The reality is there are more pets needing homes than homes wanting pets. 

We receive calls like these: “I found a box of puppies in a parking lot.” “There are several kittens in my backyard, and a coyote has killed two.” “I am surrendering my dog because she’s pregnant, and I can’t deal with a litter of puppies.” “My cat got out last month, and now we have six kittens.” Litters of puppies and kittens come in every year who have been dumped on the side of a road. Many litters are born in backyards, alleys, and other dangerous and unsuitable places. Those puppies and kittens, if they survive, will likely never know a loving home.

We recently brought in a group of dogs who had lived with little care or socialization and were not spayed or neutered. We thought we were getting five dogs, but it was thirteen. Two of the females delivered litters of puppies. These dogs were not in good health, were stressed out, and had little capacity to care for the pups. The puppies were lucky because they came to us. We were able to socialize them and provide medical care. Their futures are in responsible homes.

Competing with litters of unwanted puppies and kittens are dogs and cats who may spend weeks or months in shelters waiting for someone to adopt them. There just are not enough homes for all the companion animals.

We, like many shelters, are full and have a waiting list of pets needing to be surrendered. We get calls daily to add more dogs and cats to those lists.

Our statistics show there are also more stray pets than ever, including dogs and cats who get dumped, lost pets who never get returned to their families, or pets who have been born homeless. Most stray pets who come into Second Chance are not spayed or neutered.

Second Chance Humane Society Executive Director, Nicholas Gilman, says, “Anyone who cares about animal welfare supports spaying and neutering. It’s a simple procedure and is the primary tool to reduce the population of unwanted pets.”

Spaying and neutering of pets also has many positive behavioral and health benefits, such as reducing their desire to roam, reducing the risk of ovarian or testicular cancers, decreasing aggressive behavior (particularly in males), and promoting longer and healthier lives.

To help us spay and neuter shelter pets, and conduct clinics to spay and neuter community pets, we are commemorating Spay & Neuter Awareness Month by fundraising. Help us meet our goal by donating now ($10,000 is being matched by a generous anonymous donor). 

Ophir was found as a pregnant stray and later had four kittens. Her kittens were adopted and now she needs a loving home. She’s about 1.5 years old, shy but loving. She’s a gorgeous brown tabby, a bit full-figured, and would do best in a quiet home.


For thirty years, the Animal Resource Center and Shops of Second Chance Humane Society have been serving Ouray, San Miguel, and Montrose Counties. Our adoption hours are from Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You can view our shelter pets and services online at Connecting Pets, People, and Community While Saving Lives.