Whitney WeaverStaff Writerwweaver@heartlandpublications.com
October 14, 2012
While begging is an act one would expect from an eager puppy, like one of many rescued by Second Chance Dogs of Ashe, Carrie Hamm said she’s “not too proud to beg – especially when it’s for a good cause.”
Hamm is an employee at the Carolina West retail store where the Second Chance Dogs of Ashe pet adoption was held on Saturday. That morning, she volunteered to help spread the word about this organization.
Also present at the pet adoption were founder of Second Chance Dogs of Ashe, Petra Giles and board member Martha Tlaker. With them were some of the dogs up for adoption, some rescued only weeks ago from animal control.
According to Giles, almost all of the dogs rescued by Second Chance come from animal control. After they are quarantined at animal control for between 10-14 days, the dogs go to the Giles residence where they are nurtured back to health, trained and socialized. Many of these dogs have been abused or abandoned and can take some time to get back to a healthy weight, she said.
Second Chance Dogs of Ashe is a family-run operation which opened in January in the home of Petra Giles and her husband Jacob Giles. The organization officially became a nonprofit in late Sept. 2012, and is funded entirely by adoption fees and donations.
“We don’t make any money doing this. Since we’ve become a nonprofit, we break even. We have spent thousands of dollars getting it going, but it’s worth it to know that you are saving so many lives,” Giles said. She said that since Jan., they have “pulled about 75 dogs” from animal control.
“We treat them like family. We don’t use kennels, they live in the house with us and our other dogs,” Giles said. “Since they live in a family environment, they transition better to new homes and families than dogs who live in a shelter.”
The adoption process is stringent, requiring veterinarian references and/or home visits. “Their second chance at life has to be a good one, and I’m very patient about finding the right home for them. Sometimes it can take as long as two or three months,” said Giles.
Adoptive families are also required to sign a contract stating that they will have their dog spayed or neutered when it reaches the appropriate age. It is the only way to control the pet overpopulation problem, said Giles. “We have a 100 percent compliance rate with the spay/neuter contract.”
Dogs from Second Chance Dogs of Ashe have been adopted by families as far away as Alabama and New Jersey. Giles said, “For certain breeds, people will come from all around.”
“It’s a privilege to save their lives, and it can be sad to share their lives for such a short time.” On the other hand, “It’s easy to let them go when you know they will have a good home,” said Giles.
Giles said, “Right now, we can keep up to eight adoption dogs in our home without a kennel license. As the organization grows, we’d like to have more foster families, but our goal is to build a no-kill shelter where we can save many more.”
If people cannot foster or adopt the dogs, they can donate money or other necessary items, said Giles.
For more information about adoption or donations, visit SecondChanceDogsofAshe.org or find them on Facebook.