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. Two posts ago, we featured Ginger, a case in point. When we dropped off Gina the Dog at Ted’s place, we got to meet Ginger, who is now a happy, obedient animal from a sad critter who did not want to be touched and could not be around other dogs. For Ted, miracles like that occur every day.

There is no better place to park your pup than Cottonwood should you be heading out of town for the off season like us. (Yes, it is that time.) You also might want to consider Ted’s Very Important Dog (VID) Club for added benies. A post about that is up in our rotating banner right now.

The Colorado Dog Protection Act

Last week the Colorado Senate approved a measure that requires new training for law enforcement on how to handle encounters with dogs in the line of duty.

Senate Bill 13-226, known as the Dog Protection Act, was filed by the bipartisan group of legislators in the wake of a string of shootings of dogs, some widely publicized. SB 13-226 would require training for local law enforcement officers to help them respond appropriately when encountering dogs in the line of duty. The idea would be to learn to recognize dog behaviors and employ nonlethal methods to control them.

The bill appears to be the first of its kind in the nation and would help prevent incidents in which family dogs are mistakenly shot by law-enforcement officers. This is a responsible, common-sense bill that respects our dedicated law enforcement officers by proposing training programs that will better equip them to deal with dog encounters.

It also would set up a task force of veterinarians, animal welfare experts, animal behavior professionals and law enforcement representatives to develop the training. Because the effort is largely volunteer, there is no cost to the state. The measure would also require police officers to offer dog owners an opportunity to save their dog if the officer is responding to a nonviolent call.

In a press release urging support of the bill, the Denver Dumb Friends League stated: “Colorado has a high rate of dog ownership, which means that local law enforcement officers routinely encounter dogs while performing their duties, some of these officers may not have much experience dealing with dogs and are unfamiliar with typical dog behaviors, occasionally resulting in the unnecessary use of firearms against dogs.”

The sponsors are Sen. David Balmer, Sen. Lucia Guzman, Rep. Lois Court and Rep. Don Coram, a bipartisan group of liberal and conservative lawmakers who have cited statistics that show that about 40 family dogs have been shot by police officers in Colorado over the last five years.

“This bill is not anti-police,” said Guzman. “It’s pro-cops, pro-dogs, pro-Senate Bill 226, because we want to make sure that the police in our local communities do everything they can to learn about dog behavior.”

There was no opposition to the measure during the Senate hearing. Additionally, it has the support of the County Sheriffs of Colorado and Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, who helped write the legislation. The bill now goes to the House so there is still time to voice your support.




My name is Smokey. I was brought to Second Chance only because one of my family members became very ill. Being bouncy and playful by nature, it was in everyone best interest that I find a new home where I could run and hike.




I am Sammy – Sammy I am.

I have been with Second Chance since November and feel it is my turn for a new home. I was ill, but it was not understood how much the illness was impacting my behavior until Second Chance took care of me and got me healthy.  Now I am loving people and ready for the rest of my second chance, a new home where  I will read Dr. Seuss books to you all day long…

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.