It was thirty years ago when Cummins found herself ravaged by her condition. Despite great medical care, she was not improving. She began volunteering at a Kansas humane society as a way to focus on something else.
“One night, some boys brought in a Dachshund who had had a litter of pups on the street, and she was having a hard time,” Cummins says. “I held her and suddenly I knew I would get well and my healing would come through helping those who could not help themselves.”
So, she and her husband created Second Chance Animal Rescue Society (SCARS), a free-roaming rescue located on the Cummins’ land. At any given time, at least 50 dogs of all breeds, ages and sizes mosey around 50 acres of rolling Kansas farmland….and the Cummins’ immaculately kept 4,000 square-foot house.
Yes, these rescued dogs are welcome anywhere—kitchen, family room, sofa, even the bed. Some nights it’s hard to see Cummins’ husband and rescue partner Terry, as he is literally covered in bed by a living, breathing, canine blanket. All dogs have access to the property’s two large ponds, woods, fields, two heated barns, and even the swimming pool if some physical therapy is needed.
“People say ‘none of your dogs ever want to leave here’,” says Cummins, 66.
And some don’t. Since SCARS takes on the most severe cases, many don’t ever obtain adoptive owners. And that’s OK.
“If you don’t find a good home for them, what do you do? You just keep them,” says Cummins, noting that she’s had some of her rescues for more than 15 years. No one wanted them, but she did. “If you [want] to give them a quality of life, you have to be prepared to do that.”
Today, dogs from all over the nation’s Heartland are getting a second chance at life, just as Cummins did thirty years ago.
“And so, all I do I do for them, considering they gave me back my life,” she says.
The efforts of the Cummins’ and SCARS inspired Freekibble.com, a website dedicated to providing nutritious food to shelter animals, to donate 5,000 meals of Halo Spot’s stew to help SCARS feed the dogs in their care.