Many people consider themselves animal lovers. For one woman, this love has developed into a real cause to help remove abandoned cats and dogs from shelters, foster them and then find them loving, permanent homes.
Sharon “Sheri” Snover of Berkley received a degree in psychology and went back to school to become a CPA, but her real passion since childhood has been caring for and working with animals.
In November 2016, she took that desire and founded Second Chances Animal Rescue (SCAR), a charitable organization dedicated to removing animals from shelters and placing them in foster homes where they’re cared for and prepared for permanent adoption.
“I’ve always been very passionate about animals and growing up, always had a dog,” Snover, who attends services at Temple Emanu-El, said. “Over the last 30 years, my pets have all been rescue animals, including the two dogs I have now, Stash and Chloe.
“When I was a kid, I’d tell my mother we should live on a farm and have all different kinds of animals. I used to drive her crazy when I was in college because when I came home for a weekend or vacation, she never knew if I was bringing home a stray dog that we needed to find a good home for!”
Rather than volunteering for an existing rescue, her need to make a real difference led her to start her own. Her goals for SCAR include programs that nurture the animal/human connection, as well one that will assist senior animals in overcoming age-related abandonment and find caring homes to live out their lives.
Snover has been very active in getting corporate support, including such places as Premier Pet Supply in Beverly Hills, Doggie Styles Pet Salon in Southfield and the Berkley Animal Clinic, all of which count her as a regular customer. Her own employer, United Shore in Troy, offered a very special program to help her realize her dream.
“Employees who’ve worked at United Shore for 10 years are given a chance to live their dream by getting 10 days off and $2,500. I’ve been there for more than 10 years and was fortunate to be part of this program, called ’10 Days to Live Your Dream.’ I knew within minutes what my dream was. I went to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, toured the many areas they have for the animals there and volunteered with the dogs and cats. This place had such a huge impact on me — it was a very emotional experience!”
This emotion is apparent in her dedication to her cause and the underlying reason for her decision to found a place to help our four-legged friends.
“I grew up in a home full of Jewish traditions and values and learned how to be respectful of everyone, as well as the meaning of mitzvahs and tikkun olam,” she explained. “This applies to animals, too. We have to be respectful of them and their situations. If they have medical or behavioral issues, we have to understand and try to get them the help they need.
“I like to think of our rescue as doing a mitzvah by not only helping the animals, but also the volunteers and donors who have a passion for animals and can feel good by helping in any way they can.”
On Sunday, Aug. 13, the public can help by sipping wine, enjoying snacks and creating art at “Paint With a Purpose,” a fundraising event to help generate interest in SCAR’s mission. Snover partnered with Painting with a Twist, a company that hosts parties where participants can make their own paintings in a fun environment while raising money for charity. A portion of the proceeds from the event, to be held from 1-4 p.m. at 200 W. Nine Mile Road in Ferndale, will be donated to SCAR.
“We thought this would be a fun way to get people to come out, learn about what we do and know they’ve donated to our cause by attending.
“We’re reaching out because we’re in great need of finding volunteers to foster the animals once they’re taken out of a shelter,” Snover said. “We can’t rescue any animals without having foster homes to place them in. I’m hoping this event will help get the word out about what we’re trying to do.”
Judy Greenwald Contributing Writer
Donations are welcome. Checks made payable to Second Chances Animal Rescue can be sent to 29488 Woodward Ave., #202, Royal Oak, MI 48073. To learn more, visit scarmich.org, or find SCAR at Facebook.com/Secondchancesmichigan.