Barbara Bruce—Humane Society

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

Providing Second Chances for Animals and Other Cast-offs

The dog was horribly unlucky—a hit-and-run driver sped away leaving him with a crushed leg! The dog was also wonderfully lucky—the life-threatening collision occurred in sight of an employee at the Second Chance Store. He scooped up the injured animal, took him to the vet (his leg had to be amputated), and then brought him back to the store. He visits the store several times a week. Named Tap-Tap, the lucky dog is now the store's mascot and loved by volunteers and customers alike.

Barbara Bruce, a snowbird from New York State, volunteers during several months a year at the Second Chance Store in Amelia Island, Florida. Proceeds from the donated items sold at the retail stores go directly to support the Nassau County Humane Society in its mission—"dedicated to the humane treatment of all animals, to alleviate their suffering and neglect, to support the human-animal bond, and to foster an environment in which people respect all living creatures!"

Supporting the animal shelter began with volunteers putting on yard sales (aptly renamed, "Flea and Tick Sales”), which proved so popular and effective that the Humane Society was eventually able to acquire a permanent sales venue. With the new store has come greater recognition of the purpose of the organization and more customers making purchases in support of its work. And, yes, lots of them come to see Tap-Tap!

Barbara, an animal lover who also has had retail experience, has chosen to volunteer in the store. But she points out that other people find their volunteer joy working directly with the animals in many different capacities, including socializing puppies and kittens, walking and grooming dogs, handling paperwork for adoptions, and even making sure the kennels are clean.

She also reminds us that animals in shelters all over the United States need loving care and that volunteering on their behalf can take many different forms and skills, all within a flexible time commitment. So, if you feel a tap-tap on your shoulder, it might just be a special critter, a special place inviting you to volunteer.

Simply type "humane society near me" into your browser or visit for more information.

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