A home for the holidays. Second Chance of Orangeburg Animal Rescue has a dream for all the rescued pets and that is each of them have a home for the holidays. If these homeless pets could write a letter to Santa, they would say “Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is a home of my very own and a family I can love and who will love me back.”

It is hard to understand why these sweet wonderful dogs and cats have not been adopted. Several people have said one reason they don’t look at rescued pets is because they believe they are damaged. Not true! Rescued pets often make the best pets as they are so grateful to have a home. They show their gratitude by giving you all the love and loyalty they have to give.

My husband and I have three rescued dogs. One day Zoe showed up at my office. She was thin, timid and scared and about 4 months old, but she came inside with me and laid at my feet while I worked at my desk. Long story short, Zoe chose us, and I didn’t want to let her down. Zoe has maternal instincts one wishes all human mothers had. She is our grandson’s guardian. From the moment our grandson came into our home, Zoe sat down next to his carrier and in the six years of my grandson’s life, she has not left his side. Zoe knows when we are injured or sick and does not leave us. Zoe is a rescue that loves and nurtures with every ounce of her being.

Gabby came a couple years later. She was also around 4 months old. Children at a nearby school were so cruel to her. They broke her tail, dislocated her hip and destroyed her hip socket. Gabby would not hurt a child if her life depended on it. Gabby met Zoe and our elderly German Shepherd Anya and they became good friends.

Gabby is our warrior. She protects us all and tells anyone who comes to our door that we are under her protection. But this warrior is a contradiction at night. Still protective but when it is bedtime, Gabby prefers to lay on you with her paws wrapped around us and our arms wrapped around her. She is not damaged despite the horror of her puppyhood.

Then fast forward about five years. Maggie was on death’s door; her life was pain and starvation and people so cruel they threw rocks at her rather than help her. She was probably about 3 or 4 years old. Maggie took months to heal and while she was healing, Zoe was mothering her and Gabby was her protector. Maggie wakes up every morning with a joy for life that is infectious. You cannot help but smile and laugh and love her. She does bear the physical scars from her wounds and injuries, but she is not damaged.

I hope and pray that by telling you the story of our three rescues you will see that rescues are not damaged, and their story will encourage you to adopt your next pet, to open your home and heart to a rescued dog or cat that in return will be your companion, your best friend, offer you love, loyalty and devotion. They will without hesitation protect you with their life. Puppies are great and Second Chance of Orangeburg Animal Rescue, does rescue many puppies also, but older dogs are just as great.

Adopting a rescued pet is also a great way to teach your children about compassion and about caring for another life. What a great lesson to teach during the holidays.

Our rescue understands it is important to match the right pet to the right family. After all we want the pet to have a forever home. Second Chance offers what we call a slumber party, a chance for the pet to visit your home for a few days or a week to make sure it is a good match. And if we do not have the right pet for you and your family, we will also help you contact other local rescues to find your next best friend.

All our pets available for rescue are current on their vaccinations, they are microchipped, they are spayed or neutered and they are on monthly heartworm, flea and tick prevention. To adopt from our rescue, we do ask you to complete our application and allow us to complete a home visit. We prefer you have a fenced yard.

You can reach Second Chance of Orangeburg Animal Rescue at cbs1008@aol.com, on our Facebook page, or phone 803-535-9600.

Cindy B. Smith is a founder of Second Chance of Orangeburg Animal Rescue.

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