Our Pet Column

Published weekly and read widely in The Watch, Telluride Daily Planet and Telluride Inside…and Out as well as this website the Pet Column offers insights from the Second Chance’s pet of the week on a variety of topics.

Furry Fashion Forward

Are dogs a fashion statement? There are many that would say yes. And as a dog – I can’t exactly argue that. Fashion is often considered an outer reflection of the inner person and often times you truly can judge a person by their dog. And I don’t mean in a critical way but rather in a way that helps you to understand or connect to a person. Think about how you react to seeing a large man with a small dog vs when you see a large man with a large dog – it is human nature (thus not necessarily proper or accurate) to form such opinions.

So naturally the fashion world turns to dogs to help make a splash or a statement. This can be a positive relationship as it helps to promote that dogs are part of a lifestyle and it is a lifestyle that you miss out on if you don’t have a dog. It also promotes that people simply look better with a dog at their side!

But I want to make it clear that pets are not to be mistaken as fashion accessories. Getting a pet because it will make you look good is simply a bad idea. Not only does it fuel puppy mills (and as a puppy mill survivor I will say that puppy mills are simply an abomination) but also leads to many discarded pets after they have outgrown their cute puppy faces.

Fans of fashion forward celebrity glamourites placed a high demand on “Handbag Dogs” but the owners of the wee dogs soon discovered that a dog makes a problematic accessory – they don’t, as a rule, like being zipped up in bags. Or it could be that the celebrities have moved on to bigger dogs. So the helpless little critters are being abandoned and discarded at the same time that the puppy mills are still cranking out more.

So let’s remember: it is better to feel good on the inside than look good on the outside – pets are for life and not for catching someone’s eye.

While on the topic of fashion this would be a great time to mention that next week is the 10th Annual Wine & Whiskers Weekend (March 9 & 11 - visit the website below for details) here in Ridgway. Wine & Whiskers is where fashion and fun are mixed to raise money for the region’s homeless pets like me! If you have never attended this event you simply need to give it a go…

My name is Annika, a beautiful, young German Shephard who believes that love makes the best fashion statement of all. Because of my rough history (mentioned above) and lack of socialization as a puppy I am very unsure of people and new situations and have not learned to fully trust humans. I have been making tremendous progress since being rescued by Second Chance but will need a family with lots of patience and kindness to help me continue to flourish. I look forward to meeting my first family…

World Spay Day

My name is Steve. I grew up in a puppy mill. Frankly, it was a crap existence. So now that I have been rescued, along with looking for a forever family, I have become the poster child for World Spay Day here at Second Chance Humane Society. I will tell you more about what World Spay Day is but first want to share that Second Chance is hosting another low cost spay/neuter clinic here at the shelter this Saturday February 20th. Come celebrate World Spay Day with a little snip snip of your unaltered pet…

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Fostering a Pet

Many do not know this but, in addition to a shelter, Second Chance also offers a very versatile foster care program. Being a foster care provider is both challenging and extremely rewarding. The challenge comes from bringing a new pet into your home and working through the adjustment period. The reward is in knowing that you are giving the pet a chance to heal and trust so that they can be more quickly placed into forever homes. Read on to learn more…

Foster pets have varying needs leading them to be placed in foster care, such as illnesses that require special care and diet as well as behavioral issues or lack of socialization that are best transformed through a consistent and secure home environment. Additionally, puppies and kittens that are too young to be in a shelter, or nursing mothers and their litters do best in foster care.

The process of becoming a foster care provider involves two painless yet important steps: 1) completing a foster care application and 2) having a “home visit” to assess what kind of pet would be best in your home environment and lifestyle. For example, an extremely timid and elderly dog is not placed in a home with 6 energetic children who are forming a rock band.

Fostering a pet in need of shelter, love, and guidance requires some extra time and space in your home and heart but it is one of the most rewarding ways to help homeless pets. Furthermore, you get the great pleasure of having a loving pet in your home - without the long term commitment.

Fostering provides a stepping stone for animals in search of permanent homes and helps set the stage for successful adoptions. Pets who have been at the shelter too long benefit from having a break which does wonders to a pet’s self-esteem, attitude, and connections to people.

Many worry about the emotional attachment involved in fostering – and whether they will be able to let the pet go when it is time to return to the shelter or go to their new adoptive home. Second Chance counsels people in this situation to focus upon how they have helped the pet along and how other foster pets will be needing this same assistance.

If I don’t find a home soon, I am an example of a cat that might benefit from a foster home. My name is Storm. I am just a year old came but have been waiting for my new family for 6 months now. I am a bit shy and get overlooked by my more outgoing cat friends here at Second Chance. Although I am very sweet and good with cats and dogs my true awesome personality takes some time to unfold around new people.

Before it is decided whether I get to go to foster care there needs to be more foster homes in our area. So contact the Second Chance Shelter today, at 626-2273, to learn more about becoming a foster home for homeless pets in our region.

Missy Missing a Home

You know those emotional yet heart-warming animal stories full of initial hardship followed by some kind of divine intervention and ending in miracles and happiness? Well I don’t have one of those stories. But I want one. Thus, I have hijacked this week’s Second Chance Pet Column in hopes of finding mine…

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Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinics

Dear Dismayed, at the risk of sounding harsh, Second Chance does not carry pet parent’s responsibilities for them – but – they are here to support pet parents however we can. So dismay no further - Second Chance has a Spay/Neuter Financial Assistance Program. This program was developed about 20+ years ago to support low income residents within our tri-county service area in making the best choice for their pets. Finances should not be a barrier to you for helping to save lives…

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Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops service San Miguel, Ouray and Montrose counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 970-626-2273 to report a lost pet or to learn about adopting a homeless pet and the SCHS spay/neuter, volunteer, feral cat or other programs. View our shelter pets and services at adoptmountainpets.org.

Second Chance Humane Society


(970) 626-2273 | phone
(970) 626-3233 | Ridgway thrift
(970) 728-1100 | Telluride thrift


PO Box 2096 [mailing]
177 County Road 10
Ridgway, CO 81432

Shelter Hours

Animal Resource Center 11 am - 6 pm
Cat Castle 11 am - 6 pm
Dog Den 1 am - 5:45 pm