Second Chance: Helping Renters With Pets, Part 2

Second Chance: Helping Renters With Pets, Part 2

This is the next Second Chance Pet Column in a short series on eliminating the barrier for families with pets to find housing in our region.



This week Second Chance has put together some resources and information for families with pets (next week we will be offering information for property owners).

The goal of this series is to reduce housing-related relinquishments to shelters and increase adoptions (by creating more homes for families who want pets).

From a pet parenting perspective you could improve opportunities for finding housing if certain standards for pet owners and property owners alike were respected and employed. If prospective tenants impressed upon potential landlords their knowledge and practice of responsible pet ownership, property owners might recognize that responsible pet owners typically make responsible, good tenants.

Below are some ideas to help pet parents demonstrate their candidacy as good tenants and pet parents: 

  • Create a dossier or “pet resume” about your pet, including such documents as proof of spay/neuter, current vaccinations, indications of regular veterinary visits, and obedience or other training school diplomas;
  • Provide written references from former landlords and neighbors, dog trainers, groomers, and veterinarians specifically discussing your pet;
  • Offer to sign a pet agreement with the property owner;
  • Encourage the potential landlord to meet your well-groomed, well-behaved pet and provide an endearing picture of said animal;
  • Invite the landlord to see your pet in its current setting, and to check on the pet after move-in;
  • Always clean up after your pet;
  • Make sure your pet is spayed or neutered and explain how this makes for a well-behaved, healthier pet;
  • Describe your plans for providing appropriate exercise and attention for the pet daily, and your arrangements for the same when planning to be away;
  • Confirm your stance against letting your pets roam the streets;
  • Describe how you control dog barking and other pet nuisances that would disturb neighbors;
  • Emphasize points about your pet’s age, activity level, characteristics, and personality/ breed traits that help make him or her a “good tenant”;
  • Communicate something special about your pet’s personality, and how much you care about your pet, reflecting your attentiveness;
  • Give examples of your pet’s good behavior, and your responsibility. (Has your dog been to obedience school or had special training? If your dog has lived in apartment or rental before and is accustomed to it, be sure to say so. If you have more than one pet, let the landlord know how well they get along and keep each other company while you are away. If your cat uses a scratching post, say so and also note if your pets are house/ litter box trained.)

By following these guidelines, perhaps your efforts in being a responsible tenant and pet parent will convince more property owners to open up their homes to pet families, ultimately reducing the numbers of homeless pets – such as myself. 



My name is Pearl and I am a young Siamese and Abyssinian mix kitty who arrived at Second Chance with my siblings several weeks ago. We were small and scared but now are brave and rambunctious and ready to find homes of our own and spread holiday cheer to you family.

The Second Chance Dog of the Week is Lilly. Lilly is a Terrier Dingo mix (Terrio), just over one-year-old, who has had a rough go of it. Lilly arrived as an undernourished and unloved little girl, but has blossomed into a healthy and happy dog. Unfortunately her first adoption didn’t stick, but she is ready to give it a go again.

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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