New Pawtner, New Swag!

How to Have a Pet-Friendly Thanksgiving! 🦃

We all want our pets to enjoy Thanksgiving as much as we do — they are a part of our family, after all! While we love and embrace treating your pets for the holiday, we highly urge you not to go overboard in feeding your pet table food. Common Thanksgiving dishes are full of ingredients that are toxic to dogs and cats or cause digestive upset. Here are a couple of infographics to show you what food is best for your animals to be given as a small-portioned quick treat and what is unsafe, and you should avoid giving your pets!

We highly encourage you to ask your vet if any of these foods are safe to give your pet before giving since all animals are individuals, and some foods may not be safe for your unique dog or cat. 

Quick notes to keep in mind:

  • Turkey: Skinless, white turkey meat is a high-protein treat, but NOT the bones! If your turkey is dressed with garlic, onions, or shallots, avoiding feeding turkey is highly recommended.
  • Green Beans: Raw, green beans are full of iron. They are great, healthy treats for your pups!
  • Pumpkin Puree: Sugar-free canned pumpkin is great for your pup’s gut!
  • Apple Slices: Apple slices without the seeds are a great treat!
  • Mashed Potatoes: The added butter and cream can cause diarrhea for dogs.
  • Stuffing: Onions, garlic, salt, and other spices can be harmful to dogs.
  • Raw Dough: The yeast in unbaked dough causes problems when ingested.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Steamed or boiled sweet potatoes are great for canine digestive health. Just make sure not to share any version of sweet potatoes mixed with butter and brown sugar.

The following foods are safe to share with most cats on Thanksgiving and some you should avoid at all costs.

Quick notes to keep in mind:

  • Turkey: Try to stick to white meat. If your turkey is heavily dressed with garlic, onions, or shallots, avoiding the turkey is highly recommended. Herbs like garlic can be deadly to ats in large mounts.
  • Cranberry Sauce: As long as there isn’t an excessive amount of sugar or artificial sweetener used to prepare the cranberry sauce, a little taste of it mixed with their regular food is a healthy Thanksgiving treat (but avoid the canned Cranberry Sauce – this is why it is listed under the “can’t have” section).
  • Green Beans: Plain green beans are excellent treats; make sure there isn’t a lot of butter or onions/shallots/garlic used to prepare them. It would be safest to serve them plain.
  • Alliums: Alliums like onions, garlic, scallions, shallots, leeks, and chives can be deadly for cats. They damage the membrane of your cat’s red blood cells, which can lead to anemia. Any dish that may involve these should be avoided entirely. 

If you’re not sure whether a food is safe for your cat or dog to eat, it is best to avoid feeding it to them altogether. If you want to treat your pets on Thanksgiving, perhaps talk to your vet to see if they can recommend a way to spruce up your pet’s traditional food routine. And last but not least, make sure to warn your guests not to feed your pets table food or scraps without you knowing (or really in general). This can add up quickly for your pet, so it’s best to avoid having them in the room altogether. Oh, and watch that trash can at the end of the meal. A lot of surfing can go down!


We hope you and your pets have a wonderful, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving!



American Kennel Club


Halloween Pet Safety Tips 🎃🦮

Who’s ready for Halloween in just three days? 🙋‍♀️ We sure are, and we want you and your furbabies to be too! 🎃👻

Every animal is unique and will react to the Halloween festivities differently – so we want to make sure you are proactive and pupared for anything that may come your way! Here are a couple of tips and tricks to ensure you and your furbabies have a great Halloween!

Stash the Treats

The candy bowl is for trick-or-treaters, not your pet! Many Halloween treats are toxic to pets, so make sure to keep them out of reach! Chocolate is the most well-known treat that is toxic to pets, but sugar-free candies containing the sugar substitute xylitol can cause severe problems in your pets as well. If your pet ends up getting hold of any candy, we recommend you call your vet immediately and ask for their expertise.

Jack-O-Lantern Safety

While a carved pumpkin is festive, pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire or burn themselves. While pumpkins are generally regarded as non-toxic to your pets, they can produce stomach discomfort, so be sure to keep an eye on any of your four-legged friends that may be overly intrigued by your “jacks”!

Chip Your Pets

Your doorbell (or knocks on the door) will inevitably go off throughout the night, which can cause panic and distress to some pets. All but the most social pets should be kept in a separate room away from the door. When opening the door for visitors, be sure that your dog or cat doesn’t dart outside. Ensure your pet is microchipped, up-to-date, and wearing proper identification if they do escape.

