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Colorado Animal Welfare Day Success

Last Wednesday was Animal Welfare Day in the State of Colorado and Governor Jared Polis put a little more teeth into the day by signing three new state wide animal welfare efforts. His actions included expanding animal protection legislation, creating an animal welfare committee, and extending the therapeutic use of dogs in the Colorado court system. Purrs for Polis!

Read more: Colorado Animal Welfare Day Success

New Pets & New Kids

The other day I was hanging out at the Second Chance Humane Society shelter (ok, I live there right now but I am approaching it as temporary until I get adopted) and a potential adopter asked my staff “is she good with kids?” I would like to answer this on behalf of all dogs (and cats), depends on the kid...

Read more: New Pets & New Kids

Angel’s Story

Some stories are hard to tell. They need to be told anyway, because they need to be heard. This is one such story. Not all stories have happy endings, but Angel and her devoted team of people are working hard to make this story turn out much better. And, although we are only at the beginning of this story, it has already significantly improved.

Read more: Angel’s Story

Rat Poison Risks Pets Lives

My name is Ivy and my Second Chance Pet Column message of the week is: rat poison kills dogs - so don’t ever use it. But, since the one person out there that does not read the Pet Column is going to be the one that still uses rat poison around their home, I thought I’d best broaden the scope of this article with some advice on what to do if your dog does consume the nasty stuff.

Read more: Rat Poison Risks Pets Lives

Low Cost Spay Neuter Program

I am one of the lucky ones. I am one of the 6.5 million companion animals annually received in a U.S. animal shelters nationwide and not one of the 1.5 to 2 million pets euthanized annually. I am not yet one of the 3.2 million pets annually adopted though. But I am still lucky. Estimates vary but are in the 70 million number range for number of homeless pets in America. Yep.

Read more: Low Cost Spay Neuter Program

Pets Turning Pages

I want to be a wellbeing dog. Actually I already am, as I make everyone around me feel good, but I want to apply my power of wellbeing-ness more specifically. So I am applying for a spot in Second Chance Humane Society’s Pets Turning Pages Program. Through this program pets like me are going into the Telluride, Ridgway & Ouray public schools to support kids with reading. 

Read more: Pets Turning Pages

Fat & Furry is not Fun

I see London I see France I see dogs that need a Second Chance (I’ll bet you thought I was going to say underpants). Sorry, despite the fabulous opening to this Pet Column it is not about Brexit. It is actually about me, London, and my daughter, Paris. And because we were both allowed to get overweight I am also going to touch upon the steady rise in pet obesity and how to prevent your pet from widening (get it?) those statistics.

First the obesity crash course. The majority of cats and dogs in the US are overweight or obese. We are talking 59.5 percent of cats and 55.8 percent of dogs. And those numbers only appear to be increasing (along with pet’s waistlines) so the time to pay attention to this is now.

One of the best ways to prevent or reverse obesity is with proper diet and exercise based upon what stage of life (growth, reproduction, senior, etc.) a pet is in as well as that pet’s lifestyle (sedentary vs working/active). In other words, pet parents need to determine the optimal nutrient range for their pet’s peak health and longevity.

Pet obesity is not as simple as cutting back on the same food you are feeding your pet. It can be caused by poor lifestyle, improper nutrition, hormonal imbalances, genetics, or bacteria in your pet’s stomach. So a trip to the vet can help determine the cause as well as provide guidance on a therapeutic diet designed for proper levels of fiber or fat to make sure your pet is healthy and full.

Maintaining a pet’s optimal body condition can add 2 years to its life (or a 15% lifespan increase) so why would you not want to make some changes? It is not too late, if your pet is obese it can be reversed. The important thing is to start now. One simple change is to treat your pets with walks and playtime rather than biscuits and leftovers.

My daughter Paris and I, six and four year young Blue Heeler mix girls, have lived sedentary and under socialized lives, resulting in our more robust figures. But since arriving here at the Second Chance shelter we are on weight reduction programs and feeling better every day.

