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Second Chance Pet Adoptions


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Second Chance Pet Adoptions is the oldest no-kill animal rescue organization in the Triangle region, established in 1987 by three women who began rescuing stray and abandoned cats and dogs in their own homes. Our mission has remained consistent over the decades: to champion homeless cats and dogs who are healthy or treatable in the quest to find their forever homes and to engage with our community to promote responsible pet ownership, ultimately reducing future generations of homeless animals. Today, Second Chance partially operates out of a facility that holds 120 animals. Our cats aged six months and older live at the adoption center, largely frolicking in cageless community rooms (like Willow and Mia, above). Our kittens younger than six months are protected from illness and socialized in foster homes. Similarly, all of our dogs and puppies are fostered, living with loving caretakers until they meet their new humans.

In addition to our rescue programs, three special programs uniquely position Second Chance to combat animal homelessness:

 Heeling Hearts: a program for heartworm-positive dogs. NC ranks 7th-highest in the nation in the number of heartworm-positive (HW+) pets thanks to the prevalence of mosquitoes here. Treatment for otherwise-fatal heartworm disease is extremely effective—and extremely expensive. Therefore, adoptable HW+ dogs (like Willow, above) are overlooked in shelters by adopters and rescues alike. We rescue dogs with heartworms, cure them (thanks to discounted treatment rates with local vet partners), and list them for adoption—for the same adoption fee as any other HW-negative dog.

Hearts to Home: an animal transport program. While shelters in the southern U.S. are overcrowded, shelters and rescues up north have adopters waiting for adoptable animals. We partner with rescues in MD and NJ to save at-risk dogs from local shelters and drive them up north. Most of these dogs are adopted within days or weeks (much faster than in NC)! Birdie (pictured above) and his siblings went from living with abusers who burned their noses with harsh chemicals, to living behind bars in a county shelter, to living with their forever families in New Jersey and being included in family holiday photoshoots like these!

Spaying/neutering cats owned and cared for by members of the public. In 2018, NC ranked as the 4th-highest state in euthanizing shelter animals. Homeless cats are especially at risk, as 75% of the animals in shelters are cats. Year-round but especially in “kitten season,” local rescues and shelters are overwhelmed with kittens. To reduce the number of kittens born into homelessness by the literal thousands each year, Second Chance funds (in partnership with others) Kitty Clip, a program through which Wake County residents can have their own or feral cats spayed/neutered for just $5. We also pay for the spay/neuter surgeries of some cats in Johnston County. This photo (above) of Olivia snuggling Melvin may be adorable, but it is safer for all to prevent feline overpopulation!