Second Chance: Volunteer Appreciation

Second Chance: Volunteer Appreciation

About 2442 years ago a dude named Aristotle stated “the essence of life is to serve others and do good.”


Not only has the concept of volunteering been around for a while, but it also has defined what makes human life real.  April is National Volunteer Month.  Aristotle would dig that. Please join me in celebrating all the volunteers throughout the region, country, and the world that truly make a difference. (As a shelter pet, I am particularly biased to those who improve the lives of animals in need.)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics most updated report (2015), 62.6 million people volunteer annually in the United States, generating a value of over $184 billion dollars. (Although how do you put a dollar value on a cuddle – which is the favorite thing I get from volunteers?)

Volunteers (past and present) at the Second Chance Humane Society have, without a doubt, given me a second chance on life. 

I wag and play today thanks to the countless men and women over the years who contributed to this organization, including the handful who started and nurtured the organization for the first decade of its life. Second Chance was born and raised on selfless hearts.

My mind is filled with their images: smiling volunteers taking me on walks and teaching me new things to help me down the path towards adoption. 

Those who work hard at the Thrift Shop to raise funding for my care.

Others who work in our community outreach programs in schools, educating the public on the importance of spaying/neutering pets and treating us with respect and kindness.

Volunteers who bring special needs shelter pets into their homes. 

Those volunteering at adoption events and spay/neuter clinics, bottle-feeding babies who arrive without mothers.

Those working fundraising events so that Second Chance can continue its mission.

Volunteers who help with administrative and other behind-the-scenes tasks. 

And volunteers (also referred to as Board Members) who work hard to assure the health and success of the organization so that second chances like mine will always be available.

So for National Volunteer Week, please take the time to appreciate yourself and others for all that you do and hope to do. 

Volunteers truly do make the world a better place. They give me hope and restore my faith in humanity. 

On behalf of all the homeless and helpless pets in need across the planet – Thank You.

And if you haven’t yet caught the volunteer bug, I urge you to give it a try. 

Volunteering has been shown to improve general health and well-being, for example, strengthening the body, improving mood, and reducing stress. It allows people to feel connected to something bigger than themselves and creates community.

I now volunteer myself as your new family member. 

My name is Newton.  I am a six-month young handsome Aussie/Doodle mix. I am an upbeat and sometimes downright goofy boy with lots of energy and I am learning and improving upon my leash and basic training every day. I get along well with other dogs and love to be outside running and playing with friends. As your new family member, I will volunteer not only to clean the dishes, but also make you feel forever loved.

If you are seeking a cat, I volunteer Oscar as your guy. 


Oscar is a beautiful dark orange and white long hair feline who is only about six years old. He is extremely sweet, but very timid when he doesn’t know you very well. Oscar is living in one of the communal rooms and gets along well with other cats. He enjoys hiding in dark places and sometimes comes down to explore. Oscar loves petting and human affection once he gets comfortable.

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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