Second Chance: The Human-Animal Bond Service Learning Project

Second Chance: The Human-Animal Bond Service Learning Project

Dear Pet Column,

We are a group of Telluride Middle School students who have chosen Second Chance as the nonprofit organization we want to support through our service learning project. We really connect to the part of your mission that promotes the human-animal bond and wrote this essay about that.  – Friends of Second Chance Humane Society.



The bond between humans and animals is a strong, unique connection that is unlike any other. When a human chooses an animal for their pet, they are receiving a new member of their family. To retain this bond, each party must work hard to maintain a symbiotic relationship. A dog’s warm, exuberant energy may be sharply juxtaposed with a cat’s serene and composed aura, but they both come into our lives with hearts open to love. 

Studies show that animals can dissolve tension and improve mood. In fact, many dogs have a calming effect that helps humans cope with difficult times and difficult phases in their lives. But dogs aren’t the only animal that share such a strong bond. One particular study shows that cats are just as close to humans as canines are. When introduced to new items or experiences, a cat would look to the owner to discover how to deal or feel. If the owner was surprised, the cat would be surprised. If the owner was afraid, the cat would be afraid. And if the owner was nonchalant about it, then the cat would react the same way.

This example clearly shows the strength of the animal and humans bond. Supporting our local Second Chance Humane Society is important to keep the human and animal connection thriving in our community. So stop by the Second Chance Humane Society in Ridgway to find your new furry friend and create a lasting bond that you will treasure forever.



Dear Friends,

Your essay so fully captures the essence of paradigm shift that Second Chance is working to create – that the limits of the human-animal bond have yet to be discovered and that each party benefits far beyond what we can imagine from this magical interdependent relationship. Thank you for already understanding this at such a young age and for championing this truth as part of your service learning project. Your heartfelt feelings give me great hope for your generation and those that follow…

My name is Todd Two (not to be mistaken with Big Head Todd who was recently adopted). I am a super sweet-natured Black Lab who has recently become homeless after 12 years of living in the same family since puppyhood. Needless to say, I fully embrace the wisdom of your essay and appreciate it dearly…thanks Friends of Second Chance!

You can also meet my feline friend Houdini, who lived outside the shelter after escaping from the person who was bringing him in. Due to his outgoing nature, he decided after a week that he preferred the company of people and regular feedings and missed being inside – so he is now living at the Shelter waiting for his new family to magically appear.

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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