Be Careful With Costumes

For some pets, wearing a costume may cause stress. Do not put your cat or dog in a costume unless you know they love it. Make sure the costume does not limit movement, sight, or ability to breathe or communicate with you (barks or meows). Check the costume to ensure no minor aspects can be chewed off and potentially choked on. If your pet is wearing an outfit, make sure there is a guardian with them at all times. Festive bandanas are a great alternative to pets who do not appreciate costumes!

Keep Pets Calm

Halloween brings a lot of activity and strangers. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room. If the doorbell brings them anxiety, keep them in a separate room with a noise distractor on, such as the tv, the radio, or a calming video playing in the background.

Watch the Wires & Decorations

Halloween decorations can be harmful and even deadly to your pets should they chew or ingest them. Ensure to hide any wires associated with decor and any loose threads or pieces that could easily be choked on.

With these tips, you will set your pets up for success this spooky season! Make sure to share these tips with your friends and family that may have four-legged friends in their homes!

References: The Human Society of the United States

Looking to the Horizon: An Update on the Bequest

As we consider the best way to use the bequest that Robin Gager (pictured above) generously left us after he passing (learn more about her gift HERE), we want to keep our community apprised of where we are in the decision-making process, as promised when we announced the donation in July.

The question before us was whether we could or should expand our current programs or build new programs, or do both. To answer this question, the committee responsible for recommending a path forward to the Board of Directors (who will ultimately make the decision for the organization) has been hard at work assessing our current programs. At the same time, the committee is also investigating the programs and services available to animals and pet owners in our community to determine how Second Chance can add and supplement in efficient ways.

This committee has now developed four primary options of interest, which we lay out in Saturday’s update, and the Board of Directors has approved a few small expenditures as well. The investigative work continues (as do the final assessments of Second Chance’s organizational health) so we’ll be in touch with another update soon!


VOTE for Emily and Sophia in the Bar Dog Wine Costume Contest!

Let’s taco ’bout the Bar Dog Wine Adoptable Dog HOWL-oween Costume Contest! We are honored to have TWO of our adoptable pups in the running to win big: Emily (Taco) and Sophia (Wonder Woman)!

Emily’s life started out messy, but she’s all cleaned up, living her best foster care puppy life along with her seven siblings and mama. She loves them but can’t wait until her forever family takes her to her forever home!

Sophia, a 13-year-old jack russel, knows what she likes–a quiet home, a loving family, a yard to explore. Her eyes and ears may have aged but take her on a walk and you’ll see she still has a pep in her step!

You can vote once a day on multiple devices for the chance for one of our pets to win! A $1000 donation will be given to the organization with the most votes! Better yet, even YOU, the voters, have a chance to win big! One randomly selected voter will win a set of custom Yeti dog bowls plus $1000 donated in their name to the rescue organization of their choice!

Let’s help Emily and Sophia soar to the top, vote NOW!


P.S. While Sophia is currently adoptable, Emily is still living her best foster care puppy life with her seven siblings and mama, but keep an eye on the website for when she becomes adoptable!


🎉 A Round of Appaws for YOU: Evening of Pawsibilities News 🍾

The 2021 Evening of Pawsibilities: Over $110,000 Raised to Save Lives! THANK YOU!

Another record-breaking Evening of Pawsibilities is in the books — and we’re so glad we could safely come back together! The 21st annual (and first-ever hybrid) gala featuring an auction for the animals brought in approximately $110,000, an increase over the 2020 event and over the 2019 event (the last time we had an in-person component) thanks to our auction item donors, sponsors, attendees, raffle ticket buyers, costume contest participants, and voters, and those bidding and donating from home! We offer our sincerest thanks to ALL the donors and volunteers who helped such an incredible evening come together during such a weird year; the Second Chance family has once again worked hard to give stray and abandoned cats and dogs their second chances. Your support has been LIFE-SAVING!

Each year, we create a special video for the Evening of Pawsibilities through which we introduce some of the animals whose lives we’ve been able to save and change since the prior auction, thanks to the bidders and donors the year before. There are a great many furry friends in the heartwarming 2021 video, which you can (and should!) watch here now.


