"At some point you just can't keep track of the count anymore."Mendoza told BarkPost the story of how she got involved with Second Chance Rescue, her first experience with volunteering, and what would eventually become Camp SCR.
"It was a few years ago that I was sitting in my kitchen, reading through story after story about these poor dogs that needed homes, and I came across a story about pregnant moms being given heart stick euthanasia in shelters. I sat there and I thought about those little puppies in their mom's belly, and the mom trying to protect her babies, and the slow death, and I just cried for three days straight. That's when I knew I had to do something."And that's exactly what she did. Regina started volunteering, doing things like transporting dogs and home visits, but that wasn't enough. She wanted more hands-on work, so she started visiting the vet partners where they had SCR dogs recovering and did walks with them. A little Terrier really sunk into her heart and she thought to herself, "Why is this dog here in a crate when he can be at my home?" And sure enough, she took him home and fostered him for the next six weeks until he was adopted into his forever family.
Regina Mendoza, the director of Camp SCR, with Abbott - a pup saved from being euthanized because he had a spinal injuryThen there was a Chihuahua that she fostered. And another dog, and another. One turned into two, two turned into four, and before she knew it, Regina was running a rehabilitation center right out of her home in Flushing, Queens. This all started in November of 2014, and by the summer of 2015 it had been dubbed Camp SCR. [bp_related_article] It started as a place where litters of puppies so young that they needed to be bottle-fed were cared for as they grew - which is around the clock care and a lot to take on. Mendoza told us that she would feed each one, clean them up, and have twenty minutes to wash bottles and prepare formula before it was time to do it all over again. More recently, Camp SCR has been a haven for severely abused or injured dogs that require intensive healing. Some of these dogs currently include Bodhi, a tri-pod pup with a broken front leg, and Carmella, who is fresh out of a hip surgery. In December of 2014, when California shelters had a major overcrowding problem and they had to send 90 dogs out to shelters across the country, Second Chance Rescue and Camp SCR took in nine. They frequently get transports of 8-10 dogs at a time from shelters in the south that had them on the euthanasia list.
Bodhi needs safe, even ground to play on since one of his legs was amputated and another is healing from a breakRegina, a single mom and licensed massage therapist, hasn't been doing this all on her own. Since the success of Camp SCR and the growth of going from one or two dogs to 10 or 15, volunteers have created shifts to help with daily care of the pups, including everything from training to play breaks to cleaning and dressing wounds. These wonderful folks do it all. Mendoza told BarkPost:
"We really are Ground Zero for rescue dogs. We get these dogs who have had very little exposure to people and basically have to learn how to be around them. They wouldn't have the same chance at adoption success if they went straight from where they came from to a home without the transition that we provide at Camp SCR."But there's one major problem that Camp SCR is facing and that is the state of their outdoor play area. The backyard is devoid of grass and any amount of precipitation turns it into such a mess that it's unusable for days. There any many uneven surfaces and holes that make it dangerous for some of the recovering pups to use. Even the healthy pups are at risk for falling and injuring themselves, and worse, the soil is loaded with all kinds of bacteria that can potentially make the dogs sick. What was once a backyard full of grass has now deteriorated due to the natural conditions of having hundreds of dogs do what dogs do over time.
Baby Joey wants to play outside too!
And so does Carmella!Second Chance Rescue has set up a fundraiser to fix this situation and have calculated they will need around $25,000 to complete their vision. This will include putting down K9 Grass, which is a "safe, drainable, cleanable, and durable" type of synthetic grass made specially for dogs. They dream of having a large, grassy space with play equipment where all these dogs that have suffered so much hardship and abuse in their life can just be, well... DOGS!
Second Chance Rescue's vision for their backyard renovations is pretty great, right?!Since starting the fund a few weeks ago, their many supporters have already raised over $21,000 and they're so close to their goal! Imagine if we can meet that and beyond, there are so many more dogs that can be rescued and rehabilitated. These dogs deserve a taste of the good life that extends beyond this amazing couch cuddling session.