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Gulf Coast Humane Society’s Second Chance Fund is running out

May 9, 2018
By MELISSA BILL ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The Gulf Coast Humane Society's Second Chance Fund is a key program that has allowed the organization to save countless animals' lives and is quickly becoming exhausted with several major surgeries being performed within the past couple of months.

According to GCHS executive director Jennifer Galloway, donations are needed to keep up with the demand and continue saving these animals' lives.

"We recently got a $10,000 bill for medical services that saved the lives of animals who would have otherwise had to be euthanized. It's literally been a life-saving fund for many of these animals," said Galloway.

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Rey, a Gulf Coast Humane Society client, recovers from surgery.


"People in the industry know we have this fund and can help cover medical costs which no one else would have covered. Without it, these deserving animals would not get the care they need. It's a very important initiative of ours at GCHS," Galloway said.

The Gulf Coast Humane Society's Second Chance Fund is used expressly for treating serious medical issue which were inflicted on them by no fault of their own. It helps pay for medical bills and rehabilitation from everything to being hit by a car, injuries caused by neglect or abuse or a serious medical diagnosis.

"One of our most recent second chance success cases is Howie (a Maltese, Yorkshire mix), who needed a lifesaving surgery, which cost nearly $3,000," said Galloway.

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"Howie was born with an abnormal vessel shunting blood around the liver instead of into the liver. The shunting vessel caused toxins to build up in his body, causing illness," said Jason Eisele, DVM, DACVS, surgeon for Howie. "Without surgery, Howie may have been able to live approximately two-to-four years. But with the elimination of the shunt, Howie should now be able to live a healthy, normal life."

Howie is now with his foster mom, Pam Simoneau, awaiting his new permanent home once he receives a clean bill of health. He is just one example of why this fund is so important.

Two other success stories are Mack, a lab-terrier mix, who came into the GCHS with two broken legs. He was hit by a semi-truck in DeSoto County. Mack was taken to Specialized Veterinary Services, one of the main clinics that GCHS relies on for many of its Second Chance Fund treatments. Dr. Jason Eisele performed major surgery on both of Mack's hind legs.

Freckles, a cattle dog mix, with a broken pelvis is another young dog that got his second chance from this fund.

"It's amazing that most of these animals are so loving and affectionate even when they are hurt and in pain. Mack wagged his tail throughout the entire process," said Galloway. "He deserved to be pain-free and live a long, happy life."

According to Galloway, the Second Chance Fund success rate is nearly perfect. Every animal who was the recipient of the fund, was eventually adopted.

"Donations that go to the Second Chance Fund are used strictly for these types of procedures," said Galloway. "And the Second Chance Fund could not be possible without caring peoples' donations."

Helping animals with no chance, that's what a donation to the GCHS' Second Chance Fund provides.

To make a donation to the Second Chance Fund, log onto the GCHS website at and click the red "Donate Now" button. Or send a check to: GCHS Second Chance Fund, 2010 Arcadia Street, Fort Myers, Fla., 33916; or call 239-332-0364.

The Second Chance Fund program is also in need of foster and permanent homes for these loving animals. Those interested in adopting or fostering, can call or visit the GCHS' main campus.

Other programs that GCHS offers include their Senior to Senior program, which matches elderly canines and felines with residents at senior independent/assisted living facilities, and a puppy visitation program that helps calm stressed FGCU students during exam time and provides therapy for neglected and abused kids at Children's Advocacy.

"These programs offers many benefits for both the animals and the person. Dog and cat companions can be a source of therapy and decrease stress," said Galloway.



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