Second Chance Animal Rescue Society closes doors to new intakes amid COVID-19 funding shortfall

Click to play video 'SCARS struggling due to COVID-19' SCARS struggling due to COVID-19
WATCH ABOVE: SCARS is closing its doors for intakes and is facing financial challenges due to COVID-19. Terra MacLean shares the impact the pandemic is having on the non-profit organization. – Nov 15, 2020

A non-profit animal rescue group based in Alberta has been forced to shut its doors to new animal intakes due to a funding shortfall amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Second Chance Animal Rescue Society typically has more than 200 animals in its care and finds homes for more than 1,200 furry friends every year. The rescue group takes in unwanted pets and each one is spayed or neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and receives whatever care it needs.

Read more: Canadians embrace pandemic puppies and other creature comfort during COVID-19 crisis

However, the past eight months have been extremely tough on the not-for-profit, which has brought in more than 500 animals in the last two months alone.

“We’ve had such an increase in the number of animals that need to come in. It’s actually shocking, to be honest,” said Terra MacLean, who works with the society.

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Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the group hasn’t been able to fundraise as much as it typically does. And the vet bills are adding up.

“We’ve gone through our savings,” MacLean said.

“We’ve been saving for a building and we burned through all of that. Because of COVID, we can’t have any great big fundraisers. Our Critters and Cocktails didn’t raise as much money because it was virtual this year rather than the normal event, which has a bunch of people in the building donating and auction items.”

Read more: Sweet pup who lost eyes steals hearts of Alberta animal rescue group

While there have still been a lot of people adopting animals, MacLean said the adoption fees simply aren’t enough to cover the shortfall.

“Our adoption fees don’t cover what we normally put into the vetting for any dog or cat. We make less than 50 per cent of what we usually put into most of the animals for recovery.”

The organization said it will not turn away urgent cases of animals in need of emergency care and those already in care will be looked after. MacLean urges everyone to spay and neuter their pets.

SCARS is almost entirely volunteer operated and relies on money raised through memberships, donations, sponsorships, grants and other fundraising efforts. Anyone who is able to donate, or become a corporate sponsor, can find more information on the SCARS website.