Editor’s note: It’s no secret. The Telluride region is dog heaven. Unless you are one of our furry friends who gets caught in the maw of neglect and abuse. Then heaven is on hold until Second Chance Humane Society comes to the rescue. Second Chance is the region’s nonprofit dedicated to saving animals’ lives and promoting responsible pet parenting and human-animal bond. Every week, executive director Kelly Goodin will choose to profile two of the many animals from the no-kill shelter, Angel Ridge Shelter, a dog and a cat, hoping to find them loving homes. The column will be sponsored by Ted Hoff of Cottonwood Ranch & Kennel, who from time to time exercises his skills as a dog whisperer and partners with Kelly and her staff to help train a particularly challenging animal.

It is highly likely if you are reading this post you’re a pet lover and parent and just as likely your pet is spay/neutered, therefore dedicating an entire post to the promotion of spay/neutering is appears to be “preaching to the choir.” But my idea is to give our best advocates for this life-saving procedure some ammunition to go out and forward the cause. There are still a significant number of pet parents in our communities who do not understand the importance of spay/neutering, because every time a pet gets adopted at Second Chance there is always another four-legged friend waiting to take its place.

So here is the low down…

Not long ago, spaying and neutering pets was not the norm. Euthanasia was: over 17 million homeless pets were being euthanized annually. Often the victims were offspring of cherished family pets, including purebreds. Perhaps someone’s cat or dog got out just that one time. Maybe a litter was intentional, but efforts to find enough good homes failed. Spay/neuter is the only permanent, 100-percent effective method of birth control for dogs and cats and a proven way to reduce the vast numbers of animals who are born only to die prematurely and without a family who loves them.

Since an organized and effective national spay/neuter campaign was launched just over 12 years ago, the number of euthanized pets dropped to under 4 million per year. In my opinion, that is 4 million too many – that is one every 8 seconds – but still, roughly 400 percent less than before the procedure became more commonplace.

One reason for the success of spay/neuter programs is that many of the barriers are being removed, first through education. Pet owners are no longer keeping their pets intact because they believe it is healthier for them that way. They are learning the spay/neuter of pets leads to many behavioral and health benefits, such as reducing the desire to roam, minimizing the risk of ovarian or testicular cancers, decreasing aggressive behavior (particularly in males), promoting longer and healthier lives of your pets, even eliminating or significantly decreasing a pet’s tendency towards “marking”.

Another barrier to spay/neuter falling by the wayside is expense. Now spay/neuter clinics and financial assistance programs are sprouting up across the country, making the procedure more affordable and convenient. Locally, low income San Miguel and Ouray County residents can participate in the Second Chance Spay/Neuter Financial Assistance Program, operating for well over a decade.

Pet parents within the Second Chance service region can contact Second Chance (970-62-2273) either to receive a voucher that can be used as reimbursement for a portion of the cost of spay/neuter surgeries or to sign up for a clinic.

Please help us spread the word. If you know anyone with an intact animal, consider passing along this information.

And now I would like to introduce two awesome adoptable pets waiting for you here at Angel Ridge Ranch: Archie and Bella…





Yo, my name is Archie. That is A for Adorable, R for rescued, C for cool, H for handsome, I for I want a new home, and E for Eager to please.  course I am also very smart and athletic, but Archiesa just did not cut it… So if I sound like a dog that you would want to keep forever – come meet me. I was a stray so my history is a mystery to the human world (my dog friends and I chat about our days on the street on occasion), but now that I have microchip I don’t expect to lose my way again. Like other cattle dogs, I do best in an active home where I can get out to play or have a fun job to keep my mind happy and healthy.


My name is Bella. Although I hope to be the “bella” of the ball as soon as I am adopted, my life to this point has been more of a war zone than a party.



Most cats find shelter life stressful, but for me it has been a true haven and relief. Before arriving here at Second Chance, I was in a home where these horrible little barking terrors of fur and frenzy chased and harassed me all day long. I could not find peace anywhere and my nerves were so on edge I could not even maintain the feline’s basic instinct and measure of protection – grooming. My hair was so matted that I had to be shaved completely when I arrived at the shelter. Needless to say I am recovering, but I still crave a nice quiet permanent home without other animals or chaos. Just a warm lap, soft music and gentle affection…Oh that sounds soooo good…

Note: 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:

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