Second Chance: Rules for Adopting a Dog!

Second Chance: Rules for Adopting a Dog!

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been serving San Miguel, Ouray and 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:

Second Chance veterinary clinic is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Call (970) 626-9713 or email

Donate here.

Go here for more options from Second Chance.

Go here for more on Dr. Shari DePauw of Second Chance. Veterinary services are available.

How long does it take to decide if a dog is the right fit for your home?

Adopting a rescue dog is an exciting time. You decided to add a new family member, you fell in love with a dog, and now it’s time to bring her home. Sometimes it goes smoothly, but more likely there will be an adjustment for you and for the dog.

There are some guidelines for what to expect in the first three days, three weeks, and three months after adoption. Understanding what the dog might be going through can help you feel more patient and optimistic. A rescue dog needs time to adapt and adjust. In most cases, he will embrace his new life and be a wonderful companion for your family.

The first three days are the scariest time for your dog (and you might think, “What have I done?!”). You both may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what is happening. He or she is not “himself”  or “herself” and might be shut down. Maybe he/she hides under furniture, in a crate, or in another safe area. He/she may sleep a lot, not eat or drink, have bathroom accidents, and test boundaries. To help him/her, set up a safe quiet space such as a spare bedroom or laundry room with a cozy bed and crate. Check in with him/her, but don’t force anyone to accept attention. Speak calmly at first. Introduce your pet slowly to the new environment and family.

After getting through the first three days, your dog will likely settle in and feel more comfortable. She or he may start to realize that your home is a safe place. Establishing a routine is very important in the first three weeks. Consistent boundaries and rules are key. Your dog may start showing its personality. You may also see behavior issues that will need to be addressed.

Three months later you should see your dog’s true personality and temperament. He or she is likely to have a sense of security and be comfortable in the home. Trust is building, and he/she will be bonding with you, your family, and other pets. At this point, you can realistically judge if the dog is in its forever home.

Just like people, young dogs adjust more quickly. Older and shyer dogs may take a bit longer. Depending on the dog’s history, you may need to give it more time. As long as you see progress, you are doing the right things. Second Chance has behavioral consultations, training classes, and veterinary services available for you as well.

Several dogs have returned to us in the past few months. They all are good dogs and will be great additions to their families – once the right fit is found. At Second Chance, we always welcome dogs and cats back when they do not work out in their new homes.

I’m back! My name is Sturgil. I’m a mellow, sweet, hound dog. I had a nice family, but didn’t click with one of their other pets. I am happy to just be by your side or lounge on a dog bed on the porch. I love being outside as much as I can. Despite my size, I think I’m a lap dog and love to lean into you while you’re petting me.

AND… To continue the Second Chance Highlights section, we want to share the following:

Our big news last week was Kelly’s departure. We had it in the newsletter like this:

This week, Second Chance Humane Society Board of Directors announced that Kelly Goodin will be leaving her role as Executive Director effective December 9.

Kelly has been executive director for over 17 years and has built Second Chance into a highly-respected organization in our communities and beyond. Her passion and compassion have set the tone for our work every day.

During Kelly’s tenure, the organization grew from operating out of a dilapidated old house in Ridgway to the 52-acre Angel Ridge Ranch property where we now have an animal shelter, community outreach programming, and veterinary services.

Under Kelly’s leadership, prevention programs have been an important strategy for Second Chance, resulting in finding families for thousands of pets while also helping to keep pets with their families. Thrift Shop operations also grew, with the addition of the Donation Center and Paws for Art Gallery in Ridgway and a Thrift Shop in Telluride.

“We are eternally grateful for Kelly’s dedication over all these years to ensuring the wellbeing of homeless animals in our region,” said Ashley Bradley, Board Chair. “Kelly’s belief that pets and people live better together is the foundation of how Second Chance operates everyday.”

Kelly says: “Second Chance has been my heart’s work for a long time. Knowing we have a dedicated staff and volunteers and a strong leadership team allowed this choice to feel right. I’m leaving the organization in capable hands.”

Fortunately Second Chance has secured an interim ED to ensure a smooth transition, more on that next week…


Our shelter staff and vet clinic do a LOT of laundry. Towels, blankets, rugs, rags… the washers and dryers run pretty much all day. Because of the constant use, they wear out.

So… we need new ones (with an extended warranty). Front-load works best in our spaces.

Can you help?

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