Second Chance: Giving Up a Pet is Never Easy!

Second Chance: Giving Up a Pet is Never Easy!

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 the 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.

A few Pet Columns ago, a shelter cat named Wendy wrote about Pandemic Pet Surrenders. Although we haven’t seen surrenders directly attributed to the pandemic, we do see a lack of pet-friendly housing and economic factors taking their toll.

In any surrender, it’s assumed that pets are being given up on. Maybe you think they’re pets who are too high energy, too much work, or that could no longer be cared for. However, when you see my friends come into Second Chance, it is a different story.

There are times when there is no other option other than to surrender.

Do you see the three cats scared in the corner because they don’t know where they are? They had to come to us because their family lost their housing.

How about the husky who is pacing back and forth in the yard? She was surrendered because she couldn’t be left alone while her family worked. They couldn’t give up their jobs, so they made the decision to help her find a new person who could be with her all day.

See the dog next to me barking at the wall? She just lost her best human friend to old age.

Those cats in the window over there are from a good samaritan. She tried to help people by taking in pets that were on the verge of being homeless. Unfortunately, her big heart didn’t match her capacity to care for the many pets she had accumulated, so she did the responsible thing and asked for help from Second Chance.

In almost every single case, our humans knew we deserved more than what we had. Sometimes, we have to accept that we cannot prevent the unpreventable. Whether it be housing issues, economic challenges, natural life occurrences, or simply seeing that a pet deserves a better life.

When humans surrender a pet to the shelter, let’s be honest, they are judged. Judged for dropping off their beloved pet. I believe that the whispering and judging needs to come to an end.

My friends here at Second Chance see the tears of heartbreak, looks of complete sadness, and feelings of helplessness about situations that can’t be changed. I’ve never seen a human surrender a pet without feeling badly. Most of the time, the human has looked at every option, and surrendering is the last resort.

Instead of trying to re-home a pet on craigslist or facebook (when you can’t be sure of where they’ll end up), I recommend bringing your pet to a Second Chance or another licensed animal rescue organization. Surrendering to a reputable shelter is responsible, compassionate, and the best solution. They’re super nice to us here! We are safe, fed, vaccinated, spayed/neutered, exercised, and loved while we wait for our new beginnings.

My name is Cricket. I’m a young torti girl who absolutely loves to be loved. Rub my belly, and I’m your friend forever. I am not crazy about other cats, so it might be best if I have your complete attention to myself.

AND… To continue the new Second Chance Highlights section. We want to share the following:

Have You Met Leah?

Ridgway Thrift Shop is a treasure hunt of wonderful finds, which would not be possible without our incredible staff. One very special person at Ridgway Thrift is Leah Cerise.

Like many of our employees, Leah started out as a volunteer. She was hired as an employee in 2017. Since then, she’s been making a difference in the shop, for our pets, and for our customers.

Leah was born and raised in the Colorado mountains in a very artistic home. Her mother was a fiber artist and her father was an oil painter. So, it’s no surprise Leah is also an artist. She’s an accomplished printmaker, showing and selling her art in galleries in Colorado and New Mexico.

One job Leah loves is hanging art in our Paws for Art Gallery. Changing out the gallery when the theme changes or replacing art that has sold is always a treat. She says, “I love seeing what we have to add to the gallery. It’s an amazing collection of donated artwork, and it’s so much fun to see it displayed and sold.”

At the thrift shop, Leah is the manager of the book department and assistant manager of the shop. If you’ve broused for books at Ridgway Thrift Shop, you know how much fun it is. Leah gets excited about the quality and quantity of book donations, and loves to see them go out the door to a new home. She shares some book donations with Ridgway and Montrose public libraries, the pocket libraries in Ouray county, and with local youth organizations. Managing the book department helps our mission by bringing in much needed funds, but also helps our communities! Leah says, “I try to place the books in hands that will appreciate them, read them, and pass the book along.”

Lynda Burns, Ridgway Thrift Shop manager, appreciates Leah. Lynda says: “Of the many attributes Leah brings to her job, a few are her positive attitude, confidence, and willingness to jump in wherever needed.  One of Leah’s favorite sayings is ‘We’ve got this!’”

Leah’s favorite part of her job? “The people. Those I work with, and the people who walk through the doors.”

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