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 now living at the no-kill shelter, Angel Ridge Shelter, a dog and a cat, hoping to find them loving permanent 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.

By the by, there is no better place to park your pup than Cottonwood should you be heading out of town for the remainder of the off season. And consider joining Ted’s Very Important Dog (VID) Club for added benies. (Details on Ted’s website.)




Mark Hyman, M.D. is a practicing physician, founder of The UltraWellness Center, a five-time New York Times bestselling author, and an international leader in the field of Functional Medicine. He has discovered a new vitamin that helps us live longer, prevents heart attacks, and cures depression. Second Chance Humane Society has an ample supply of that magical substance called vitamin P. The “P” stands for pets.

Ok, so Dr. Hyman didn’t actually discover Vitamnin P. We pet lovers have been aware of it for years. But now there is new research to prove that pet ownership provides multiple health benefits. For example, numerous studies, including those funded by the National Institute of Health, show that dogs can provide better social support and stress relief than even our friends and family can offer.

The Huffington Post recently printed an article by Dr. Hyman that summarizes such studies. Hyman reports that studies show that owning a pet can reduce stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, increase the “bonding and wellness’ hormones such as oxytocin, improve immune system functioning and pain management, increase a sense of trust in others, reduce aggression, enhance empathy, and improve learning. Some studies show that just having a dog can actually control blood pressure better than drugs. (Liability disclaimer: please check with your physician before tossing out your meds after reading.)

For pet lovers, it’s just about impossible to stay in a bad mood when your furry friend comes over and rests his head on your knee and looks at you with those loving eyes or shows unfettered delight upon your arrival, whether you have been absent for five minutes or five days. Again, we have always known that pets make our world brighter & lighter, but now we can prove it to the non-believers.

Below is a list of some of the studied (and proven) health benefits of pet companionship and Vitamin P:

•    Increase longevity after heart attacks
•    Lower cholesterol and triglycerides
•    Improve blood pressure
•    Reduce irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
•    Improve blood vessel (endothelial) function
•    Increase physical activity and functioning



•    Reduce medical appointments and minor health problems
•    Predict seizures
•    Alert to hypoglycemia
•    Decrease depression
•    Raise self-esteem
•    Boost levels of exercise and physical activity
•    Improve alertness and attention among elderly people who have pets

So what are you waiting for? Come see us at Second Chance where we have packages of life-enhancing Vitamin P in all sorts of  shapes and sizes to fit your lifestyle. Here are two.



My name is Kirby. My adoption package comes with a healthy dose of whatever you need to brighten your day. All you have to do is look at my cute mug and your elevated blood cholesterol levels don’t stand a chance. I was over at the Montrose shelter, but the folks there needed the space for other dogs. Now I am in Ridgway just waiting for my opportunity to improve your health and well-being.


Ray of sunshine on a cloudy day seeking position as cheerer-upper-in-chief for person with a pet deficiency disorder. I have advanced skills in turning a frown upside down. If you have an opening, come to Second Chance and ask for Jack. I am particularly seeking out those in need of a self esteem boost.

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:

1 Comment
  • Janie Goldberg
    Posted at 04:21h, 09 May

    I just LOVE reading your articles about and seeing the wonderful, life saving companions available at San Miguel County’s wonderful, licensed animal shelter — Second Chance Humane Society. As a retired teacher of children with all types of disabilities, I can tell you first hand of the amazing “power of the pet”. I used dogs as an empowerment aid for years in my classroom. As for myself, with mild sleep apnea, I am so grateful to my adopted shelter dog, CoCo, for saving my life time and time again. Whenever I stop breathing at night, she gently whimpers and nudges me, to make sure I am all right. I encourage everyone in Telluride to call Second Chance, visit the amazing adoptables at the wonderful, 52 acre Angel Ridge Ranch and see how you can help save the loving critters who help us so very much!