that you provide them with a warm bed in a sheltered area.
Your cat’s bed should be located in a warm, draft free place and if possible of the floor. A nice cosy bed is best or a soft blanket inside their bed is nice for them.
Groom your cat’s coat on a regular basis as matted fur is not the best insulation from the cold.
Give your cat a heat pack to snuggle up to or lie on.
Please be mindful that elderly cats often feel the cold more.
Cats like to get close to heat sources like heaters and blankets. Be sure to keep them away from open fires by securely fencing/blocking the area off.
Also be aware that cold weather can often aggravate joint conditions like arthritis. If your cat appears to be showing signs of pain, joint discomfort or arthritis please take them to your veterinarian for a check-up.
As I was walking through our Campbellfield shelter recently I stopped in one of our cat play rooms to watch our newest litter of rescued kittens playing on their cat tower. The activity in the shelter that day confirmed for me that the work SCAR is doing every day, for both animals and people in our community, is incredibly important.
There were a group of students, the animal welfare leaders of the future, learning about responsible companion animal care as they happily interacted with some shelter animals under the careful supervision of our trained animal attendants.
A young lady who visits our shelter each week from a local care facility sat in the dog lounge with her carers, helping to groom one of our friendly rescue dogs and enjoying some animal interaction.
In the vet room, a young mother was consulting with our veterinary team about arranging an affordable treatment plan for her sick pets under our outreach program. I could hear the conversation briefly and without this program she said that she would have had to put her dogs to sleep.
Around the shelter a steady stream of volunteers exercised some of the dogs in our care while visitors were happily being introduced to animals available for adoption by our knowledgeable and dedicated staff.
Every day Second Chance Animal Rescue is made up of sights, sounds, activities and experiences just like these and it made me proud to be a part of such a vibrant, caring and effective charitable organisation.
We have just celebrated our 3rd successful year in the SCAR shelter, may the next 3 years be full of other such life changing experiences for both animals in need and those that care for them.
This month has been a tough one on all levels. Funds are very low at the moment so we have been focusing on our fundraising efforts for the year a little more intently than usual. Keep eyes out on our website for full details of events coming soon!
We have had so many dogs and cats coming into our facility and pounds are contacting us on a daily basis with new and growing lists of animals that need an out. We have been lucky enough to have facilitated many adoptions this month too which has been a wonderful outcome for those adopted!
We have been working hard to continue our outreach program in the community to ensure that we are making a difference to this ongoing cycle of animal homelessness , so fingers crossed we are able to receive some ongoing funding to continue this lifesaving program. The team at SCAR have been working extra hard by submitting over 35 grant applications to multiple funders in the hopes that one (or hopefully more) are successful- now we wait with baited breath.
In February we took in 66 cats and dogs and saw 76 find new homes.
When we first met young Great Dane x Mastiff Mix Diesel at the pound he was terrified, and it was clear that he was very unsure of his surroundings. We knew that we had to do something to save him and so took him into foster care hoping that we could give him the second chance he truly deserved. That’s where Diesel met Lulu, a calm 18-month-old Vizsla mix who is always happy and was ready to give him the patience and kindness he needed to adjust to being in foster care.
With the assistance of Lulu and medication to help with his anxiety Diesel started to show his personality and come out of his shell. His foster carers were amazed at just how far he came in a short time, “About a week in and I really truly believe Lulu has been the most wonderful therapy dog for Diesel!! His certainly not a hundred percent but the improve on mood and willingness to come a bit closer has been AMAZING!”
Whilst Diesel is getting better slowly he will need a patient home so that he can continue to learn that everything will be ok. He will need another calm, gentle dog who can show him the way of the world.
Do you have room in your heart and home for Diesel?
Diesel is very timid and may take a while to trust his new owners. He no longer shies away from his foster parents and is starting to learn some manners like sit. Diesel is fully housetrained and travels ok in the car. He’s still a bit unsure about new situations and loud noises and so will need a safe place to go if things get a bit overwhelming. Over time, Diesel will settle in well to a new home, preferably without children, and shower you with love in time.
It's tempting at Christmas time to sneak a couple of extra treats to your pets, but there are some foods that your pet should definitely avoid at any time. Whilst this list isn't exhaustive, it's a great place to start to know what you should avoid feeding to your pet!
Chocolate & Caffeine
When ingested by pets chocolate and caffeine can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, panting, excessive thirst, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures and can be potentially fatal.
Alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, decreased coordination, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma and can be potentially fatal.
Avocados contain persin which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs. Birds and rodents can develop congestion, difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation around the heart.
Ingestion of macadamias can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs.
Grapes & Sultanas
Grapes and sultanas contain a toxic substance which can cause kidney failure in animals.
