Believe it or not, there are people who willingly spend time cleaning litter boxes, teaching rambunctious puppies good manners, holding cats during medical procedures, walking dogs, teaching frightened cats to trust people, scooping dog poop, bottle feeding tiny kittens every few hours, reading with pets and kids at schools, and holding leashes at adoption events. Oh, and they don’t get paid (unless you count tail wags, puppy kisses, or purrs).  These are the noble, loving, generous species known as volunteers. They come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and talents, but they all have one thing in common. They want to make the world a better place- one pet at a time.

clinic volunteer







Here at Second Chance, we pets depend on our volunteers. We come to love them and look forward to the time they spend with us, and the staff loves them too. We have dog den volunteers (who I adore), cat castle crew (who enjoy a good purr), foster families (for pets who need a more home-like environment or extra care), medical clinic helpers (with steady hands and strong character), event folks (who like to fundraise or talk to other humans while helping pets find homes), thrift shop workers (who sort and sell generous donations that help us pay the bills), and even people who help with things like thank you notes, spreadsheets, and databases (whatever that is, doesn’t sound very tasty).


 We wondered what motivates our amazing volunteers who step forward to do these jobs for us, so we asked a few.

One volunteer who especially enjoys events says, “I love seeing the animals get new homes, and seeing the joy a new animal brings to a family.” Another of our friends who enjoys walking us dogs says, “I love giving back to the community and sharing my love of animals. I also just love helping out the hard-working staff at the shelter.”

When I find my home, there will be other pets who take my place, creating a constant need for good helpers. We always need more people to step up. A good volunteer should be flexible (you can’t predict what might happen each day) and caring (obviously). A good sense of humor helps a lot, as well as strong integrity, patience, and commitment to serving.

Aristotle stated “the essence of life is to serve others and do good.” Second Chance was born and raised on the selfless and generous hearts and souls of volunteers. Over the 28+ years we’ve been serving the residents of Ouray, San Miguel, and Montrose counties, we’ve had countless volunteers help us. In fact the organization was born and run on the backs of volunteers for the first decade of its life.

April is Volunteer Appreciation Month, and we salute all our volunteers: past, present, and future. The good continues because of them. Volunteers truly do make the world a better place. Go hug or lick a volunteer today!



Hi! I’m Ben. I’m a 7-year-old mixed breed. I’m a happy guy, and I love attention. I’m most comfortable with adults, and I must admit, cats are not my thing. I have plenty of energy! I love to go on walks and fetch a ball. Come meet me today!