What to do if...

Click the green buttons below to learn more about each topic and local resources available. 


You suspect cruelty/neglect...

Are you aware of or suspect neglect, abandonment or cruelty involving an animal? Second Chance Animal Sanctuaries is not qualified to investigate such cases, but Tioga County's humane law enforcement officer and/or police may be able to help. Start by calling your local or state police precinct, who can make contact with the humane officer and Second Chance if they need placement for the animal. Or, report it directly to the Humane Officer Krys Knecht at (484) 241-5650 or via email, website or Facebook.



You lose an animal…

  • Search your house. Unless you physically saw your cat or dog go running out the door, first search every nook and cranny in your home. If you did see them go outside, search in and under any outbuildings, garages, sheds, basement, porches, roof, under/in your car, bushes, trees, etc. If possible, leave sheds or garages cracked open,, as cats especially will likely seek shelter close to home. 
  • Go door-to-door and ask neighbors. Show them photos of your cat or dog and ask them to search their property and keep a look out in the community. 
  • Post online (include a photo, area/time missing and how to contact you). Put it on your personal social media, as well as any relevant sale or community pages/groups. If you're in Tioga County, post to these lost pet Facebook groups:
    • https://www.facebook.com/groups/LostPetsofTC/?ref=share&mibextid=NSMWBT
    • https://www.facebook.com/groups/469483709746748/?ref=share&mibextid=NSMWBT
    • https://www.facebook.com/groups/5566058213486585/?ref=share&mibextid=NSMWBT
  • Call shelters/rescues and veterinarians and local authorities such as police, animal control and the humane officer. In Tioga County:
    • Rescues/shelters:
      • Second Chance Animal Sanctuaries (dog/cat rescue/shelter at 725 Gee Rd., Tioga 16946) - 570-376-3646, secondchanceas@yahoo.com, or message on Facebook
      • Hobos Home (cat rescue/shelter in Millerton)  - hoboshome2020@yahoo.com or message on Facebook
      • Cause4Paws(cat rescue/fostering in Mansfield) - 540-538-0707, cause4paws16933@gmail.com
      • Tioga County Cat Project (cat TNR & cat/dog fostering) - tiogacountycatproject@gmail.com or message on Facebook
    • Animal officials:
      • Dog Warden: 
      • Humane Officer: Krys Knecht, contact: Facebook, website, email
    • Veterinarians:
      • Grand Canyon Veterinary Hospital, Wellsboro - (570) 724-0700
      • Wellsboro Veterinary Hospital & Reptile & Bird Clinic, Wellsboro - (570) 724-3841
      • Wellsboro Small Animal Hospital - (570) 376-2800 (Middlebury) & (570) 662-7655 (Mansfield)
      • Pleasant Valley Veterinary Care, Elkland - (814) 258-5719
      • Mansfield Veterinary Clinic, Mansfield - (570) 662-3844
      • Northern Tier Veterinary Clinic, Knoxville - (814) 326-4145
    • Police departments: 
      • Pennsylvania State Police - Mansfield, PA - 570-662-2151
      • Elkland Police Department - 814-258-5419
      • Gaines Township Police Department - 814-435-1133
      • Lawrence Twp Police Department - 570-827-0212
      • Lawrence Police Department - 570-827-2000
      • Knoxville Boro Police Department - 814-326-4126
      • Mansfield Borough Police Department - 570-662-2315
      • Osceola Township Police - 814-258-5301
      • Wellsboro Borough Police - 570-724-4400
      • Westfield Borough Police Department - 814-367-2769
  • Report to your microchip company. Most have an option online to report your pet missing, which will then alert anyone who scans the animal for a chip. If you're not sure of your pet's microchip company, ask the veterinarian or rescue that inserted it, or ask the animal's former owner. 
  • Make flyers. These are helpful for handing out to neighbors, posting online or hanging around the neighborhood. Find a template here: https://www.pawboost.com/lost-pet-flyer-template?utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_content=link&utm_campaign=google_mobile_lost_pet_flyer&gclid=CjwKCAjwl6OiBhA2EiwAuUwWZW1C0to99BJsRjNaSR2cFQBEmxzcTeQ4yTpbtwfIPe0oX5CiNfsh7hoC7uoQAvD_BwE
  • Procure a trap and set up feeding stations. If you're getting sightings of your pet, but can't catch them, contact a rescue, dog warden or humane officer to ask if they have a trap available. Set up feeding stations where your pet has been seen, and once you know they're eating there, move food inside the trap. 


You find an animal... 


If you find a stray dog, there are steps that need to be taken to ensure that both you and the dog are safe and protected. 

