Socially Conscious Sheltering
My name is Florence Brightengale. Recently my person passed away and so I am going through two difficult transitions of missing him and being homeless. But fortunately my person made arrangements for me to be cared for by Second Chance until they can find me a new home. I learned Second Chance is a partner of an animal-welfare model in Colorado that hopes to be the future of the industry. It is called Socially Conscious Sheltering and it is very good for pets like me.
Socially Conscious Sheltering (SCS) is not a new approach for Second Chance but it describes a growing culture within animal welfare that is the most compassionate, transparent and thoughtful model out there. I believe that as it grows all pets and people will benefit. Although this movement started in Colorado it is evolving nationally, and even internationally, because animals in Colorado are having superior outcomes through this approach.
The first tenet of SCS is that every unwanted or homeless pet has a safe place to go for shelter and care and that every healthy and safe animal is placed in a loving home. This means, fortunately for a 13 year old cat like me, an animal’s opportunity to be nurtured, healed, and rehomed does not depend on age or condition and it is unacceptable to turn animals away because they are too old, too sick, or too broken.
Another tenet of SCS, that Second Chance has always practiced, is that all homeless pets are provided medical care for disease and injury while behavioral needs are also met. These actions prevent suffering and ensures the best outcome for all homeless pets.
SCS philosophy also includes aligning shelter policy with the needs of the community. Second Chance’s example this include offering trap-neuter-return programs for feral cats where allowed, adopting out animals with chronic disease to families who are able to provide this care, and providing affordable medical care to community pets to keep them in their homes.
SCS also promotes the alleviation of suffering and making appropriate euthanasia decisions to avoid the anguish of terminally ill animals lingering in shelters. Shelters like Second Chance also agree that it is unacceptable to house a known dangerous animal long term who cannot be safely placed in the community.
The SCS movement looks to enhance the human-animal bond through safe placements and support. Second Chance offers post-adoption behavior advice, behavioral classes, and always receives pets back if the pet and the family are not a good fit, while working hard to ensure all placements are safe for the family and the pet.
SCS also fosters a culture of transparency, ethical decision making, mutual respect, continual learning and collaboration. Another good alignment for Second Chance, who has a network of partners and believes that only by working together can the best outcomes for all animals be ensured. Big purrs for Socially Conscious Sheltering!
There are 5 other feline senior housemates of mine that all came to Second Chance with me. We are lucky to be here but really need to be in new forever homes. I feel I have many years left and want to spend them as part of a caring family.
I am a darling girl with a passion for lazing around in quiet spaces up high off the ground. I do well with other cats of course and although I am not much of a reader I do enjoy knitting and Scrabble. Did you know that “jukebox” is among the top 3 words in Scrabble for highest points (77 points!)? Almost as good as “adoptmetoday”.
Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been servicing San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties for over 26 years. Call the Second Chance Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other services. View our shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org.