Second Chance: What To Do When You Find A Lost Pet!

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center (SCHS) and Thrift Shops have been serving San Miguel, Ouray and Montrose Counties since 1994. The shelter is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday 11am – 5:30 pm. 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.

You see a cat or dog wandering about with no human in sight. You’re concerned about his safety. Being a compassionate person, of course, you want to help… even if you are on vacation or just passing through the area.

Sometimes those who “find” a stray animal aren’t always following the best practices to help get the pet back home. The best thing to do is try to locate his/her parent before whisking it away. If found in a neighborhood, first approach some of the neighbors and ask them if they recognize the dog/cat. With social media, it’s easy to find a local message board and post the found pet there as well. If this is not feasible or if no one recognizes him – contact the nearest animal shelter and, with them, determine the most appropriate next step.

Do not put the pet in your vehicle and continue on to your intended destination. Sometimes a good samaritan will pick up a pet and take it to a shelter they are familiar with and trust. That means a pet can end up miles away from where they were found – sometimes on the other side of the state. Transporting a lost animal to your “preferred” rescue or shelter creates undue stress for the pet and greater obstacles to getting the pet safely home.

Bringing a pet to a different town or region from where it was found severely diminishes the chance of them being reunited with their people. Families looking for their pets call local shelters, veterinarian offices, and law enforcement/animal control. Someone who lost their dog in Ridgway is unlikely to call Denver looking for it. In fact, transporting an unknown pet that far from where it was found could be considered stealing.

A note to pet parents: if you want to stack the odds for your pet to get back to you if ever lost – make sure your pet has a microchip as well as a secure form of identification at all times. The pets who come into our shelter with a microchip are the ones who usually go home that same day.


My name is Ray. I’m a good-looking guy with my flame point markings and blue eyes. I got away from my people, and no one ever came to claim me. I have a bit of an attitude, but can also be a sweet cat when I decide I want to be.

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

Remember Pasque? 

He is a young cat who was found in the middle of the road in Montrose in April. A kind soul brought him to Second Chance, where our wonderful veterinary team and staff helped him start the road to recovery. We soon realized that he had serious issues with his eyes – either because he’d been hit by a car or because of a birth defect.

Regardless, we knew we needed to help him.

Pasque needed surgery by a board-certified ophthalmologist. We located a surgeon in Boulder and transported him to the front range. We are happy to report that his surgery went well, and he is recovering in a foster home. He’s doing great! His face injuries are nearly healed (he has fur on his nose again), his personality is starting to shine, and he loves being loved. He may never have perfect vision, but he will now be able to join a family and be loved without being in pain.

His foster mom says, “He eats his food with meds and is such a trooper about getting his eye drops! His new person or family will be getting an amazing kitty!”

Thank you to everyone who donated to help pay for his surgery and sent good wishes. Pasque will be available for adoption as soon as he’s made a full recovery.

NATIVE & INDIGENOUS ART at Paws for Art Gallery

Paws for Art Gallery is located in Ridgway (across the parking lot from thrift shop at 309 Sherman St). Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from noon to 4pm or by request during thrift shop hours.

All proceeds support Second Chance Humane Society.

Comments are closed.