  1. Approach the dog cautiously; do not call to it or rush at it, as that could scare it away. Kneeling down at its level and offering a treat can sometimes help. If you can leash the dog, do so and confine it if possible.
  2. If the animal has a license, call the County Treasurer's Office at 570-724-9213 with the license number for owner identification.  
  3. Contact folks in the neighborhood/call a popular local spot (gas station, post office, etc.) to see if anyone has reported that they have lost their dog.  
  4. If possible, take the animal to the nearest vet clinic (call them first) to have them scan the dog for a microchip. This service is free, but make sure to ask first. 
  5. Call us at 570-376-3646 to report the animal. We can also scan animals for chips, but please call first to make sure someone is at the sanctuary.  
  6. Contact the dog warden, Will Yoder, at 814-722-6719, to report the dog. 
  7. Call local radio stations (WNBT at 570-724-1490; KC101 at 570-662-9000) and describe the dog and the location where it was found. Make sure to leave your phone number.  
  8. Post a photo and info to local lost pet groups on Facebook. The most used here are Lost Pets of Tioga County PA and Lost Pets of Potter & Tioga County, PA.  
  9. Lastly, be patient. This can be a stressful situation for both you and the animal. Provide the animal with water and reassurance if possible. About 90% of the time, the owner is found within a day or two. You've done a really good thing tending to the animal in the meantime.


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You need to rehome an animal... 

On any given day, countless people are looking to rehome their pets for any number of reasons. Shelters and rescues are already in population crisis mode, so they're rarely able to keep up with the demand. First and foremost, we urge you to exhaust all other options to keep the animal in the home it knows - vet appointments, medications, training, lifestyle changes, food changes, etc. Life happens and not every option is feasible or accessible to every person, but your pet deserves the effort. Reach out to us if you need suggestions. 

If you must rehome, consider these tips to do so more safely*: 

Preparing your pet

Before your pet is rehomed: 

  • SPAY/NEUTER - To avoid even more animals needing homes, please consider getting your pet fixed prior to rehoming if they aren't already. Contact us for local low-low-cost options or for info about our partial financial assistance program. Alternatively, in place of a rehoming fee, ask the new owners to pay for the surgery (but meet them at the vet appointment and bring the animal yourself to ensure it's done). 
  • Microchip - Get your pet chipped if they aren't already. Switching the chip to the new owner's info is usually pretty simple using the chip company's website. Or, meet them at the vet when you get it done so they can register their info.
  • Get up to date on vaccines
  • Gather all medical records, rabies tag, spay/neuter certificate, microchip info, etc.
  • Refill medications
  • Record any specific routines, instructions, likes/dislikes, and their food and any supplements or medications 
  • Groom and bathe

How to find a potential adopter

Contact shelters and rescue groups in your area. Again, they're generally at capacity across the country, but they still may be able to help. They may already have an approved adopter looking for that type of animal, may be able to add you to their surrender waiting list or may be able to post the animal on their website or social media pages. If you're able, ask if they'd consider making you a “foster home” for the animal while it awaits an adopter. 

Contact larger rescue groups out of your area (if you or they offer transport) or Google breed-specific rescues if your dog or cat is of a specific breed. Do some research on the rescue to make sure it's legitimate. 

Check with family, friends, trusted co-workers, etc. You never know who may be looking to add a new furry friend, and your pet is better off with someone you know and trust, and someone they may already know as well. 

Check with your veterinarian, groomer or other trusted animal professional. They have some insight into how their clients treat their pets, and may know of a trusted person looking to adopt. 

Consider a reputable online rehoming service such as Rehome by AdoptaPet. While the quality of adopters found online can't be guaranteed, these sites are generally better than social media. 

We hope social media (beyond your private profile for people you know) is the last resource used in seeking a new home for your pet. It's difficult to know what kind of home your pet is going to if given to a “random” person online. Sadly, some people even seek out pets to hoard, harm or use as bait. However, if all other options are exhausted, there are further steps to take to determine if the home could be a good match, such as asking lots of questions, checking references or even conducting a home visit. 

What to ask potential adopters

  • Their contact info - full, real name (if they contacted you online), address, phone number, email. 
  • Why do you want to adopt a pet?
  • What made you interested in my pet? 
  • What do you think are the most important responsibilities in having a pet?
  • What pets are currently with you? Are they spayed/neutered and up to date on vaccines? Are they friendly toward other animals? 
  • What pets were previously with you and what happened to them? (i.e. did they die of old age, go missing, were rehomed)
  • What people live in or frequently visit the home, along with their ages and relationship to you (the adopter)? 
  • Does anyone in the home have animal-related allergies? 
  • Do you own or rent your home? If rent, please provide landlord's name and phone number. 
  • Do you have a fenced-in yard?
  • Where will the animal be kept at night? During the day? 
  • How many hours per day on average will the animal be alone? Where will they be kept at that time? 
  • Are you able to meet financial needs of having a pet, such as regular vet visits, flea/tick medication, food, emergency costs, etc.?
  • If I rehome to you, may I contact you periodically to check in on the pet?
  • What will happen to the pet if your life circumstances ever change? (move, have children, get another pet, fall ill, etc.)
  • Are there any circumstances that would ever cause you to rehome a pet?
  • References: 1) Veterinarian's name and phone number, and whose name the pets' files are under; 2) At least three personal references, two not related to you, with phone numbers.

