Lost dogs get 'second chance'

Zoe Greszler • Aug 8, 2017 at 9:00 AM

“You can do something big; you can do something small, because whatever you do is better than nothing at all.” 

That’s the philosophy of a new volunteer organization, Huron County Second Chance K-9, which aims to help the dogs in the Huron County Dog Warden’s kennels. 

“We are a group of volunteers that have just gotten together with the purpose to help the dogs at the Huron County dog pound,” said president Donna Fairfax.

“Our goal is to get them adopted and get them socialized and exercised. Right now we’re still solely focusing on getting them out of there and networking their photos. We’re trying to get them adopted quicker so they’re not spending so much time.”

Second Chance began its good-Samaritan work in April.

“I feel like we’ve helped a lot already,” Fairfax said.

Vice president Barb Widman said they group also hopes to raise funds for a new facility for the dog warden's office.

“Our goal is to one day get a new dog pound that’s more dog friendly,” she said.

“(This one is) 100 years old. It’s actually just an old barn that was repurposed. It’s outgrown its purpose. The dogs don’t have easy access to the outside. The officers would have to put them in the kennels and put them outside. We just want them to be exercised and get outside in the sunshine more.”

Board member Janet Ketcham said the current facility allows each dog a 3-by-4-foot concrete pad, a living condition which can cause “permanent bruising” because  the hardness of the surface, length of time being cooped up and the lack of space to move. The animals can also experience what’s known as “kennel syndrome,” causing the dogs to have a lot of anxiety and to become aggressive.

“They have poor lighting, don’t normally touch grass and they can be there for months at a time without much human interaction, without being socialized well with other dogs,” Ketcham said. “It’s very noisy in there and those just aren’t great conditions. It’s an old building.”

Widman said these conditions are “no fault of the dog warden, it’s just that the facility needs to be updated.”

Second Chance shares the pictures of the dogs on their Facebook page, Huron County Second Chance K-9s. They also have held garage sales and fundraisers to raise funds for the cause. 

“We’re also talking about holding a paint and wine party up here (at 16W) to help with vet fees for the dogs that have been there the longest,” Fairfax said.

Anyone can help by giving donations to either Second Chance or directly to the the Huron County Dog Warden’s Office, sharing photos of the dogs in the pound to help them get adopted and by checking the list of needed items on the Second Chance Facebook page.

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