Second Chance: Community Of Compassion

My name is Hobbes and I asked to write the Pet Column this week so I could share how completely astonished and transformed I was by the generosity, support, and overwhelming enthusiasm I witnessed at last week’s Second Chance Wine & Whiskers Weekend. It was paws down incredibly moving and an undeniable reflection of the level of compassion and humanity that exists in this little pocket of the world. If you find yourself a homeless pet, well this is the place to do it: people here truly care.



For starters, there were well over 300 donors to the live and silent auction, which is the biggest revenue source for the event. The fact that so many businesses and professionals gave to support this event in a community of this size is quite remarkable. Attendance and revenue doubled this year for the smaller Thursday evening event and led many to return for Saturday’s Gala Event, which raised over $45,000.

On Saturday, the Ouray County Event Center was bursting with over 400 people who were bidding freely on the huge variety of auction items to support the cause. Cavallo’s Catering served up mounds of mouth-watering dishes. (I needed a bucket under my mouth to catch the drool…) And the overall feel of the evening was downright uplifting.

The cool thing about the event is that its underlying goal – to raise funding and awareness for the region’s homeless pets like me – was not forgotten. I got to participate as a model in the Fashion Show and during the Live Auction as people bid to sponsor my care (which averages at $550/month per pet), as well as my feline friend Jezebel, although I have decided against a career as runway model, though please note: the fact that I got out there and strutted my stuff is a large tribute to the incredible progress I have made while at Second Chance. I entered the Shelter as an extremely timid, unconfident and under-socialized dog and now I am bumping elbows with hundreds of people and marching down the catwalk. (I am now so ready to be adopted!)

Speaking of the Fashion Show, I really want to remark about the evening’s highlights. There were about 30 locals volunteering to model the upscale clothing from the Thrift Shop and dance their tails off. They rehearsed three nights a week for a month to dazzle and sizzle and lift the roof off the event center. Never before have I seen a group of people throw their heart and soul into a performance – nor a crowd respond so enthusiastically.

The culmination of the whole evening has completely renewed my faith and gratitude toward humanity. You people are about more than a bowl of kibble and a warm place to sleep. You are about passion and compassion and about truly making an impact. Thank you ALL for all that you do to save my life and the thousands before and the thousands that will follow.

Editor’s note: It’s no secret. The Telluride region is dog heaven. Well, pet 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 at least one, generally 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.

Ted Hoff & Mae

Ted Hoff &  Magnificent Mae


By the by, there is no better place to park your pup than Cottonwood whenever you head out of town (for locals) or are heading to town and staying somewhere that does not allow pets. Consider joining Ted’s Very Important Dog (VID) Club for added benies. (Details on Ted’s website.)

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 the shelter pets and services online:

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