Second Chance: Miracle On Shelter Street

Second Chance: Miracle On Shelter Street

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been servicing San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties for 25 years. Call the Second Chance Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about spay/neuter, volunteer, feral cat, or other services. View shelter pets and services online:


As a homeless dog here at Second Chance I ask you to consider that, although a shelter may not be the ideal environment for pets, it is a temporary haven where pets in need, like me, receive care, love, and a chance for a new life.

It also provides a ripe setting for miracles to occur. Wait, what? A shelter the home of miracles?

The stigma of the depressing shelter full of desperate animals is shifting. Second Chance Humane Society has worked hard to create this shift in our little part of the world with cage-less facilities and open access to fresh air, plus lots of space to run and stretch for both cats and dogs. And an abundance of nurturing individualized care.

Yet, because we are homeless, I still here visitors make statements like, “Oh, this is breaking my heart I knew I shouldn’t have come here” or “I could never work here I love animals too much” (a staff favorite, not).

Those folks are just overlooking the miracles.

Definitions of a miracle vary from “any amazing or wonderful occurrence” to “when the unexpected occurs.”

Derived from the Old Latin, miraculum, meaning “something wonderful” my favorite definition of miracle is “by which the ordinary course and operation of Nature is overruled, suspended, or modified.” I believe miracles happen in the midst of renewed love, trust, and opportunities at life. That is how shelters birth miracles.

A small abandoned kitten, cold and shivering, unable to walk, feeling hopeless and alone is brought to Second Chance and wrapped in warm blankets and loving arms, meets with a “suspension of the ordinary course.” What about an older neglected, emotionally wounded dog who finds her way to the shelter? She learns to trust and that life can be about love and kindness (rather than what she has always known). She leaves with a new family and a shine in her eyes that was never there before. Sounds like “something wonderful” to me.

Still not a believer? What about the person who calls Second Chance wanting to surrender a pet, but changes her mind after learning from the staff how to simply correct a few negative behaviors. Or the husband who resisted allowing a pet into the home for years and now cannot imagine life without the new family dog.

Seems like a bunch of set circumstances being suspended or modified to me…

So yes, at a shelter there are some sad, scared, stressed, homesick, or just plain sick animals. But the shelter is also where miracles occur, where lives are saved, where abused animals learn what love is, where discarded animals learn to trust again, and where lifetime bonds of love are made. So it is ok to feel sorry for us, but don’t avoid us – come be a part of the miracles.

My name is Pluto. I am a one- to two-years-young super sweet Border Collie. I love people so much. I love hugging and loving them. I am great with other dogs, as long as they are not too pushy or scary. I would love to be adopted by an active family who will continue building my confidence and good manners. I believe in miracles.

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