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Giving pets a second chance at life, love

Jenny Jennings, right, adopted her dog Annie, via Second Chance Animal Rescue. She later joined the organization with friend and founder Nancy Minion, left. Staff photo by Hank Long.

Annie is a runt of a border collie. With a healthy black coat accented by a few trace spots of white under her chin, on her upper breast and on the tips of her ears, she has a energetic personality to match. It would be understandable to think she is much younger than 13 years old. But that's what makes Annie special, said her owner Jenny Jennings.

"She was one-and-a-half years old when we rescued her," Jennings, a Woodbury resident recalled. "The white on her ear tips is actually from the frost bite when she was found that winter we adopted her."

The fact that Annie has been living the good life in Woodbury with the Jennings family for more than a decade is a stark contrast to what could have become of the one-time abandoned pup who was found wandering a rural community near Duluth, before she was taken to an animal shelter.

Annie would have likely been euthanized if no one had claimed her. But she was adopted by Jennings through Second Chance Animal Rescue, an organization with roots in Woodbury. After Jennings and her husband Tom brought Annie home it wasn't long before Jenny felt the call to help other animals. Since then she has been a dedicated volunteer and board member for Second Chance Animal Rescue, which was co-founded by another Woodbury resident, Nancy Minion.

Since its inception in 1994, the non-profit organization has saved more than 8,000 dogs and cats from being euthanized. Second Chance is not a shelter itself. It is an organization that counts on a network of donors, vets and foster homes to care for and temporarily house abandoned and stray pets while they are waiting to be adopted to their "forever homes," Minion said.

"We don't have a facility, and we never will," said Minion, who spends most of her free-time (when she isn't working her full-time job) helping to run Second Chance. "We really count on foster families and volunteers to transport animals when they are rescued and need care."

The complete story is available in the Nov. 24 print edition of the Woodbury Bulletin.