Allie is a sweet girl looking for her ‘furever’ home.

Pet adoption has been on the rise with the recent pandemic. Since many people are staying home and social distancing, they are realizing they have more time to adopt a pet. Pet adoption has also helped to ease the stress and anxiety people have experienced due to the pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( said, “There are many health benefits of owning a pet. They can increase opportunities to exercise, get outside and socialize. Regular walking or playing with pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels. Pets can help manage loneliness and depression by giving us companionship.”

Second Chance Friends (SCF) is a local animal rescue that has seen a spike in pet adoptions recently due to the pandemic.

“We did see a spike in pet adoptions once COVID hit in March,” Tracy Cintron of Second Chance Friends said. “We saw our applications quadruple. We went from getting three to four applications a week to getting three to four applications a day.”

The rescue was started in January of 2012 as a breed-specific rescue named Second Chance Boxer Rescue. Within a short time, it began rescuing other breeds and mixes of all sizes. It wasn’t long after that a box of kittens showed up and needed rescue, and then four horses. As the nonprofit grew, it began reaching out to the community to help the homeless and impoverished with their pets.

After five years it had clearly outgrown its original objective of rescuing boxers. In October of 2016, it formed Second Chance Friends, Inc. to better describe what it is and what it does.

“Second Chance is not a second chance for dogs, because that would presume they had a first chance and failed,” said SCF’s creator, Bill Gray. “The majority of the dogs we rescue never had any chances, first, second or otherwise.”

Gray and Cintron strongly suggest that residents research what kind of pet will work best before adopting.
“You may think now is a good time to adopt a pet because you are home more, but what about in three to six months when you have to go back to work?” Cintron said. “Make sure you are ready for the commitment and responsibility that comes with being a responsible pet owner.”

To learn more about Second Chance Friends or to meet the adoptable pets it has available, visit

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Libby Hopkins
Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.