Board Struggles with Uncertainty for Long-Time Animal Shelter
by Lindsay Cuomo
For nearly 30 years Second Chance Animal Sanctuary has been a transitional home for wayward pets, offering medical and daily care while they await their forever homes, but the shelter’s future is uncertain.
“Norman has been so supportive, but we are in financial crisis,” said Second Chance Board President Marilyn Butler. “We are in a very difficult position as, I’m sure, many nonprofits are. We have cut to the bare minimum, but shelters are expensive to run.”
The board is exploring new opportunities to create awareness and to raise the money it needs to keep the shelter’s doors open.
“Since we receive no city, state or federal funds, we rely solely on donations,” Butler said. “We are looking for community partners and local businesses to commit to be long-term sustaining partners we can depend on.”
When a dog or cat comes to Second Chance, the animals get a medical exam and vaccinations and they are often spayed or neutered. Those expenses, in addition to the cost of personnel and daily care, quickly add up and typically go far above the shelter’s $140 adoption fee.
“We are doing all we can to stretch our funds as far as we can,” Butler said. “But we need more help.”
One group that has stepped in to help is the Women of York, who made a two-year commitment to help the shelter. The group also has conducted drives to collect important items the shelter uses daily to care for the animals.
This month, with the help of local businesses, Second Chance is planning the Bark & Roll event at Hollywood Corners, 4712 N Porter Ave.
The community is invited to come out on Oct. 13 from 1 to 11 p.m. to enjoy live music from local bands and a barbeque dinner that starts at 5 p.m. Additionally, there will be drawings for cash, a silent auction and a raffle. Canine visitors can compete for a trophy and the title of best dressed in a doggie costume contest.
“We are also encouraging people to help us fill our van with items like bleach wipes, paper towels, detergent, cat litter, pet treats of all kinds, bath towels and fleece blankets,” Butler said.
The shelter goes through a high volume of these consumable items each month, making such in-kind donations valuable to their bottom line.
Also, in October, Second Chance will host a benefit sale at 4601 W Main St. Shoppers can browse a selection of gently-used household items, kitchen appliances, furniture, Christmas décor and more, in a thrift-style sale that the shelter hosts four times a year. Another sale is planned for the first weekend in December.
There are many other ways Normanites can support Second Chance, including donating spare change at donation canisters at Qdoba and spirit shops around town, purchasing a “Paws for a Cause” sponsor placard that will be displayed at Second Chance events and signing up to be a volunteer at the shelter.
“We are trying to be very proactive to raise funds,” Butler said. “We want to give the community lots of options to help.”
The Bark & Roll event is free to attend. The barbeque dinner is $25 per person. Proceeds from the dinner, drawing, raffle and auction will go directly to Second Chance. For ticket or donation information, call 630-7228 or 316-993-0091. Donations can also be made to stock the benefit sales by calling 630-7728 or 737-5432. – BSM