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Almost eight years have passed since Second Chance Animal Alliance, a donor-supported, non-profit organization, was founded and the need now is more dire than when it started. SCAA Director Mandy Beard reached out to me Tuesday morning to share that they have been inundated with calls for help with animals. SCAA desperately needs more volunteers, more donations and more fosters.
With the calls steadily coming in, Beard also wanted to share a reminder about the protocol at the animal shelter. First, she reminds everyone that if they see an abused or neglected animal, to immediately contact the appropriate law enforcement office. If the problem is in the city limits of Water Valley, call the police department. SCAA only accepts dogs or other animals in Water Valley that have been picked up by Animal Control Officer (ACO) Mike Scroggins or the Water Valley Police Department. SCAA receives $1,000 per month from the city for this service and accepts any dog (and typically almost any animal) that has been picked up the ACO or police officers.
To report dog or pet problems in the county, contact the sheriff’s department. This is critical, volunteers with SCAA cannot lawfully enter someone’s property to handle an animal problem. If there is a neglected or abused dog, you must contact law enforcement. Beard shared that SCAA has experienced some people who get pretty irate when SCAA volunteers don’t come running to help.
Beard also noted that SCAA does not have the funds or the labor to handle all of the dog calls in the county. Although it is very difficult for the group to turn away dogs, they do the best they can. If the call originates in the county, there are times when SCAA simply do not have the capacity or the resources. When they can, they help but there is no guarantee. Beard shared that every one of the volunteers hates to say no to any animal, but it is inevitable.
Another important note, all of the volunteers at SCAA work day jobs and are not available during work hours. They have paid workers at the shelter who help take care of the animals in the shelter, but everything is done by the ladies who volunteer. If you call SCAA (see contact info below), they prefer you leave a message or send a text. Someone will respond after working hours. You can also leave them a message on Facebook.
Beard also reminded everyone that if you see a hurt dog in need, pick it up and take it for help or contact the appropriate law enforcement agency. Often people will call SCAA and by the time that someone can get off work and respond, the injured animal cannot be located.
What Beard didn’t mention during our conversation was that SCAA previously had a contract with the county. Supervisors inked a deal with SCAA in April, 2018, to provide $12,000 annually to handle animal problems in the county, duties that included responding reports of stray or abandoned dogs, and injured or neglected dogs as well as answering calls about vicious dogs. The call volume was extremely taxing for SCAA, and in Sept. 2019, they requested increasing the annual fee to $30,000. That request was rejected by supervisors, and $12,000 was allocated for the second year of their contract. SCAA countered with other options, including $1,500 monthly to care for seizures by the sheriff’s department or a flat rate of $125 per animal coming in from the county that could be capped.
At the end of 2019, SCAA and the county ended the contract amicably. The tax money was tight and supervisors wanted to weigh other options. SCAA continued to try and provide assistance as much as possible in the county.
Reflecting on the last eight years, Beard shared that at it has been a hard lesson learned that they can’t save all of the animals. She added that every rescue person she has talked to has learned the same lesson over time – you can’t be everywhere and do everything.
“It should get easier, but it doesn’t,” she added.
How To Donate To Second Chance:
Mail – SCAA, PO Box 794, Water Valley, MS 38965
Venmo – @Secondchancewv
Paypal – email@example.com
How To Contact Second Chance:
email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook -Second Chance Animal Alliance
Phone – (662) 714-0147
(text or leave a message)