We are very good natured but shy from living rather reclusive lives. We are slowly opening up to new people but were so shy that the first shelter we were at didn’t think we could get adopted and decided to euthanize us. We are grateful that the Second Chance folks stepped in and saved us. I have plans for an awesome new life (now that I Brexited my old life).

And it has already begun. We are now enjoying walks and sunshine and Paris is learning to play with her new four legged friends while I supervise. So the biggest thing we now need are new homes with families who will continue our new healthy lifestyles and show us what true family life is like. I just want to be a happy dog and can’t wait to meet my new family that will show me what that really means.

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View our shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org.

 

 

Declawing a Cat is Inhumane. Period.

 Take a look at your fingernails. Now imagine what it would take to permanently remove them. Ouch. Looks like you would have to remove part of your fingers? Yep. Well that is what you’d have to do to me to remove my claws. I am not sure how declawing is still even legally allowed in the U.S. as in most developed countries it is recognized as totally inhumane and is prohibited. 

Read more: Declawing a Cat is Inhumane. Period.

The Two and a Half Year Human

Would you like to understand your dog better? Stanley Coren, an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, canine researcher and author of books such as "How Dogs Think" and “The Intelligence of Dogs”, has some interesting research to help. He utilizes tests meant for pre-linguistic or limited-linguistic humans to see whether dogs have certain mental capacities.

Coren states, "And that allows you then to do a whole bunch of things, not only to determine whether a dog has a certain thinking skill but to place him where would he would be in terms of human beings, as well as in terms of other animals ". Coren’s research has found that the mental abilities of dogs are close to those of a human child between 2 and 2½ years old.

Thus, Coren's research reveals how dogs are more like humans than previously thought. He says dogs can learn about 165 words and signals (265 for the more intelligent dogs), can count up to four or five, and have a basic understanding of arithmetic. Also, he says, dogs can intentionally deceive other dogs and people to get things they want (well you don’t need a Ph.D. to figure that one out…).

Illuminated about the abilities of dogs, Coren stated: "We all want insight into how our furry companions think, and we want to understand the silly, quirky and apparently irrational behaviors Lassie or Rover demonstrate. Their stunning flashes of brilliance and creativity are reminders that they may not be Einsteins but are sure closer to humans than we thought."

I would like to offer some words of caution regarding the application of this data as I believe Anthropomorphizing intelligence indicators of dogs can be misleading. We must remember there are species specific “intelligences” that humans may not value as highly but were important to the development of certain breeds. For instance, the tracking abilities of the Hound breeds (the breeds on the bottom rung of the “intelligent breeds”) mark a hunting intelligence but just not an intelligence that humans might value as much.

So, just because the Border Collie is considered the most intelligent dog by obedience trainers does not mean that it is the best dog for everyone. As Coren points out, depending upon your lifestyle it may be more difficult to live with a more intelligent, rather than a less intelligent dog. An intelligent dog that is not appropriately trained, socialized, exercised, or mentally stimulated will find other (undesirable to the pet parent) ways to manage these energies.

My name is Pueblo and I am a bright and energetic 3 month-old Boxer/Lab mix dog here at the Second Chance Shelter. My brother Rifle and I are the last of the litter to be adopted and very eager to find new homes. Also, I was the star of the shelter dog fashion show during last Saturday’s successful Second Chance fundraiser, Furry Flicks & Fashion.  So I am a famous, adorable, fashionable, smart and slightly mischievous pup that loves to play with the big dogs. How can I still be homeless? Come meet me today!

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View our shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org.

The Catwalk

The past few weeks here at the Second Chance shelter I’ve heard much chatter about a “big catwalk”. I found the thought of anyone organizing a group walk for cats to be quite comical, as most cats would find that as compelling as a cold bath or a tooth extraction. But I was curious, as cats can be, and so I decided to investigate.

Read more: The Catwalk

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.

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Shelter Hours

Open Tuesday - Saturday

Animal Resource Center
11 am - 6 pm

Cat Castle
11 am - 6 pm

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11 am - 5:45 pm

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

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