A Helping Hand
Animal rescue program gets new direction.
Judy Greenwald Contributing Writer
Two years ago, as part of her desire to help animals, Sheri Snover founded Second Chances Animal Rescue (SCAR), a program designed to find foster homes for pets.
The Berkley animal lover and Temple Emanu-El member still has rescue dogs Stash and Chloe, and a cat joined her home this past January. Her love for animals hasn’t wavered, but her organization has changed direction with “Helping Hands,” a new effort designed to help keep pets in their homes.
“Since we were having trouble finding volunteers to foster, we knew we had to try to help animals in other ways,” Snover explained. “We’re still known as Second Chances, and the new mission of our Helping Hands programs is to help those in need and educate them regarding more humane treatment of animals. As important as it is to help rescue animals from shelters, it’s also important to help prevent animals from being surrendered to shelters.”
Snover said the first Helping Hands program began about one year ago, when SCAR partnered with Gleaners Community Food Bank to raise money and awareness about the problems that befall people and, subsequently, their four-legged companions.
“Sometimes there are circumstances beyond a person’s control that make them fall on hard times. It’s a horrendous decision to think about surrendering your pet because you don’t have money to feed it. Second Chances wants to help keep people and their pets together.”
This help is a pet food bank, where SCAR collects unopened bags of dog and cat food and Gleaners distributes them to needy families. One collection bin is at Royal Oak’s Pet Supplies Plus (29042 Woodward). Snover hopes this will lead to a bigger community outreach assistance program designed to help other organizations. Recently, a very successful bake sale at United Shore (Snover’s employer) helped raise funds for Dog Aide supply straw to help Detroit dogs that aren’t in homes stay warm. She said Second Chances is always looking for more supporters, and the SCAR board is currently discussing hosting a fundraising event.
“We truly believe if we all work together, we can make a bigger difference in the animal world,” she said.
Monies raised will support other Helping Hands programs:
- Harness Exchange Program — SCAR has partnered with K9 Turbo Training and veterinary clinics in a pilot program to educate clinic staff on the benefits of the Freedom Harness, a more humane pet restraint.
- Senior Pet Assistance Program/SOS Fund — Again, in conjunction with veterinary hospitals, SCAR offers this program for people with older animals who are financially unable to provide necessary medical care for their pets’ life-threatening illnesses.
“For those who qualify, Second Chances will contribute up to $1,000 for medical care,” Snover said. “In fact, we’ll be providing financial assistance to our first applicants in this program for their dog, Lily, whose surgery is scheduled for early November.”
This type of assistance is just one example of how Snover’s dedication to caring for animals continues to grow.
“All these animals want is to be loved,” she said. “They don’t have control over their circumstances, so if they wind up in shelters or in situations where they aren’t provided the food, shelter and medical care they deserve, it’s up to us who are active in the animal welfare world to do whatever we can for them.
“The reward is the amazing feeling you get when you see them transform into happy dogs and cats that are well-loved.”