Dear friends,

We would like to take a moment to pay tribute to Patti Dobyns, who passed away on November 30 at the age of 86. “Miss Patti,” as she was known to many Second Chance staff and volunteers over the years, was a cornerstone figure in Second Chance history, with her dedication to our organization and her commitment to animal welfare in the Raleigh area spanning almost 25 years.

Patti wore so many hats at Second Chance over the years, including Board Member and foster parent to hundreds of cats and kittens, but she was perhaps best known as a cat care shift leader at our adoption center since 2006. She had a well-oiled routine so that, in addition to ensuring the cats got the proper care they needed, the volunteers also had enough time to interact with the cats to ensure they got the love they deserved. Patti would often arrive at the adoption center well before sunrise to tackle copious volumes of laundry and dishes. (We had a running joke here that Patti had a PhD in dishwasher loading: dishes of all sizes were neatly intertwined in beautiful patterns and every single dish came out sparkling clean.) By the time other volunteers and staff arrived for the day, got settled in, and pulled their sleeves up to get to work, Patti’s task list was near completion.

In later years, when her strength was not quite as robust as it had once been, Patti would pull up a chair and take a seat by the volunteer sign-in book, and she’d chat with each of us as we arrived and left, sharing stories old and new, talking sports (she was a huge Hurricanes fan) and taking an interest in our endeavors. Of course, she was here to take care of the cats, but she also took care of us, and as recently as 2019, she was still coming regularly to the adoption center.

In addition to spending time with the animals at Second Chance, Patti was also a legend over at Operation Catnip, volunteering her time to ensure that important spay/neuter work was done in this community to end the cycle of animal homelessness. Here again, she went above and beyond, ensuring the care of the volunteers by bringing sheet cake and her famous egg salad sandwiches. Her ideas and her values were formative for both organizations, and we are honored to be a part of her legacy.

Our hearts go out to her relatives and friends who miss her presence; it warms our hearts to imagine that somewhere over the rainbow bridge, she has parked a chair where she serves as part of a welcoming committee to all the kitties whose journeys she’s been a part of over the last few decades.


Lisa Imhof, Senior Director of Operations,

and all of us here at Second Chance