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.

Gifting a Pet

Gifting a Pet

Dear Pet Column,

I was thinking of getting my boyfriend a new puppy for Christmas. Whenever we go hiking or skiing he mentions how great it would be to have a dog. He seems to like Labs the best but I am wondering, if I adopt a puppy from Second Chance that he doesn’t like can I bring it back?

Sincerely, Help for the Holidays

Dear Help, getting your boyfriend a new furry companion for the Holidays is certainly very thoughtful and sweet. However, more often than not it can lead to a complicated situation where the new puppy parent is not at all prepared for the pup and either the parent, the pup, or both are quite unhappy. However, I can offer you some great alternatives that will allow you to complete the thoughtful gesture in a manner that everyone can be quite happy.

You can create a lovely gift card that announces you will cover the costs of an adoption of any pet that your partner selects. You can offer to accompany your man to the shelter and work with him to find the best pet for his lifestyle. You can even print photos of available dogs from the Second Chance Humane Society website to include in your card and do research on the type/size/age of dog that would best fit into his life. (For example, perhaps his workday is too full to allow him ample time to properly train a puppy and a trained adult dog, like me, would be preferable.)

Your dude is sure to appreciate receiving a gift certificate rather than an actual pet as it grants him the freedom of deciding when he is ready for a pet as well as which pet he is ready for. He will appreciate your acknowledgement of his need to make the final decision and not feel pressured into parenting a pet his is not prepared for (which happens when pets are given as gifts, often leading to the demise of the relationship and the “gifter” of the pet suddenly becomes the parent of a new pet).

The gift card alternative allows the receiver to first consider the very serious commitment involved in adopting a new pet – that it is for the lifetime of that pet (up to 15 years or more) and, beyond a considerable time commitment, involves a financial commitment (food, medical, pet care while traveling, pet supplies, etc.) and recognition that each type of dog requires a different kind of care.

My name is Remi, and my homeless situation is a prime example of pet parents who fell short on their commitment. Although I am not really sure why I ended up at the Second Chance shelter, I know it was not because of anything I did wrong. I am a two year old very sweet, docile, and sometimes shy American Bulldog who is good with other dogs and very loving indeed.

My people failed me and I don’t want to have that happen again. Thus, as much as I would love a new home for the holidays, I would rather not be given as a gift but chosen instead by someone who is ready to forever make a place for me in their lives.

Therefore, if your Bo is looking for a bright dog that will make him feel extra loved you can include me in your portfolio for your boyfriend’s gift certificate options for the best Holiday Gift of all…

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.

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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 11 am - 5:45 pm