Second Chance How Adoption Saved A Boy with Autism and His Shelter Dog by Sandra Gerencher

A Believer in Second Chances

Over the past 10 years, author Sandra Gerencher has been on a mission to save dogs from high-kill animal shelters. Her first rescue was P.J., the black and white Pomeranian in the story. She also adopted the orange Pomeranians Shelby and Lil Rascal, and of course, Chance, the big black Rottweiler/German Shepherd mix.

All characters in the story are based on Sandra’s real life family. The book is filled with softly blended watercolor photos of her loved ones.

Her most significant adoption was her son, Terry. He was considered a special needs child because he was born with a genetic disorder known as Fragile X Syndrome. The disorder can cause many cognitive disorders, such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, mental retardation and depression.

“Read along as this adopted dog adjusts to his new home and the boy with autism who befriends him.” — Warren Reed, executive director, Humane Society of Lackawanna County

“What a marvelous story! I enjoyed it thoroughly.” — Vince Sweeney, executive director, SPCA of Luzerne County

“This is a delightful story about belonging and love from the viewpoint of the underdog in all of us … a great treat!” — Chris Remick, M.A., B.C.B.A., clinical director of autism services, Friendship House

“Second Chance touches on the companionship of a boy and his new pet dog and the importance of stability and PERMANENCY in their lives.” — Kathy Roach, director of permanency, Diakon Adoption & Foster Care

Visit Chance’s web site at

A portion of the book’s proceeds benefits the Humane Society.  Second Chance is available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Tribute Books

Sandra J. Gerencher is a special education teacher in the Bangor Area public school system. Prior to becoming a teacher, she worked at Lehigh University in a school-based program, as a Program Specialist for adults with disabilities. Over the past 20 years she has worked with children and adults with special needs in such areas as counseling, Behavior Specialist Consultation, behavioral research, crisis intervention and abuse therapy. Sandra graduated from Lehigh University with a M.Ed. in Special Education (2004) and from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia with an M.S. in Counseling Psychology (1999).

The Senate, in honor of the 10th anniversary of the R.E.A.D. program, designates November 14, 2009, as ‘National Reading Education Assistance Dogs Day’.

One response to “Second Chance How Adoption Saved A Boy with Autism and His Shelter Dog by Sandra Gerencher


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