Contacting references

It may feel awkward or like overkill, but nothing should be when it comes to the wellbeing of your pet. 

Veterinarian: Tell veterinarian's offices you're considering rehoming a pet to their client. Ask how many pets the person brings to see them, if they're spayed and neutered, up to date on vaccines, in general good health or being treated for any conditions. Ask how their current pets' demeanors are at the office. Ask if they'd have any misgivings about adopting a pet to the person. 

Personal: Ask personal references how long they've known the person, if they're been to their home and met any current or past pets, and if they've witnessed interactions between the person and any animals. Ask if they believe the person is financially equipped to adopt a new pet. Ask if they would personally allow this person to adopt one of their own pets. 

Landlords: Ask landlords if the person is allowed to have pets (or an additional one) at their place of rental. It also doesn't hurt to ask them some of the same things as the personal references. 

Home visits/meet and greets 

You are absolutely entitled to ask if you can come visit the home of a potential adopter. Not all will agree, which to some could be taken as a red flag. If you do so, do it safely and bring another person with you. If possible, do not bring your animal the first time you go to the home. Here are some things to consider: 

Note the outside of the home. Is it on a busy street, is there a fenced-in portion, are there any visible broken doors or windows which an animal could escape from? Are there any kennels, pet shelters or leads tied outside and what condition are those items in? Are there currently any pets outside and do they have access to food, water and shelter?

Note the inside of the home. Is it reasonably clean, are there any broken windows or doors, any items laying out that could harm a pet? Do pets have access to food and water? Are litter boxes clean? Do existing pets have toys, beds, other comforts, etc.? Ask to see where the pet would be kept at night, during the day and when home alone. 

Consider who is home at the time and how they interact with any existing animals. Meeting with everyone who lives there (humans and animals) is best, if possible. 

If you've already spoken to the person/people and asked questions, ask some of the same ones again to check for consistency. 

If bringing your dog for a meet and greet with existing dogs, consider doing so first on “neutral ground” such as another person's yard or at a public dog park. The first time your dog meets the existing dogs should not be when they're officially being adopted/dropped off/taken. Cats generally do not require meet and greets, except to see if an existing dog is friendly toward cats. 

Rehoming fees

Rehoming fees on their own don't necessarily guarantee a good home for an animal, but it may help demonstrate that the person is seriously interested and has some financial means to care for the animal. Consider what fees your local shelter or rescues ask. Alternatively, if your pet isn't yet fixed, consider meeting the new owners at the appointment for surgery and having them cover it in place of a rehoming fee. 

Try not to view this as a way to “make money” for yourself, but rather another tool to ensure your pet has the best chance at a good and stable life. Remember that scams are still always possible, such as bounced checks or counterfeit cash. That's one reason why establishing a relationship and checking in to the person first are important. 

Checking in

Check in to see how the animal is doing after a couple of days, a week, a month, etc. No need to check every day unless the adopter and you are open to that kind of communication (it's great when they are!). Remind them of the 3-3-3 rule (how long it takes a pet to settle in to a new home). Decide beforehand if it doesn't work out with the new adopter, if you are willing and able to take the animal back to start the process over again. Every time an animal is rehomed to a new environment with new people, their spirit, demeanor and behavior can change, and usually not for the better. As for visiting, sometimes it's not good for animals, especially dogs, to see a former owner they lived with for a long time…imagine how confusing that is for them. Unless you already have such a relationship with the adopter, or plan to keep one up, OR if you're concerned for the animal's wellbeing in its new home, visiting after rehoming is more for your benefit, not the animal's.


The above are merely suggestions and tips for rehoming a pet only if absolutely necessary. In no way do following these tips 100% guarantee a good home for an animal. Second Chance Animal Sanctuaries, its board, employees or volunteers bear no responsibility for anything that happens to a pet you rehome on your own, should you follow any of the above suggestions and tips. The above is not an exhaustive list of all options for rehoming an animal or steps to ensure a safe home. This page is subject to edits, additions and deletions at any time. 

Online resources