Second Chance: Reading with Chief + Highlights!

Second Chance: Reading with Chief + Highlights!

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been serving San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties for 27 years. Call 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about our Emergency Response, Community Medical, Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, or other services. View shelter pets and services online:

Donate here.

Go here for more options from Second Chance.


Reading is challenging for many young students. Reading out loud can be stressful. Sometimes, all you need is a good listener, and I know where you can find one…

Did you know that pets can be a friend to a young reader? Reading to a pet is a safe environment for a child to practice reading. Pets never pass judgment. A child can stumble through a word, read at their own pace, or take a long time to read a passage. The pet is a happy, attentive listening companion. Over time, a child will begin to feel more comfortable reading aloud, thus building reading confidence and enjoyment.

Reading improves with reading aloud and practicing the same material over and over. Pets don’t mind if a child reads the same book, passage, or sentence twenty times. A pet will listen, giving gentle reassurance, and providing opportunities for kids to rack up lots of practice time.

Pets are also helped from the attention they receive. It gives kids a sense of purpose when they see the pet is benefiting from their kindness and attention through the act of reading.

At Second Chance, our Pets Turning Pages program has been going since 2014 in Ridgway, Ouray and Telluride public schools. Its purpose is bringing shelter pets into school classrooms for students to gain reading support as well as learn the power of the human-animal bond.

The pandemic put classroom visits on hold, but we have slowly been bringing it back this year. Hopefully, this important community service will be back in full form in the fall. We’d love to see it in the Montrose schools as well.

We recently learned of the passing of hero in our community and Pets Turning Pages. Chief was a welcome presence in Ridgway schools; showing up to hear kids read, get pets, and be an incredible example of canine good citizenship.

Chief was adopted from Second Chance in December 2015, and quickly fell completely in love with his new family. He wanted to be with them always, and his gentle, loving nature extended to those in his neighborhood, on the trail, at the school.

Chief not only visited Ridgway Elementary, but he also greeted customers at his dad’s ski shop. He was a big guy- 95 pounds of golden love. When he was in the school with his family’s grandma (and long-time Second Chance volunteer), Carol, kids would stop to pet him, lean against his big body, and read quietly to him in the classroom. Although Chief loved everyone, his devotion was strongest to his family. At school, he would walk the row of cubbies, and stop in front of his girl’s- smelling her coat and deciding to sit where she kept her things.

Rest in peace, dear Chief. You truly made a difference.

Play with me! Run with me! Throw the ball! My name is Belle.  I’m a young Cattle Dog mix with flip-flop ears. I need a job to do, and someone who will enjoy my high energy personality. After I’m thoroughly exercised, I would be happy to have you read to me.

AND… To continue the new Second Chance Highlights section we wanted to share the following:

What Does Spring Mean for Us?

Kittens. Lots of kittens. If you have the ability and interest in fostering a litter, we can always use the help.

Construction. We have several upcoming projects for which we could use some extra hands.

Yard work. Just like you, we have outdoor upkeep that will need to be done.

Outdoor time. We’d love help with dog walking, ball throwing, fresh air time as the weather warms up.

Events. Farmers’ markets, adoption events, art walks, medical clinics… warmer weather means we will be out and about more.

Spring Cleaning. We hope to see an uptick in quality donations to our thrift shops as our community starts spring cleaning.

Which Brings Us to…

April is National Volunteer Month

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