When Nick Guginsky contacted BestBullySticks about supporting his local shelter, we told him we would place his favored organization, Second Chance Wildlife Rescue, in our 1-Day Animal Rescue/Shelter Giveaway pool. Every time these contests were held Nick tirelessly emailed us to ensure Second Chance was included. We knew he was dedicated, but little did we know Nick was a 14-year-old who loyally supported Second Chance every moment he could.

BestBullySticks had the honor to donate to Second Chance recently and in speaking with Michelle Mulnard Curtin, she told us more about Nick. Nick has his own Second Chance dog named Popi who he loves immensely.

He is such a terrific kid.  He is so dedicated to the animals.  Not just ours, animals in general.  He loves to help in anyway he can.  His family adopted a senior Chihuahua mix from one of our large-scale rescues and he loves his Popi!  He is always thinking of ways to raise money, advocate for the rescue, get blankets and towels etc. He is an amazing young man.  He loves to enter contests and win or lose he has such a great time.  He has won product for other rescues he has won paintings for his kid sister, he has won things for our rescue on a few occasions.  Some of which he has asked us to share with other people and other rescues. Of course we are happy to share as long as it helps the animals.  How can I say no? Nick is always doing good for the animals, we want him to continue. If spreading the wealth is what he wants, he has earned the right to make that request in deed!

Michelle also told us more about Second Chance:

We started about 15 years ago.  We started as a wildlife rescue interested in rehabilitating and releasing injured or abandon wildlife in our area.  As I said it started there. Before we knew it, dogs, cats and other domestic animals along with exotic animals began showing up on our door.

Through our training and experience with wildlife, our veterinary technician experience, our dog training, etc., we quickly grew into full-blown animals rescue organization. 

What’s different about your rescue?

What makes us different is our large field of expertise and becoming dedicated to having a specialty.  There are many wonderful rescues out there so we decided to pick an area that we are good at and jump in with both feet, or all four paws if you will.  We became a group that deals almost exclusively with severe animal abuse.  We wanted to work with the animals that were just “done”.  We pride ourselves on bringing back the ones that others would have given up on or that they simply couldn’t handle.  After extensive rehabilitation we reintroduce these animals into families and society.

What is the greatest success story or “win” that your rescue has had?

We cannot begin to pick just one story as our biggest win.  Every one of our volunteers would have a different best story.  We have had so many that people would consider too far gone to save and with time, work, tears, dedication, training, medical staff, love beyond words, holidays spent in the kennel, nights in hospitals, etc. We have had dozens and dozens of against the odds “wins”.  Parker is a blind deaf collie that was rescued from a hoarder situation.  He was emaciated, scared from fights and emotionally fragile.  More than a year after being with us the perfect home came—a special education teacher dedicated to blind and deaf dogs.  Parker now is a therapy dog, he does scent work, he goes to libraries, nursing homes, is in a children’s book and has an organization of his own called the Parker house.

What’s the most rewarding thing about working at your rescue?

We work very closely with the wonderful dedicated Suffolk County SPCA.  We do a great deal of large-scale rescue and most of it is for abused animals.  We do assist them often with wild and exotics as well, which are often neglected due to people’s misconceptions and ignorance about the species they are housing. We work hard to regain the trust of these mistreated animals, we show them that not all people are abusive and after we’ve been jumped on, scratched and most of us bitten many times we will get a cuddle, a lick or a paw in our lap. That’s pretty amazing.  A home for them breaks our hearts and we cry with damn near every adoption because we spend so much time with them it’s like giving up our own pets, but seeing them go to a family, well that’s pretty darn great too. The most rewarding thing dealing with animal abuse would be a quiet month.  No calls for us, means no abused animals.  Not because the abuser hasn’t been caught, but because it just wasn’t happening. Now THAT—that would rewarding!  Maybe one day!

What can people do to help your rescue?

Love your pet.  Whether you buy it, rescue it, adopt it (hell I don’t care if you’ve stolen the damn thing) TAKE care of it.  LOVE your pet, treat your pet nicely.  Think about what it takes to have a pet before you acquire one.  Make your pet a priority and ask for help if you need it.  Keep your pet yours, don’t let it become one of our statistics.  That is what people can do to help our rescue.

A BIG Thank-You to Second Chance Wildlife Rescue and their great volunteers like Michelle and Nick! Visit them on Facebook or the web to find out how you can support them!

To read more amazing animal and dog rescue stories, browse our Rescue Spotlight category!