SHERIDAN — Second Chance Cat Rescue has moved to a more suitable facility thanks to the generosity of the community.
When Second Chance Cat Rescue’s lease was up in their previous location on Werco Avenue, a private donor provided an upgraded facility for the organization. Second Chance has been in this new building since March 1 and hopes to continue growing in their capacity to care for cats.
Rachel Kristiansen, program director and cofounder of Second Chance, spoke to the development of the program since it began in 2009. Originally ran out of her own home, the rescue has grown significantly to fill the building at 1850 Gabrielle Court, their new location. As of right now, Second Chance Cat Rescue has a five-year lease with their current building, which they have the opportunity to customize themselves. The building has a sufficient isolation section, private areas for less social cats and a larger, easier-to-clean section for the rest of the felines.
Kristiansen is incredibly grateful to have found this facility after six months of searching.
“Had we not found this facility, it would have been extremely difficult to find the cats new homes,” Kristiansen said. “We house about 250 cats per year, so without this new facility, the dog and cat shelter would have had to double their cat intake. The community would have lost a lot of human and animal support.”
Second Chance fulfills a much different niche than that of the Sheridan Dog and Cat Shelter, Inc. Although the two both do rescue and adoption, Second Chance is capable of housing the animals for longer periods of time, catering to the health care needs of ill cats, providing free boarding for cats and being entirely donation based. Their team consists of about 10 regular volunteers, cleaning staff and a part-time veterinarian.
“The community really stepped up and helped us,” Kristiansen said. “Home Depot, Bloedorn Lumber and many community members donated either time, resources or money for this new facility. It was a great help.”
Their new location can house more cats than before. The building is also adjusted to take in different types of cats than the shelter typically sees.
“Both of us have great volunteers and we do what we can here at the dog and cat shelter. Because we’re owned by the city, we’re obligated to manage resources differently than Second Chance,” said Jill Moriarty, director of the Dog and Cat Shelter. “They have the ability to manage a more at-risk population because of certain space and resource requirements. If they hadn’t found their new facility, those cats would have had literally nowhere to go because we are already full.”
Second Chance Cat Rescue works closely with the community to provide what Moriarty describes as a “vital service” to the community.
Second Chance will be having their ribbon cutting June 7 to celebrate their official grand opening. Second Chance’s doors are always open to the public.
By Marissa Brenneman