Second Chance: Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals Month

As a young, happy, and healthy (albeit homeless) puppy it is hard for me to believe you people need to dedicate the entire month of April to the Prevention of Animal Cruelty.

In this region where animal lovers are abundant and a vibrant lifestyle incorporates playing in the mountains and fresh air, it is hard to believe people would be cruel to us innocent, well-intended furry beings. But alas, I do hear the stories and thus welcome the focus of this month.



Prevention of cruelty does not mean you need to skulk about in your neighbors backyards making sure they have provided their pets with ample food, water, and shelter – although if you are aware of pets being maltreated this is a fine a time as any to file a report because animals can’t speak out for themselves. But I like to think of this month’s theme more along the lines of  intervention rather than prevention. So how do you best prevent cruelty to animals? By being kind and loving to all beings and trusting osmosis will take care of the rest.

“Seriously?  That is all I should do???” you ask in utter disbelief. Well, you know as well as the rest that actions speak much louder than words, that paying it forward has relentless results, and that kindness travels a far greater distance than malice. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and do some good! Let the good spread like ripples of water, like ashes from a volcano, and like the winds of a hurricane, and all those other systems of nature that evoke an understanding our undeniable connectivity.

The algorithm is simple: yelling at someone to stop hitting their dog will only make them hit harder in private, while showing someone kindness will soften their souls and alleviate their anger internally and externally. And being kind simply makes a person feel good.

So I challenge you to set a goal for the remainder of April (and hopefully it will become habit thereafter) to do I’ve intentionally kind things a day. Take note of how those actions make you feel and the effect they have on others.  And think to yourself, “I am promoting kindness to animals today!” 

Another suggestion is to come to the Second Chance shelter and adopt me, Shasta, a 13-week-young female blue heeler mix puppy and an ambassador of kindness. My benevolent nature is so contagious that if we cloned me and I were to be adopted into families across the world, loving graciousness would spread like a wildfire – yes more  metaphors from nature – and save humankind. (And thus the rest of us too.)

Peace out.

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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