Second Chance: Gifting a Pet

Second Chance: Gifting a Pet

Dear Pet Column,

I was thinking of getting my boyfriend a new puppy for Christmas. Whenever we go hiking or skiing he mentions how great it would be to have a dog. He seems to like Labs best, but I am wondering if I adopt a puppy from Second Chance he doesn’t like can I bring it back?


Help for the Holidays



Dear Help,

Getting your boyfriend a new furry companion for the holidays is certainly very thoughtful and sweet. However, more often than not the gesture leads to a complicated situation in which the new puppy parent is not at all prepared and either the parent, the pup, or both are quite unhappy. However, I can offer you some great alternatives that will allow you to complete the thoughtful gesture in a manner that everyone can be quite happy about.

You can create a lovely gift card that announces you will cover the costs of an adoption of any pet your partner selects.

You can offer to accompany your man to the shelter and work with him to find the best pet for his lifestyle.

You can even print photos of available dogs from the Second Chance Humane Society website to include in your card and do research on the type/size/age of dog that would best fit into his life.

(For example, perhaps his workday is too full to allow him ample time to properly train a puppy and a trained adult dog, like me, would be preferable.)

Your dude is sure to appreciate receiving a gift certificate rather than an actual pet as it grants him the freedom of deciding when he is ready for a pet, as well as which pet he is ready for.

He will appreciate your acknowledgement of his need to make the final decision and not feel pressured into parenting a pet his is not prepared for (which happens when pets are given as gifts, often leading to the demise of the relationship and the “gifter” of the pet suddenly becomes the parent of a new pet).

The gift card alternative allows the receiver to first consider the very serious commitment involved in adopting a new pet – that it is for the lifetime of that pet (up to 15 years or more) and, beyond a considerable time commitment, involves a financial commitment (food, medical, pet care while traveling, pet supplies, etc.), and recognition that each type of dog requires a different kind of care.

My name is Remi, and my homeless situation is a prime example of pet parents who fell short on their commitment. Although I am not really sure why I ended up at the Second Chance shelter, I know it was not because of anything I did wrong. I am a two-year-old very sweet, docile, and sometimes shy American Bulldog who is good with other dogs and very loving indeed.

My people failed me and I don’t want to have that happen again. Thus, as much as I would love a new home for the holidays, I would rather not be given as a gift, but chosen instead by someone who is ready to forever make a place for me in their lives.

Therefore, if your Bo is looking for a bright dog that will make him feel extra loved you can include me in your portfolio for your boyfriend’s gift certificate options for the best holiday gift of all…



And if your man is secretly more of a cat lover, he can use his gift certificate to adopt a sweet feline like three-month-young Savannah. Like me, Savannah is docile and shy, but when she warms up she is very loving with people. She is also very good with other cats if you want to give yourself a holiday gift and adopt a puttytat alongside your boyfriend…

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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