The nonprofit has raised about $6,000 for the condo, named Dakota’s Bridge, thus far.
The calls don’t stop for Bill Gray.
The Plant City resident is the founder of nonprofit Second Chance Boxer Rescue Inc. and its all-breed sister division, Second Chance Friends. He has been rescuing dogs for 15 years.
“We rescue boxers,” Gray said. “But we have more pit bulls than boxers. It’s really hard, but I have to have a positive outcome.”
In the last 15 years, Gray has had 83 dogs come through the doors of his rescue as either permanent fosters or eventual adoptees.
With every call he gets — from dogs spotted on the side of the road to injured strays to shelter pups — he makes it his mission to find the best home possible, even in the foster phase.
Now, he’s hoping he’ll be able to save even more. Second Chance and its team of volunteers are seeking funding for a ‘critter condo,’ which will serve as a temporary housing facility for dogs before a foster home is found for the animals.
For Gray, the condo – dubbed Dakota’s Bridge – is a solution to continue to help dogs who are running out of time at area shelters.
“There’s specific times when you just get stuck,” Gray said. “I really always make an effort to get them out of the shelters. It works out, but it never works out on my time table.”
Gray said that he can usually find a foster for a small dog within a week, but that larger dogs can take up to two weeks or a month. In addition, Gray can’t board shelter dogs he saves for two weeks due to kennel cough.
The condo, he said, will help take the stress off of finding a foster immediately. The estimated 12-foot-by-36-foot facility will be located on his property on Knights Griffin Road, and the animals will continue to be cared for by Gray and his team of volunteers.
“You can hang out and work with the dogs there,” he said. “You can teach them how to behave in a home. I can do a lot more with a condo like this. I can get to know them.”
About $6,000 has been raised for the condo so far through the crowdfunding site YouCaring. According to plans posted on the YouCaring page, the condo will feature kennels, runs for the dogs, a bath area and a living space to work with the dogs.
“I want it to be a healthy environment for the dogs,” he said. “I want it to have room to expand if we need to. If we had a hurricane blow through, I could fill it with crates. It’s a good alternative to boarding the dogs.”
For Gray, Dakota’s Bridge gives him and his team a chance to say ‘yes’ to more dogs, something that has been his mission since he started Second Chance.
On the rescue’s website, the purpose of the rescue is explained as a second chance for humans to provide a safe, healthy environment for dogs after they have been abused or neglected. Dakota’s Bridge, Gray said, helps expand that mission.
“It’s just buying time with time,” he said. “It’ll work out, and that kind of helps you sleep better.”
Contact Emily Topper at [email protected].