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. In her weekly blog, executive director Kelly Goodin profiles 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 is sponsored by Ted Hoff of  Cottonwood Ranch & Kennel, who from time to time exercises his skills as a dog whisperer, partnering with Kelly and her staff to help train a particularly challenging animal. Ginger’s story (below) is a case in point.

And there is no better place to park your pup than Cottonwood should you be heading out of town for the off season. (Yes, it is nearly that time.)



Ted’s Second Chances

Not every dog that comes to Second Chance on its path toward finding a new family thrives at Angel Ridge Ranch. Some pets are too young, sick, old, or require more care and attention then the staff and volunteers are able to provide. Some dogs are fine for the first weeks they are here, but if not adopted quickly they can start to break down a bit. Fortunately, at Second Chance none of these issues means the dog is not adoptable – only not adoptable yet.

Dogs accustomed to being highly active or highly interactive with people simply do not do well in a shelter environment for extended periods of time. For them, daily walks, yard play, and whatever attention we can give, is never enough. Often these animals just need a break from the shelter. They might do better in our foster homes, where they can relax and overcome the issues that were making them anxious or unhappy. But others need direct intervention to deal with behaviors that otherwise make them poor candidates for adoption. In these instances Second Chance is very grateful for its partnership with dog trainer Ted Hoff of Cottonwood Ranch and Kennel in Crawford.

In addition to sponsoring our Telluride Inside… and Out blog, Ted has worked with Second Chance for over three years now, on a pro bono (read for FREE) basis, transforming dogs with behavior issues into dogs ready for adoption. Some dogs require more time and attention than others, but I, Ginger, am here to testify that Ted gave me what I needed for five months. He is one generous and kind man.

Under Ted’s care, I blossomed and I now do well with other dogs. I also learned how to safely communicate my zest for life and love for people. To assure that what I have learned will be transferred to my new home, once adopted, Ted offers my new family direct coaching about how to maintain my positive behaviors – again for free.

So, I am coming back to Second Chance in hopes of finding the right family (very soon please!) and Petunia is going to Cottonwood Ranch in my place. Petunia is a sweet hound dog with a serious lack of confidence. She has been so anxious since arriving at Second Chance the staff decided immediately she would greatly benefit from some time with the master. Ted has transformed Second Chance with Petunia’s challenges in the past, instilling them with a sense of confidence. That allows them to greet people without fear and allows people to get to know them as the great pets they can be.

Cottonwood Ranch and Kennel ( not only offers dog obedience training, but it is also a greatly respected boarding facility located in the foothills of the West Elk Mountain Range. The setting is beautiful and I loved it!  For the past 20 years, Ted has focused his training on positive reinforcement and consistent interaction to achieve the desired end result of a well-trained dog – like me…

The kennels, which operate year round, are located on the property, which has been maintained as a wildlife park with expansive yards and several ponds designed to encourage purposeful play. Ted’s obvious love for dogs, talent for training, and care for a dogs’ well-being is evident in the environment he provides. Second Chance is proud to have developed a partnership  with Ted Hoff. The relationship has been critical to successful adoption of the many Second Chance dogs he has worked with.

Come meet me and see for yourself!

Note: Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shop are both located in Ridgway but 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:

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.