Second Chance: Lilly & Panda

Second Chance: Lilly & Panda

Thanks for reading the first Pet Column of 2018.

Although this column is typically about pet parenting advice and treating animals humanely, I thought it fitting that the 2018 kickoff – which also happens to be the 600th Pet Column – simply be about a homeless pet like me.


My name is Lilly and I’m a 1.5 year young Heeler mix. I was adopted out as a puppy from Second Chance but was recently, and heart wrenchingly, returned because my family was moving away. It was hard losing my home before the holidays. Fortunately my ultra-sweet and loving disposition has remained intact and I am remain hopeful for a new family soon.

When I first returned to the shelter I was nervous and anxious – until I got my first hot dog. It is hard to not trust anyone offering hot dogs. I am sure whoever invented the hot dog didn’t plan on them being a bridge between scared dogs and humans – but I see that exchange work here at the shelter all the time.   

Honestly though I just enjoy people. While I get along well with other dogs, humans are the real apple of my eye; I like to sneak them in when my person is least expecting it. So much fun.

Being young, I’m still learning some stuff, but I can sit and walk well on a leash. I’m kind of the perfect size because I’m big enough to get out hiking or playing, but at only 25 pounds I can still curl up in a little ball-sized space. If not told otherwise, I may test out a lap or couch as well.

After I arrived here at Second Chance I met a nice homeless cat named Panda, so I decided to share this Pet Column with him to help him find a home as well. 

Panda is a beautiful boy with a black-and-white, short-haired tuxedo coat. He is kind and  smells good.

Panda came in as a stray and the first thing I noticed was a V notch in his right ear. Apparently when Panda was on his own out in the world he was picked up and neutered to prevent anymore homeless litters from being born. He said he hardly remembered the experience. That V notch is what veterinarians do to signal to others that a homeless cat has already been spay/neutered. (Just a quick infomercial.)


Panda now lives in Second Chance’s Cat Castle, so he can roam around both inside and in the outdoor enclosures. He told me: “You’ve got to be crazy to sit around outside at this time of year,” so most days Panda just skulks around the shelter kitchen, checking the windows for any bird sightings, searching for that next perfect nap spot.

Panda is a very confident cat, he proved a little too confident and social for the communal cat rooms. He can be a bit of a close talker, getting right up close, face to face. Most “normal” cats like their space. Panda is funny that way – which is why I like him so much.

In closing, might I suggest, that if this New Year might possibly bring a new furry friend to your family, come on down and meet me or Panda.  I am sure you can imagine what our New Year resolutions are…

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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