Sioux Falls, SD
It's been open for five years, but come Sunday, the Second Chance Rescue Center in Sioux Falls will close its doors.
The board of directors sent out a notice this morning that financial and other challenges are forcing the closure. The statement didn't explain much more.
But now, the most recent manager of Second Chance is speaking out, and says this weekend's closure was years in the making.
The Second Chance Rescue Center has been taking in animals since early 2007. But since then, it hasn't been taking in enough donations to keep the center afloat.
Jeannie Rabine was hired as the operations manager for Second Chance in May after embattled executive director Rosey Quinn was fired by the board of directors. That board started overseeing Second Chance in March.
"So we have this eight member board of directors in place and all of the sudden they start doing all these inquiries into the financial backing of Second Chance Rescue, and discovered at that point that Second Chance Rescue was $140,000 in debt," Rabine said.
Rabine believes the center had been struggling for several years, and the actual debt surpassed 200-thousand dollars. Donations were needed to keep the doors open, but those fell over time as support for the center dwindled. Rabine believe the September 2009 raid on a Turner County dog breeder that was eventually tossed out of court was a big detriment to Second Chance.
"So you have the people saying we don't think you're right to go in there, then you have the people saying okay you have the right to go in there, why didn't you have your ducks in a row and get this done correctly. So either way, you lost the support of the community for the situation," Rabine said.
Rabine was laid off from Second Chance two weeks ago, the same time the center stopped taking in animals. Rabine says it was common for the center to get call from people asking if the center was still open, or if it was closing soon.
"Who is going to want to invest money in something they see is failing? Donations started coming down, the support for the shelter started coming down and we just could not get ourselves worked out of the situation," Rabine said.
But Rabine doesn't blame the community; she points her finger squarely at those who managed the center in previous years.
"It's in black and white. She saw it also. I don't know if she was in denial or what the situation may be, but the former director should be held responsible for what happened to Second Chance Rescue," Rabine said.
The current board of directors is hoping to adopt out the animals that remain at Second Chance. Those that are not adopted will move to other centers or go to foster homes.