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January 3, 2011

Second Chance Animal Shelter Gets Own Second Chance To Complete “10,000 Tails Makeover”

Massachusetts shelter to keep building despite theft, thanks to HSUS grant

  • Sheryl Blancato comforts a four-legged friend at Second Chance Animal Shelter in East Brookfield, Massachusetts after a theft delayed shelter renovations. Joe Blancato, Sr.

by Julie Hauserman

The folks at Second Chance Animal Shelter in East Brookfield, Massachusetts hoped to finish their “10,000 Tails Makeover” construction renovations by Christmas so they would have room to help even more animals.

But on December 12, thieves came in the night and stole about $400 worth of their construction supplies.

Shelter founder Sheryl Blancato showed her characteristic compassion in a local television news interview when she mused that, if the thieves “were that desperate and came to us, we would have tried to help them.”

Enter Alexis Fox, Massachusetts State Director for The Humane Society of the United States. Fox secured a grant from HSUS headquarters that will help Second Chance finish its construction project after all.

For The HSUS, this is a small way to give back: Last fall, Second Chance agreed to take two pit bulls that were among several hundred animals the HSUS helped rescue from a suspected large-scale dog fighting operation in Ohio.

“I was so sad to hear about the theft,” Fox said. “Second Chance helped us in giving us a good place for those pit bulls. They are so overwhelmed with animals as it is, and they opened their doors to help those dogs. This grant is a wonderful opportunity for us to assist and support them.”

Second Chance is creating a training center to improve animal welfare in the area; The HSUS will work cooperatively with the shelter in this effort. The shelter also runs a pet food pantry for needy families and coordinates low-cost spay/neuter services in its region.

“We had put this project off for a year,” Blancato said. “Donations were already down, like they are for all charities, because of the economy. We had just gotten going on it when the robbery happened.”

“We really appreciate HSUS giving us this grant,” she added. “We can move forward now.”

Julie Hauserman is a staff writer for The HSUS.

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