Columbia Second Chance, an organization aimed at providing homes for mainly dogs and cats, is having a grand opening of its first public adoption center Saturday. The event will coincide with a dog wash fundraiser, with the money going to rescue activities such as extra veterinarian care or general upkeep of animal facilities.
Second Chance has two other facilities that are used to house animals but are not open to the public.
“We were looking for a facility where we can bring in animals from our kennels or foster homes so that they can be seen during the day,” Second Chance board member Shannon Kasmann said. “It’s more of a meet-and-greet facility.”
Shannyn Yalaoui, financial coordinator of Columbia Second Chance, said volunteers take turns maintaining the housing facilities and showing animals to prospective pet owners. “But at the new adoption center, we have volunteer staffing (all the time), so it’s not appointment-based,” Yalaoui said. Hours for the new center have not been finalized.
Besides having animals on hand, the center will offer a variety of adoption resources such as brochures, which, coupled with the downtown location on East Ash Street, is meant to make the center easily accessible.
“We’re basically consolidating a lot of things into this place,” Yalaoui said. “Our volunteers don’t have to round everything up (to attend public events) and everybody has access to all the materials all at once.”
Kasmann said opening the adoption center has been in the works for 10 years. Second Chance is working in conjunction with the Central Missouri Humane Society to help as many animals as possible.
“Columbia over the past five years has been growing, yet we have this local shelter that is still in the same building that needs to house more and more animals over the years,” Kasmann said, referring to the humane society. “Working hand in hand with the humane society now, we’re hoping to alleviate animals ... being put down just because of space.”
Yalaoui hopes the new center will boost adoption numbers. She said the chance for animals to get adopted skyrockets when they are shown in public.
“All of our animals are listed on our Web site; they have pictures and biographies,” she said. “But when people can see the animals and really capture their personality, it really makes a difference.”