Wilson Family Gift Marks End of an Era for Second Chance Center for Animals
In July, 2016, Second Chance Center for Animals received a “completion gift” of buildings and land from the Robert T. Wilson Foundation, the philanthropic organization created by Dick and Jean Wilson, founders of the animal shelter in 2004 and its primary benefactors until 2015.
Second Chance Executive Director Sean Hawkins has faith in the community that the late Dick and Jean Wilson called home for decades that it will rise to the challenge of keeping operations at Second Chance going. “The Wilsons gave so much to Flagstaff to create the community we all love,” Hawkins said. “We believe the community, in turn, will continue their work to save the lives of homeless pets.”
Hawkins is not exaggerating the impact Dick and Jean Wilson – and their children – have had on Flagstaff. If you’ve attended a free cultural event at Heritage Square, hiked the awesome beauty of Hart Prairie Preserve, had a child who learned about nature through Camp Colton, or adopted a pet from Second Chance, you have benefited from the family’s philanthropy.
Dick and Jean Wilson began their mission of rescuing animals in Northern Arizona in 1995, when they started the Plateauland Mobile Veterinary Clinic to provide spay and neutering services throughout the vast rural area, including the tribal land that are home to almost half a million community animals known as “Rez” dogs and cats. The Wilson’s quickly discovered that the needs of homeless animals in Northern Arizona exceeded the capability of a single mobile clinic program and opened Second Chance Center for Animals in 2004.
Second Chance is unique as it serves as a “rescue from the rescues,” partnering with more than 30 organizations across Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah who transfer homeless dogs and cats to Second Chance for adoption.
The “completion gift” from the Wilson family to Second Chance comes at a time when the organization is continuing to expand its mission to save animal lives. About 9 months ago, Second Chance partnered with the Coconino Humane Association, Coconino County’s open admission animal shelter, to accept animals at risk of euthanasia due to time or space limitations for adoption. Since March 2016, no healthy, adoptable animal has lost his or her life due to the lack of resources in the region.
Every dog and cat in Northern Arizona has a home.
Through intervention strategies, targeted rescue, compassionate shelter, responsible adoptions, expert veterinary care, and positive animal training programs, Second Chance Center for Animals exists to save the lives of homeless cats and dogs across Northern Arizona.