Access to veterinary care is something that many of our neighbors struggle with. To our south and west are two communities where vet care is scarce or non-existent: The Ute Mountain Reservation and the West End Communities of Montrose County.

Second Chance is dedicated to helping our neighbors with whatever resources we have. Vaccine and Wellness clinics were recently held at the Towoac Recreation Center on the Ute Mountain Reservation and at Nucla Fire Station. In just two clinics, we vaccinated 179 dogs and cats from 99 families.

It was so heartwarming to see the love showered on these furry family members. There was a time when the world of animal welfare was all too likely to shame those whose pets were not up to date on their vaccines or had never seen a veterinarian. Progressive programs like Pets for Life, Downtown Dog Rescue, and our own affordable veterinary care program have shone a light on the fact that access to veterinary care is a challenge in many communities.

Stories and data from these types of programs tell us that unspayed, unvaccinated animals are just as loved as those who have received top-of-the-line veterinary care. Sometimes there is simply no veterinary clinic in the area. Sometimes it is a financial issue. As we expect more and more from our veterinarians, it becomes more and more expensive to own and run a full-service veterinary clinic. Sometimes it is a matter of education. Not everyone is aware of the benefits of spaying or neutering a pet or knows which vaccines should be administered and on what schedule.

The Ute Mountain Reservation has a large population of dogs who have not been spayed or neutered and there is no simple fix. We are in conversation with various organizations to see how we might be able to help. While on-site providing vaccines, we heard endless requests for spay/neuter services. We will continue to do our best to help find solutions. In the meantime, we are working to take in puppies and dogs at our facility in Ridgway where they can be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and adopted out to new loving homes.

Thank you to the Ute Mountain Reservation and West End communities for showing us the love! We are thankful to Hoof & Paw for partnering with us on the Nucla clinics (scheduled throughout the summer) and to San Miguel Power Association for helping to fund them.


Manny is a 10-month-old mixed-breed puppy who had a rough start in his young life. He came to us from the Ute Reservation, where he lived with very little human contact, no veterinary care, and not enough food. Another rescue saved him and started his recovery and socialization. Since coming to Second Chance Manny has continued to learn what it means to be a pet. He needs a patient person, a quiet home, and a confident dog friend to help him. He’s in foster care, so call the shelter to arrange to meet him.

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have served San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties since 1994. Adoption hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am to 5:30 pm. Our Community Veterinary Services are available by appointment. View our shelter pets and services online: