CRESCENT SPRINGS – Lisa Binns doesn’t really recall a time when she wasn’t taking photos.
“Photography has been a hobby ever since I can remember,” she said.
So, a young Binns went to Kent State University for their photojournalism program.
“I was dreaming of being a photographer for National Geographic,” she said. “I ended up with a degree in business administration.”
She now operates her own consulting business. Yet, she hasn’t put down her camera.
“It’s a great creative outlet,” said Binns, of Crescent Springs.
Photography also gives Binns a reason to spend time with her “favorite people – dog people.”
For eight years she volunteered with rescue organizations, photographing pets to give them a better chance of being adopted.
“A great shot increases the speed at which an animal is adopted and can double adoption rates overall.”
Bob Howard, president of Stray Animal Adoption Program (SAAP), can attest to that statement.
“Before Lisa, we were adopting out 900 to 1,000 pets a year,” he said. “We thought we were doing well. After Lisa, we started adopting out 1,500 to 2,000 and last year adopted out about 3,500.”
Howard said he thinks the world of Binns and appreciates her work that “really is saving lives.”
“In the rescue world there’s nothing truer than a picture is worth a 1,000 words,” he said. “Lisa’s photos tell a story. She even adds in a few words to flesh out the story and these stories get attention and dogs get saved.”
Recently Lisa created a meme of a rescue dog with characters from a Christmas story. Deken, the pup, is licking a pole and the words “I double dog dare you to adopt Deken” are typed over the photo with a Lego that shares information on Deken and how he can be adopted.
Binn’s work as a volunteer is expensive and time-consuming.
“When I got to the point where my addiction to this volunteer work meant I was spending more time-saving lives than running my consulting business, I started exploring potential corporate sponsors on a national and local level.”
She was not having success as foundations require a 501c3 ID to compete for funds even though the clients she supports are nonprofits. And if a 501c3 she supports were to compete for funds for this purpose, it could make them ineligible for funds they already depend on for other things, like medical bills. So that is not something she wanted to pursue.
“While meeting with a local dog brand, the owner recommended that I form a nonprofit myself to be eligible for grants and to be able to offer tax benefits to others that would be interested in contributing to this lifesaving work,” she said.
And so came Second Shot.
“Second Shot’s mission is to support animal rescues and shelters in giving homeless animals a second shot by providing professional photography services to be used in marketing to families seeking a new family member,” Binns said. “A great shot might be their last shot at a second shot.”
Initially, local shelters and rescues will receive the benefits of the nonprofit funding, with ever-increasing geography if funds are available.
As of today, Second Shot is officially registered as a nonprofit and its first board meeting has been held. All of the 501c3 paperwork has been filed and they are awaiting the IRS 501c3 Tax ID.
So while they can begin soliciting donations, this tax ID is the final hurdle to begin competing for foundation funds that will allow us to really expand our efforts to more shelters and rescues on a consistent basis.
“I’m excited and a bit anxious as well,” Binns said. “This is new territory, but something I need to succeed to help save more animals.”
Until then, she’s continuing her volunteer work.
Animal rescue is important work, according to Binns.
Tips on how you can make a difference in the life of shelter animals.
Melissa Reinert, email@example.com
“Pets have no voice to help themselves,” she said. “We have 45-plus shelters and rescues in this area alone. There is a seemingly neverending flow of animals that are surrendered to a shelter, left abandoned, or claimed because of abuse.”
Wonderful, loving pets, she said, are surrendered to shelters for no fault of their own every day. But when an animal has been saved, it changes their world.
“They seem to know that they have been saved and they are so appreciative and willing to forgive and give their love again so fully,” she said. “It is such an amazing thing to see. I so wish that everyone could witness that transformation.”
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