Everyone deserves a second chance.
At least that was the late Bev Davis’ take on life.
Davis, who passed away in Parksville April 12 at age 76, leaves behind a legacy in the community.
She and her husband, Hoki, started Second Chances Dog Rescue in the 1990s and have since provided homes to more than 375 abused and/or abandoned dogs. Recently, Bev wrote a book called My Name Is Tahi, about rescue dogs.
The canine-loving couple operated the non-profit organization out of their home, fostering dogs of all shapes and sizes; many who were blind and cripple.
And not surprisingly, those dogs aren’t as easy to adopt out as say, plush puppies that can fit in the palm of your hand.
Many of the foster dogs were former pets of seniors, who either could no longer care for a pet or passed away. As Parksville Qualicum Beach is known to be a retirement Mecca, Second Chances was busy re-homing dogs over the years.
“If there was another dog whisperer it would definitely have been Bev Davis,” said Rae Davies, who adopted a dog from Second Chances. “Bev was a selfless individual who put her heart and soul into ensuring that dogs did indeed get a second chance.”
As word of mouth spread, people began dropping abandoned dogs off at Bev’s home. She would also take in dogs from dog rescue organizations in various parts of the province, many from up north. Bev’s house was the first stop for nearly 400 dogs — many were then fostered out to close friends until Bev found a suitable owner to match each dog. Bev’s screening process was known to be rigorous.
Anne Cross met Bev 13 years ago at a garage sale raising money for Second Chances.
“I don’t think people realize how much work is involved in dog rescue,” said Cross.
“An example, four dogs would arrive at her house having traveled in a dog carrier for hours… They were thin, scared, in poor health and most had never had a bath, others came in having lost their loving owners.”
She said Bev found homes for each and every dog.
Hoki described his late wife as “warm, charming and a best friend” with a passion for animals that rooted way back to her teenage years.
He said when Bev was 18-years-old she hid one of her grandparent’s horses in her basement upon finding out it was on death row.
While it was eventually uncovered, the memory illustrates Bev’s love for animals.
Particularly, Hoki said, Bev had a one-of-a-kind way with dogs.
Patricia Taylor became Second Chance’s official dog groomer, she said, due to “Bev’s amazing ability to assess people’s love for dogs.”
Taylor said “everyone agrees that Bev’s love for these little critters is what causes dogs to gravitate to her.”
Second Chances has touched a lot of people in the community.
“It’s amazing how many people have got their dogs through Second Chances,” said Cindy Genoe, a longtime friend who also adopted a “Second Chances dog.”
Genoe said she recently fostered a dog for Bev that was “scared out of his mind… he spent the first three days crying and shaking.”
After a few weeks of rehabilitation, Bev was able to find an owner in Courtenay and delivered “Mugsy” to his new home north of Parksville.
“Three days later Bev died,” recalled Genoe.
“Little did she or any of us know that Mugsy would be her final adoption… Bev always said that all these little dogs need saving, but as I have learned through this process, with the love and guidance from Bev, that the dogs in reality save us.”
With Bev’s passing, Second Chances will be forced to discontinue unless somebody else is interested in taking over the home-based non profit organization.
However, friends and fellow volunteers warn managing Second Chances entails long hours and a lot of commitment.
Serious inquiries only. For more information please contact Hoki Davis at 250-248-1057.