Local animal lovers form Another Chance Animal Rescue

Mar. 25—A new animal rescue is looking to serve Mercer County's animals in need, while helping take the pressure off of the area's other animal organizations.

Officially founded on March 16, Another Chance Animal Rescue, or ACAR, is starting with animal foster-care services, although more programs are planned for the future, said Angelia Sherman, ACAR's founder and executive director.

As of Tuesday, 16 cats were in ACAR's care through four foster homes, and one adoption under the organization's belt.

"Our mission is very, very simple: We're trying to speak for the ones who don't have a voice," Sherman said.

Sherman previously served as manager of the Shenango Valley Animal Shelter, until she resigned in February.

When it came to starting an entirely new organization, Sherman said she was inspired by the large numbers of cats and dogs — especially cats — that were overwhelming shelters across the country, leading to many people forming their own rescues to take some of the pressure off of those shelters.

That's why, aside from placing animals in foster care and eventually forever homes, Sherman hopes ACAR can eventually offer a variety of services, ranging from community outreach programs to assisting with the costs of veterinary care and trap-neuter-return programs.

"We're looking to be another resource for the animals in our community," she said.

Although she's currently working a full-time job on top of her duties with ACAR, Sherman said the organization benefits from a board whose members all "take turns," whether that's scheduling appointments or organizing donations.

Two of those board members are President Jennifer Yurkon, co-owner of Happy Tales Veterinary Clinic in Clark, and Vice President Becca Feilke, a veterinary technician at the clinic.

Yurkon said many of the board members, including herself and Feilke, were already involved in the animal world, giving them a first-hand perspective on the animals' needs.

"It's a little different from the veterinary world, because beyond the animal's medical needs, you're looking at followups and connecting them with a happy family," Yurkon said.

Feilke said that, aside from her work at Happy Tales, she had started fostering dogs and cats over the past year.

"Volunteers are something we could use, and we're looking at more fosters," Feilke said.

The organization's leaders are currently in the process of getting ACAR's official 501©(3) nonprofit status, and work is underway on a website.

A Mother's Day fundraiser is scheduled for May 11, when Sean Scarmack of Scarmack Productions will host a photo shoot in the pavilion near Erie Canal Bar and Grille in Sharpsville.

Scarmack, a photographer and friend of Sherman's, will donate all of the proceeds toward ACAR, while Girl Scouts will be selling baked goods. T-shirts will also be available, Sherman said.

"As a team, we're completely overwhelmed by the support we've gotten so far. Mercer County has one of the biggest hearts when it comes to animals, and its the community that keeps these places going," she said.

Donations can be sent to Box 1104, Hermitage, PA 16148 or dropped off at Happy Tales Veterinary Hospital, 3432 Valley View Road, Clark, or Pet Supplies Plus, 2471 E. State St., Hermitage. For more information, emails anotherchanceanimalrescue24@gmail.com or visit "Another Chance Animal Rescue Inc." on Facebook.

Like David L. Dye on Facebook or email him at ddye@sharonherald.com.