Second Chance: Real News of 2016

Second Chance: Real News of 2016

Alas, this is the last Pet Column of 2016…  I thought I would do quick year in review of national highlights until my web search resulted in a depressing list of top news stories all having something to do with violence, intolerance, and other forms of darkness. Instead I bring you a year in review from the perspective of homeless pets instead. They say darkness helps you to see the light. Well so do animals.

Pumpkin, a Xmas present & gift that keeps on giving- and meowing.

Pumpkin, a Xmas present & gift that keeps on giving- and meowing.

Top 10 animal victory stories of 2016 include:

  • Adoptions of homeless pets are up and euthanasia is down nationwide.
  • A new study just found that wild reindeer herds have a positive impact upon the Arctic tundra which leads to a cooling effect on the climate, an important finding for animal-lovers, environmentalists – and believers in Santa Clause.
  • The  Greenland shark earned the title of longest-lived vertebrate on the planet. A study released in August found that the animal, native to the cold, deep waters of the North Atlantic, can live to at least 272 years—and possibly to the ripe old age of 500. Oh the stories they could tell…
  • The Giant Panda was officially removed from the endangered species list (even though they do still remain highly vulnerable and are going to need continuous monitoring and care, the future looks much brighter than ever before).
  • In a longstanding animal cruelty case, legal advocates for an elephant named Mohan, who had been chained and abused for the past 50 years of his life as a working elephant in India, were successful in getting him freed and transported to the Elephant Conservation and Care Center (ECCC) in Mathura, India.
  • A federal appeals court ruled against allowing the U.S. Navy using sonar that could harm dolphins, whales, and other  forms of marine life.
  • After years of bureaucracy, 600,000 square miles (almost as large as Alaska) in the Arctic region has just been established as a marine sanctuary.
  • Hunters will no longer be allowed to bring back the heads, skins, claws, teeth, and other lion parts from those kills to the U.S. that had been taken from captive-bred lions in South Africa. That follows last year’s decision to add lions to the Endangered Species Act list.
  • SeaWorld announced that it would phase out its captive orca program by no longer breeding or acquiring orcas. (SeaWorld will turn its attention to “new, inspiring, natural orca encounters” with educational programs emphasizing enrichment, exercise and health with its remaining killer whales).

There are countless more stories to boost the spirits of animal-lover’s worldwide, but I will end here. My point is that there are things you can control in life and things you can’t.  The darkness that captivates and dominates national media is not something you can control. But working toward making a positive difference in the lives of others is something you can (for example, bringing more light, in the form of a cat named Pumpkin, into your life is something you can do….).

The year 2016 was rough for me. My person, the one I have known my whole life (I am six), died. There were no family members to take me in, so I am here at Second Chance looking for a new person or family. I purposefully excluded #10 from my Top 10 list above as I hope to fill it with the final good news of 2016.

That I found a new home…



And for dog lovers, I would recommend meeting Sage, a two-year-old border collie with high energy and the occasional quirky phobia (like being afraid of a leash hanging on a wall). Sage’s sweet temperament counters his eccentricities making him the right dog for the special adopter…

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 or get your pup (or adult dog) trained 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:

Vetting the Vet: Dr. Michelle Dally, DVM, J.D. is Medical Director of Second Chance Humane Society. She also has a private practice, Dally Veterinary Medicine, 333 S. Elizabeth Street, Ridgway, Colorado. Her service area is  San Miguel Mesas, Placerville, Ridgway, Ouray, and Montrose. For more on Dr. Dally, go here.

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