By Amanda Rogers
Just outside of Mansfield, along a section of road sprinkled with houses set back on large open lots, people dump unwanted dogs and puppies, leaving them to fend for themselves.
Now on the same stretch of road is where a lot of canines find hope and many wind up with new homes through the Second Chance Dog Rescue.
“(Charles Morales) built the shelter knowing the problem out here,” said Lisa Carmichael, director of Second Chance. “People are more likely to dump a dog out here. We’re in the county, not the city.
“There’s such a problem in this area,” she said. “Lillian and Alvarado don’t have a shelter. Waxahachie has a little shelter.”
Morales, a local businessman and property owner, built and owns the 7,500-square-foot facility on two acres at 7989 Grimsley Gibson Road.
The all-volunteer non-profit Second Chance Dog Rescue took over from a previous rescue group in March 2021 and has rescued 125 dogs – and counting – finding homes for 90 so far, including eight litters of puppies. The dogs stay until they find a home, as Second Chance is a no-kill facility.
The facility has 19 indoor kennels and another 10 outside, plus a dog run and two play areas.
“Half the kennels have their own dog run and we’re working to get all the kennels their own dog run,” said Amy Senato , a Second Chance board member and core volunteer.
And the facility stays busy.
“People come here and say ‘here’s my dog,’” Senato said. “Some we find on the railroad track. The majority are strays. Every once in awhile, we’ll get a random phone call. We have several people who have moved and left their dog.”
Some people just drop their dog over the fence at Second Chance Dog Rescue.
“When you see three dogs roaming the property, that didn’t just happen,” Senato said.
During February’s ice storm, Second Chance volunteers were working overtime to keep dogs from freezing.
“We took in 15 dogs in the last ice storm,” Carmichael said. “We had kennels everywhere. We don’t like to do that. We have to provide good quality care.”
That care includes scanning the dogs for microchips and reuniting them with their owners, if possible, and quarantining incoming dogs for two weeks to make sure that they aren’t sick, and if they are, to prevent them from spreading it throughout the shelter.
“In that two weeks, you find out their temperament,” Carmichael said.
They learn whether the dogs are scared, shy or outgoing, and whether they get along with children and other pets.
The group does their homework finding the pups new homes, too.
“We have an interest form they have to fill out to foster or adopt,” Senato said. “We look at those first before we do a meet and greet. Some would not be a good candidate because the dog is going to end up back with us.
“If they have dogs at home, we set up a meet and greet with them,” she said. “We do a home visit and sometimes we’ll take the dog with us if everything else checks out.”
All dogs are spayed or neutered, except puppies and dogs that are too old, and they get all their shots and heartworm medicines.
“If it’s a puppy, they foster to adopt until the dog is old enough to be spayed or neutered,” Carmichael said. “It would defeat the purpose of what we’re doing if we were to move them out of here without being spayed or neutered.”
Adoption fees are $200 for adults and $250 for puppies.
Other groups have stepped up to help, including Linda Jobe Middle School, which collected blankets and towels, the University of Texas at Arlington, which painted the facility, and the Boy Scouts, who built an agility course in a play area.
But more help is needed. The nonprofit runs off donations, which can be sent through the group’s Paypal, Zelle or Venmo.
“We need volunteers to come out here,” Carmichael said. “Together we can do it.”
“All these dogs deserve a home,” she said.
Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.