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home : readerswrite : yourstory May 24, 2016

Giving animals a second chance
Nancy Minion and Dylan

I recall one kitten that we took into our program. Someone had cut his back legs off!
-- Nancy Minion

by Nancy Minion

About 24 years ago, while watching the news, I saw a story about a dog who had been beaten blind and deaf. At that moment, I decided I couldn't just sit and watch any longer. I started working on strengthening existing laws and writing new laws to better protect animals. A couple of notable changes to Minnesota law I've helped pass are increasing the penalties for animal cruelty from a misdemeanor to a gross misdemeanor or felony and restricting ownership of dangerous exotic animals - wild cats, bears and nonhuman primates. I am currently working with a coalition to pass a dog and cat breeder regulation law.

Twenty years ago this May, other compassionate women and I started a dog and cat rescue organization - Second Chance Animal Rescue, an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We rescue dogs and cats from animal control impound facilities after their legal holding period is up but before they are put down. We also rescue animals from neglect and/or abuse seizures; from hoarding situations, and from dog and cat breeders who either had their animals seized or who are trying to reduce their inventory. We also get some owner surrenders, transfers from other rescues and shelters, and injured animals.

I recall one kitten that we took into our program. Someone had cut his back legs off! Our vet said that he would need a little extra TLC but that he should be fine. So I named him Dylan and took him into my home. Dylan became my poster child (kitten) for the felony animal cruelty bill I was working on at the time. Whenever I was discouraged and didn't know how many more years I could keep working on that bill, Dylan's picture kept me going.

When people ask me how I can do what I do, I just say that anyone can make a difference; you just need to care and get involved.

Nancy Minion lives in Woodbury and is president and cofounder of Second Chance Animal Rescue, www.secondchancerescue.org

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