Sometimes all you need is a Second Chancecatdog5

Second Chance Pet Adoptions is a non-profit animal rescue organization that has rescued stray or abandoned cats and dogs in the Triangle Area of North Carolina since 1987.


Second Chance Pet Adoptions is the oldest no-kill rescue organization in Wake County. At Second Chance, our mission is to champion homeless cats and dogs who are healthy or treatable in the quest to find their forever homes and engage with our community to promote responsible pet ownership–ultimately reducing future generations of homeless animals.

Overview and History

It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come from the day when three women, Cheri Sowter, Deborah Ruggero, and Judy Benrud sat down in 1987 and committed themselves to helping homeless animals in the Triangle. They began by “fostering” the stray cats and dogs they would find. Word got around and other people who found strays would bring them to Second Chance. Things began to get bigger and bigger. They built a ”cat condo” in one of their back yards and one of the other women penned off part of her back yard for the stray dogs.

Judy and Cheri had ties to The College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University and were able to get donated time from some vets and vet students. Things blossomed even more, and in 1989, they decided to apply for non-profit status and became a bona fide 501 (c) (3) rescue organization. They began recruiting volunteers to help them with caring for the animals and with screening applicants.

Other volunteers began fostering animals, raising funds, and introducing rescued animals to potential permanent homes. Throughout this time Second Chance had relied on foster homes for all the animals in its program. However, as Second Chance continued to grow and create more programs, a cageless no-kill facility to house cats was opened in February 2004.

Second Chance will continue to partner with its extended family of supporters, volunteers, and other rescue groups to work toward the common goal of no more homeless animals.

The guiding principles on which Judy, Cheri and Deborah founded Second Chance continue to this day. The central principle is that Second Chance makes a lifetime commitment to each of the animals it rescues, retaining the option of taking them back in the event the new home cannot keep them. All rescued animals will receive the medical care they need, will be shown unconditional love, and will be carefully matched with the best homes for their needs in order to ensure a lifetime of safety, love, and companionship.

Nonprofit Status

  • Second Chance Pet Adoptions is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, charitable corporation. We are a no-kill, private, managed-admissions animal rescue organization.
  • We have been recognized by the IRS as eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. Our federal tax ID number/EIN  is 56-1671883. You can verify our IRS standing by calling IRS Customer Service at 877-829-5500 or by visiting the IRS website.
  • You can view our current IRS Form 990 at

Legal Name and Address

Second Chance Pet Adoptions

6003 Chapel Hill Road Suite 133

Raleigh, NC 27607

State Employees Combined Campaign (SECC)

We are proud to participate in North Carolina’s SECC. Our SECC number is #1571.