If you missed the live stream, you can view it via Facebook, but please note that the audio will drop out at some point due to the use of copyrighted music within. You can also use the many new buttons on the event webpage to view some of the particular custom-made components of the stream that our remote participants were able to enjoy that night.

We announced a few winners Saturday…


Dr. Joe


This year, we hosted the first-ever “Wags With Swag” pet photo contest (sponsored by Moon Interiors), and the fur babies did not disappoint! We had three winners: Carlisle, Dr. Joe, and Beau brought home the glory! Congratulations to them and to all of the pawticipants!

Congratulations also to our raffle winner, Ryan Villiger! He won the $1,500 Visa gift card, sponsored in part by New Hope Dental Care. We are thankful for ALL who purchased raffle tickets–thanks to each ticket purchase you made, more animals will find their new homes!

Winners, winners, everywhere! We also want to say congrats to the winner of our $100 Amazon gift card, Mary C., and the winner of our $100 Uber Eats gift card, Janet S. What a lucky night for all!

Everyone Looked Picture-Pawfect!

We captured some fun photos throughout the night, thanks to our two volunteer photographers, Klein Reyes and Mike Moss, and thanks to the ZimZoom photo booth, graciously donated by Moon Interiors! Click the buttons below to find yourself in the photos!





Live Items for The Evening of Pawsibilities REVEALED!

  1. Sugar High: Take in the spectacular sights of the Blue Ridge Parkway when staying, hiking, and eating in Sugar Mountain, Grandfather Mountain, and Boone! This live item includes:
    • 2-night stay at a 2-bedroom Airbnb condo in Sugar Mountain
    • Four-person pass to Grandfather Mountain
    • $100 Gamekeeper Restaurant gift card
  2. Fooore: Get your golf game on with friends and go for those birdies, then go for those burgers! This live item includes:
    • Round of golf for 4 plus carts at Prestonwood Country Club
    • Golftec custom swing analysis and club fitting
    • $100 gift certificate for Woody’s in Cary
  3. Let’s Have a Trolley Good Time: Explore and engage with friends in Downtown Raleigh! Good food, good drinks, good times! This live item includes:
    • Private Trolley Pub Tour for 14 people in Raleigh
    • $250 gift card to Virgil’s Cocktails & Cocina
  4. Almost HeavenTap into you and your pup’s adventurous sides and take a trip to Asheville! This live item includes:
    • $1,000 gift card to Barkwells – Dog-Friendly cabins
    • Kayak Adventure for two via Green River Adventures
    • $200 gift certificate to Plant Vegan Restaurant in Asheville
    • $25 each: Corner Kitchen, Buxton Hall BBQ, Twisted Laurel
    • Chimney Rock Parking Pass
    • NC Arboretum Parking Pass
    • $75 gift certificate to Maxie B’s Bakery
  5. From Dawn…to DuskTake relaxing in your backyard, lake house, patio, or porch to the next level! This live item includes:
    • Two handmade pet-themed Adirondack chairs
    • For Dawn: two Second Chance Pet Adoptions coffee mugs and a pound of Stumptown Coffee
    • For Dusk: Bar Dog Pino Noir, two shatterproof wine glasses, and a charcuterie board
  6. Royal Treatment in Queen City: Get treated like the kings and queens you are with a relaxing staycation in Charlotte…eat, drink, and be merry indeed! This live item includes:
    • 2 night stay at Embassy Suites Charlotte-Concord Golf Resort & Spa
    • $200 to pamper yourself at the hotel spa
    • $200 Glassblowing Class for two at Hot Alley Glass
    • $100 gift certificate to BHG Restaurant Group – Harper’s, Mimosa Grill, 1801 Grille, One Catering
    • $50 gift card to Cabo Fish Taco
  7. Dare You!: The full OBX experience you deserve! Get away from it all by getting outside your comfort zone! This live item includes:
    • 3-night stay at a Sunrise over Salvo, En Suite Bedroom accommodation at an Airbnb located in Dare County, OBX
    • Beginner Hang Gliding Lesson for 1
    • Tandem Skydiving Experience for 1
    • $100 gift card for The Saltbox Cafe

See any items you like? To bid on these live items, make sure that you are REGISTERED for The Evening of Pawsibilities. If you are bidding from home, REGISTER and you will receive an official Evening of Pawsibilities Live Stream Zoom link! The live auction will begin at 7:30 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, September 18! We can’t wait to see what you score!