Cooked bones can splinter when ingested. Bones should only ever be fed raw to pets.
Onions & Garlic
These can cause gastrointestinal upsets and cats are more sensitive to these than dogs. May only cause issues if ingested in large quantities.
Xylitol is a common sweetener and can lead to hypoglycaemia, vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination.
If your pet does consume any of these foods it's best to contact your vet as soon as possible or the nearest vet emergency centre. You can find more information on the ASPCA Pro website about foods to avoid feeding your pets.
This month marked the start of a new chapter for SCAR with our new shelter vet room and 5 year strategic plan being launched. I am confident that these new ventures are the starting point of many good things that are to come.
Financially, we may not see any return on the vet room initially as bills need to be paid and processes still perfected, however this clinic will mean that SCAR will finally have a sustainable income source that will insure our future in animal welfare. Next year our veterinary plans will move into stage two with the fundraising team focusing their sights on our future community veterinary clinic in Hume which will provide pet owners affordable veterinary assistance for their four legged friends. Our busy first day of surgery at the shelter clinic had 4 kitten spays, 1 greyhound spay, 1 kitten castrate and 2 consults. All animals made it through surgery extremely well.
On behalf of all the animals that will share in the benefit of this new facility we say Thank You!
Next month SCAR will be focusing a lot of our efforts on a volunteer drive in the hopes that we will be able to add another 50 to 100 foster carers and volunteers to our team. The more volunteers we have means the more animals we can save and the stronger community presence we have. In the meantime, we will continue to give the best care we can to the animals that we currently have and help as many as possible that require assistance.
Statistics for November: 68 animals taken in, 10 of which are pregnant cats, and we found 74 animals new homes. A massive effort!
This holiday season we want to say a huge THANK YOU to all of our volunteers, foster carers, supporters, staff and donors! We could not do the work we continue to do and save the lives we do without your support.
A quick recap of 2017 has shown me just how crazy this year has been for us, with the opening of our new shelter vet clinic, the running of our much needed pet outreach program, we signed up with 4 new Victorian pounds to save more animals and we rescued and rehomed over 2000 cats and dogs- just to name a few things!
This year has been a huge one for us and we can honestly say that we are looking forward to the challenges that 2018 will bring for our organisation, as always we have BIG plans.
This month alone, we took in 89 animals and found 101 new homes. We had a big influx of puppies and kittens throughout the month, and our shelter veterinary clinic has been running smoothly and efficiently with many surgeries being completed including an emergency exploratory surgery after poor little puppy Hamlet presented very flat and not wanting to eat.
Turns out that little Hamlet decided that the rocks in his foster carer’s garden were a delicious puppy snack the night before, causing the rocks to be lodged in his intestines so surgical intervention was required.
We’ve also been raising funds via mycause.com.au for Oscar to get a total hip replacement. We are more than halfway there so if you can spare some funds please head over to his fundraising page now!
On behalf of SCAR and the animals in our care, we hope you have a wonderful start to the New Year and a happy and prosperous 2018!
Keith and his dog Peggles are best mates that were helped via the HOPP program
In my years working in animal welfare I have heard many times comments such as ‘If you can’t afford vet bills you shouldn’t own an animal’ and you know what, I may have even regrettably muttered such a comment myself in my early days. But my experience working amongst the less affluent members of our local community has taught me many things about the human-animal relationship, how important these bonds are in our society and how they encourage a level of intimacy, nurturance, and connection with those that need it most.
For pet owners who do not have the income to cover a vet bill or ongoing pet care, the idea is horrifying that their best mate could be lost due to a lack of access to services or the money to pay for them. These barriers are an unfortunate reality for many families in our community and we have daily conversations with local residents looking for somewhere to surrender their animals, not because they are unwanted or unloved, but because they are unwell or cannot be cared for appropriately. This is particularly heart breaking when many of these people want to keep their pets, and derive a substantial physical and psychological benefit from them, but simply can’t afford or don’t know how to care for them.
At SCAR we are true advocates for both human and animal welfare and we wanted to do more to help those that need it most, so with the help of a grant from the Hume City Council we started the Hume Outreach Pet Program (HOPP), a program that has the ability to transform our community (transformations that we have already witnessed with our own eyes and hearts).
HOPP has been working on reducing these barriers and assisting local pet owners to keep their pets physically well cared for and in their homes by providing financial assistance, education and resources. We have a non-judgmental approach when it comes to dealing with participants and a big emphasis is made on showing respect, creating consistent local networks of support and a local presence with affordable, readily available resources and the setting of realistic goals.
It’s a ground-breaking proactive approach to assist pet owners in need and I for one are over the moon to be a part of this life changing program.
Dezi the dog with this family after Dezi was desexed via the HOPP program