Second Chance: Pets Turning Pages

Second Chance: Pets Turning Pages

For years Pet Column readers have been asking Second Chance Humane Society this question: “Do shelter pets really write the Pet Column?” As if pets can’t read and write or something…



For all the doubters out there Second Chance has started a new community outreach program called Pets Turning Pages. Through this program, pets like me are going into the Ridgway and Telluride public schools to teach kids to read.


Still not convinced?

Here is how it works.

You bring a bright, chillaxed, comforting, encouraging, lovable dog like me into a classroom where kids are just learning to read, building their confidence about reading out loud, and magic just happens. Young people who have not yet shown a strong interest in reading – mostly because they lack self-assurance in their ability – jump with excitement to read to a dog like me.

And yes, I admit my motivation is not truly altruistic: I get to leave the shelter and go snuggle up with kids with fun stories to tell, while I listen attentively and learn about great adventurers, funny dogs, dancing giraffes, and Lego Ninjago battles. And I get to feel like a celebrity since all the kids compete to fawn over me while learning.

Some of the kids start out rather timidly, but once they realize that I am without judgement and love to hear them sounding out words, they cut loose and read out loud without any hesitation. I sit, listen and even lean in on my peeps a little bit, which seems to make them feel even safer.

And because there are more kids than I can sit with in one morning, Second Chance is seeking additional volunteers (people and dogs) to participate in this program.

Developing a love and joy of reading is so critical to young children and what better way to support this practice.  What an inspiring, fulfilling, and magical way to make a difference in your community.

If you are interested contact Second Chance today.

P.S. I am hoping to continue on as a literacy dog once I am adopted so come meet me today. We could make a great team…


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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