FORT WAYNE — Woodside Middle School student Madeline Phuong is a girl of many talents — the eighth grader has garnered multiple awards for her artwork and recently won the Allen County spelling bee (by spelling “chloasma”).
She is also an animal lover. She fondly remember when her family adopted Roxie, a miniature poodle who came to the Phuong family from an owner who could no longer afford the dog.
“When I saw (Roxie) at first, I just loved her so much because she was so cute,” she said.
Phuong decided to combine her love for animals with her creative talents to make sure more animals had a second chance to find a loving home.
She founded A Second Chance in 2017 after her mother, Jennifer, who works as an anesthesiologist at a local hospital noticed how many unused medical supplies were being thrown away at work.
“I wanted to find a way to recycle those items and find a better use for them,” Phuong said.
She reached out to the Allen County SPCA, H.O.P.E. for Animals and veterinary clinics to see what medical supplies they could use. She has donated items from surgical gloves to IV pumps that were destined for the landfill.
Later, Phuong began incorporating her talent for painting into her mission to help animals. She sells prints of her artwork on notecards and donates the proceeds to the Allen County SPCA.
Using acrylics and watercolors, her artwork features images of animals and still lifes – from a firefly resting on a blade of grass to a raccoon hanging from a branch. Some paintings she models after reference photos for artists and others she draws inspiration from her life, like “Selfie with Roxie.”
The cards are available in 20 different prints, and they’re blank on the inside so that they can be used for any occasion.
Phuong sells each card for $2.50. She has sold more than 800 cards and donated $2,000 to the Allen County SPCA.
Pet Supplies Plus, located at 6326 W. Jefferson Blvd., plans to start selling Phuong’s cards this summer. You will also be able to find her cards at the Artist Fair 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 22 at the Allen County Public Library. Phuong also plans to have a booth for a few weeks at the farmers market on Barr Street.
Notecards can also be purchased for $3 on A Second Chance’s website asecondchancefw.wixsite.com/cards.