Second Chances: 26 Years and Counting

By Kelly Goodin, Executive Director, Second Chance Humane Society, Ridgway and Telluride

The mission of Second Chance Humane Society is “Connecting Pets, People & Community While Saving Lives.” January 2020 marked our 26th year. Although our shelter is situated in Ridgway, our rescue and community outreach programs span the tri-county region of Ouray, Montrose, and San Miguel Counties and continue to grow.

Animal rescue work has always been our priority, and for the past decade we have been expanding our sheltering capacity and improving our shelter practices and protocols toward rescuing as many pets as possible. But we also have always positioned our work within a preventative framework, offering programs such as low-cost spay/neuter, dog training, and humane education within schools and communities. Simply put, our work is predicated upon our belief that pets and people live better together.

But to keep this organization vital and accessible to our tri-county service region and its shifting needs, we are again extending our programming in an exciting new direction. This new programming is about supporting and sustaining the positive impact of pets upon people and within our communities, and keeping pets and people together for life.

The social, emotional, and physical benefits of pets in our lives is now well established. Families facing economic hardship are in even greater need of keeping their animals as part of their families, but they face huge challenges in doing so. Losing jobs, limited housing, escalating vet bills, etc., have led to insurmountable barriers for many families in maintaining lifelong commitments to their pets.

So we’ve initiated a community medical program to remove these barriers. We are rolling out the program in stages, beginning with monthly wellness clinics at our shelter property in Ridgway. The last Thursday of the month, we now offer free wellness exams and a menu of services from vaccinations to de-worming and micro-chipping, all for $10 or less.

These services are being offered to low-income families and are available on a walk-in basis from 11:30 A.M. to 3 P.M. We will expand our list of services in future clinics, but we will not be providing emergency care at this time, focusing instead on low-cost wellness clinics to keep pets healthy.

We are also gearing up to expand this program to the most underserved areas of our service region in western Montrose County, which includes Naturita and Nucla, towns facing renewed economic challenges with the recent closing of the power plant and coal mine that supported it.

Learn more about Second Chance Humane Society’s programs and services at or call 970-626-2273.