Double the Jazz in Your Life

Alone time can be a good thing but too much alone time for social beings…not so good. Modern society has resulted in an increase in single dog households as family’s lives feel too hectic to take on additional pets. I get that you humans are busy creatures and I am not dissing you for choosing to have only one dog. But I would like you to consider that, not only do multi-dog households help to save lives but their dogs can be more content and self-actualized. Let me explain why (and yes it is ok to apply “self-actualized” to dogs)…

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Subtle Signs of a Sick Cat

My name is Gracie. I am a lovely and healthy three year young Calico but, like all living beings, at some point in my life that will likely change. So for today’s Second Chance Pet Column I am going to prep you for the day when your cat is not feeling so fine. As it is the feline instinct to “suffer in silence” our ailments often go unnoticed. So here is my guide to recognizing the subtle signs of a cat needing medical attention.

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Power for the People

So I was tossing back some Cracker Jacks and reading the New York Times when I happened upon this article “I Traded the 12-Step Program for Dog” (Sunday May 12) that was quite moving and real. It helped me to see how people still are barely tapping into the potential that pets hold for their people. I think it is time to step it up.

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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!

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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...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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:



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

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