Second Chance: Fear Free Facility

Second Chance: Fear Free Facility

Second Chance Humane Society has become certified as a Fear Free facility.


That means that protocols and procedures to minimize fear and emotional discomfort for all pets are now on an equal footing with eliminating physical discomfort. We asked two new residents to share their experiences in that regard.

Hello my name is Brody. I’m a two year old Border Collie mix. Like most pets, I was very scared when I first arrived at Second Chance. But then I saw it is a Fear Free Facility and I immediately relaxed. Word is already out on the street about this national movement that has been embraced by thousands of veterinary and animal welfare professionals across the country.

The whole idea of dealing with our emotional well-being, as well as basic necessities is changing the way animals are treated because the truth is the two are interdependent. To me it is like “duh – of course our emotional wellbeing is critical,” but not many years ago many in the animal industry believed  four-legged creatures lacked emotions.

After I arrived at Second Chance, there was a horrible thunderstorm and I was shaking with fear. It was really difficult for the staff to assess if I had other injuries or medical needs. But rather than ignoring my fear, one of the staff sat with me and fed me delicious treats. They were so good, I forgot what I had been afraid of. They also blacked out the window in my room so the flashes of lightning wouldn’t cause any further anxiety. They also put calming scents like lavender on all my bedding.

This comfort-and-treat procedure worked equally well for my physical exam and all the new experiences I encountered as I navigated the shelter routine. I feel as though this attention to my emotional state has truly helped me to be ready to be adopted much much sooner than if they had ignored my stress.

My name is Julius. I am a handsome orange tabby. I arrived at Second Chance looking rather neglected, with a tangled, matted and painful coat of hair that was restricting my movement. A few days after I arrived, I woke up from a quick nap (before which I heard the word “neuter” being used) and the mats were gone, the pain was gone. I had free range of movement again. It was quite magical really.


The Fear Free movement is actually about enriching animals’ lives in all environments, but particularly in those places that often have more negative than positive vibes, like vets offices or shelters.

You too can learn how to turn your home into a Fear Free place from the website

Like Brody, I too am ready for adoption. We both come fully vaccinated, altered, and with a cute and snuggle factor of a panda bear – but we don’t need diapers or imported bamboo.



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 with Cabella & Wilbur

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.

Michelle & Wallowby

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