second chance animal center
scores second 'food for thought' grant
+ 'shelter of the month' award
With an M.S. degree in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and a B.S. in Animal Science from Rutgers University, Linda has been involved in animal welfare since 1985 and has donned many hats over the years: Deputy Director of Advocacy for the Massachusetts Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA), Executive Director of the Conway Area Humane Society, and Regional Program Manager for the New England Regional Office of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). She's cared for wild, un-releasable animals at an environmental education center and at the HSUS Cape Wildlife Center, worked in a veterinary hospital and a horse barn, and volunteered at a spay/neuter clinic and various animal shelters, as well at Tufts Pet Loss Hotline.
Second Chance Animal Center and Linda both share a concern for the welfare of ALL animals. As far back as 2007, Linda was encouraging animal welfare professionals to consider the plight of farmed animals (read her article in Animal Sheltering Magazine). And from time to time, staff at Second Chance conduct humane investigations where farm animals may be in jeopardy. Most recently, they responded to a neighbor's anxieties about pigs living in substandard, unsanitary conditions. The adoption of an animal friendly menu policy was a natural and easy progression for this organization and its leadership. In fact, the Board is looking forward to capitalizing on these events as opportunities to educate the public about animal welfare issues and project a consistent message of kindness and compassion.
We sat down with Linda and asked her a few questions about animal friendly menu policies and her plans for the shelter's future.
Q: Why do you feel it’s important for shelters and rescue groups to adopt such a policy?
Organizations dedicated to the welfare of any animals should not contribute to the suffering of others if it is possible to avoid that, as it is with the food at events. All animals can experience pain and pleasure, suffering and joy; farmed animals experience far too much of the negative because consumers, often unknowingly, support their suffering through their food choices.
Ethical consistency and food for thought. I think that many people change their food choices after developing relationships with their companion animals. For those who haven’t already considered the similarities between their animals and those who are raised for their food, an animal friendly policy can accelerate that process. Those of us who work in animal welfare have an opportunity – and an obligation – to set an example for the public by serving animal-friendly food. People respect the work that we do on behalf of companion animals and view us as experts in the field of animal welfare; they will likely understand and be receptive to the reasons behind our conscientious and compassionate choices.
Our next event is the Walk’n’Wag on October 5th; the host has provided cider and donuts in the past, but I’ll discuss the new food policy with them and make changes if necessary to comply. Our annual meeting in the spring will be a vegan event, with food provided by Second Chance and our board members. Second Chance is also planning to build a new facility that will allow us to better meet the needs of the animals in our shelter, as well as the ones living in the communities that we serve.
Congrats, Linda and the Second Chance Animal Center team! We can't wait to see what the future holds for your shelter, and hopefully that includes a forever home for Sheena. This beautiful pittie mix was left at the nearby dump and luckily was later brought to Second Chance Animal Center. She's a real sweetheart and if you're interested in helping Sheena find a permanent, loving home, please contact Second Chance Animal Center: www.2ndchanceanimalcenter.org.