A few weeks ago, the Pet Column talked about the difference between a shelter and a rescue. One big difference is how an organization is funded.

Sometimes, a shelter or rescue is funded by a city or county government through taxes and fees collected and designated for animal control. Some shelters are funded and supported by a larger organization (like ASPCA or Best Friends). We’re neither of those.

 Second Chance Humane Society is an independent non-profit. That means we need to raise and/or earn all the money to do the work we do. Just a quick look at all that we do… We, of course, care for our homeless pets until they are placed in their new homes. That includes medical care, food, training, evaluation, and sharing their stories with potential adopters. Sometimes it takes a lot of time and talent to get them ready and find the right home- and we don’t have a time limit for a pet that is adoptable. They stay with us as long as they need to. We also care for community pets with our low-cost community veterinary services, pet pantry, training classes, stray intake, and taking in surrendered pets who can no longer stay in their homes. In addition, we have a facility to maintain, talented and dedicated staff to pay, and community outreach programs to fund. 

You may be thinking that takes a lot of money! How do we do this? 

Our thrift shops are a great source of funds and contribute about 65% of our operating costs. So of course, we greatly appreciate everyone who donates to and shops Second Chance Thrift Shops in Ridgway and Telluride. It’s a lot of fun to search for treasures and bargains.

 3007676F F782 41D7 B134 C950A06C38B8 1 201 aWe also apply for grants and sponsorships from philanthropic organizations and foundations. We’re constantly looking for new grants and re-applying for ones who’ve helped in the past. Grant applications are a huge task- and it takes a lot of time and effort, but it pays off when we receive a generous grant.

Businesses are also wonderful to us. We get large and small donations and sponsorships from local businesses that support our work. It’s like getting belly rubs from our friends.

We also get in-kind donations of everything from appliances to cat toys to blankets to pet food. These donations definitely make us purr, and they help so much to keep things running day to day. 


Isn’t that enough? Unfortunately, no. 

We still rely heavily on monetary donations from our friends and supporters. This is the time of year when all nonprofits are asking for money- like dogs asking for treats. We’re no different. So, when we put out a matching challenge (like our recent successful campaign to raise money for shelter repairs and upkeep), send an appeal in the mail (coming soon), or ask for pet food donations to fill the pet pantry- we hope you will consider donating what you can. We can’t do it without you.


 My name is Molly, and I’m one of the pets here at Second Chance who will probably be here for a while. I’m a frightened, nervous girl who came from a bad situation. I’m slowly learning to trust. My staff and volunteers here at Second Chance are pretty patient, so they’ll let me learn at my own pace. I’m young and showing signs that I will eventually be a good friend to someone. 

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been serving San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties since 1994. Our shelter is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 11 to 5:30. Our Community Veterinary Services are available by appointment. View our shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org.