Second Chance: Waiting A Long Time!

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been serving San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties since 1994. The shelter is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday 11 to 5:30. Community veterinary services are available by appointment.

View shelter pets and services online:

Go here for more on Dr. Shari DePauw of Second Chance. 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.

We love to see adoptions of any kind. It’s always a happy day when people open their hearts to a new family member. However, there’s an element of sadness in adoptions. We’ve seen puppies and kittens go home quickly, sometimes before we even get their photo on our pet adoption sites. It’s understandable – the Awwwwww factor of adorable puppies and kittens is undeniable. Also, we understand people want to train a pet from the beginning.

Every time a puppy wiggles its way into someone’s heart, we think of Badger, Mowgli, Oscar, Molly, Coraline, and Brute who have been waiting a long time to find a home. Kittens are purring in a lap in their new home while Felicia, Tebo, Tootie, and Bandit wait for our staff and volunteers to give them attention.

We do our best, but the fact is long-term shelter stays decrease a pet’s adoptability. Some common barriers to adoption of both dogs and cats are age, breed/color, size, and behavior. The first three are things we can’t change. Beautiful long-haired cats tend to get noticed and adopted before short-haired black cats or basic grey tabbies. Large dogs and “bully breeds” stay with us for months before finding their homes.

Behavior is something we work on every day. We have skilled trainers who work with the dogs – and with our volunteers and staff – to give each dog attention and training that will help them get adopted. Unfortunately, no matter how innovative the shelter is, long-term stays sometimes create behavioral problems. Anxiety, aggression, leash reactivity, food and toy guarding, and shutting down are not uncommon. When someone comes to meet these dogs, it doesn’t help their chances if they bark or hide in the corner.

Behavior problems in a shelter cat often mean regression to a less-social state. They might hide in the corner, hiss, or run away. Our staff and volunteers give cats as much attention as possible in the shelter setting, but a shelter is not a home.

The good news is that most long-term shelter pets will adjust to a home environment and become wonderful companions. We’ve seen senior dogs become almost puppy-like when they are settled with a loving family. A previously hissy cat can become a bundle of love once they are in a relaxed and loving home.

In lieu of permanent homes, foster homes are a great way to let a pet decompress and relax outside of the shelter. We have dedicated and kind foster volunteers who make a huge difference in the lives and adoptions of pets. We are always looking for new foster homes.

To be a successful pet foster parent, you will need a compassionate nature, the cooperation of your family or roommates, flexibility, and some knowledge of animal behavior. We provide food, supplies, and medications. You provide love and attention.


My name is Tootie. I’m one of those who has waited a long time to find my home. At first glance, I look like an average tabby cat. Upon closer inspection, you’ll see beautiful markings and colors in my fur. I’m also a large, shy cat. I am learning to enjoy receiving affection from my foster mom. I’d like a home with another cat to cuddle with.

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

We are happy to introduce our interim Executive Director, Annie Guion. She is now on-site, learning from Kelly Goodin (Kelly’s last day is December 16).

Annie has spent her entire professional life in the non-profit arena. She started with environmental education at Connecticut Audubon and moved to Animal Welfare in 2008, working 14 years at the Windham County Humane Society in Brattleboro, VT.

Annie and her partner Chuck took a year off to travel in their small camper with 13-pound chihuahua rescue, Arfur. After 6 months back home in Vermont, Annie accepted the offer to fill the Interim Executive Director position at Second Chance, with the goal of filling Kelly Goodin’s shoes until a new Executive Director is hired. Annie and Chuck are looking forward to hot springs and cold skiing, while Arfur looks forward to making new friends, two and four-legged. Back home in VT, Kody the cat is spending the winter with a dear friend.

Annie and Chuck are already enjoying exploring the area and have felt very welcomed by the community.

The Pet Pantry needs your donations. We supply pet food and supplies to those in our community who are experiencing poverty, homelessness, job loss, and/or other hardships.

We believe Pets & People Live Better Together, and Pet Pantry is just one of the programs we offer to help.

If you would like to donate food or supplies, email or call (970) 626-2273

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