DEAR EDITOR:

Recently, an article entitled “Locals start Telluride Humane Society” appeared in the Telluride Daily Planet and Watch newspapers that announced the launch of the Telluride Humane Society. Unfortunately, it contained several factual errors and omissions that alarmed our Telluride donors, supporters and community members. We would like to address the primary areas of concern and clarify our relationship with the Telluride Humane Society.

The overwhelming concern by our supporters and friends is whether we will be terminating or modifying the services and programs we have provided to Telluride, and the counties of San Miguel, Ouray and Montrose for over 25 years. Questions have also been raised regarding whether we will continue to receive pets from Telluride at our shelter property and facility that generous Telluride donors helped purchase and build. There have also been several inquiries as to why there would be two humane societies offering duplicate services in one small town.

We want to assure the Telluride community that Second Chance Humane Society remains committed to continuing the work we have been doing for over two decades to connect pets, people and community while saving lives. We built this organization together with the support of our entire service region, and for our entire service region, and that includes Telluride and San Miguel County.

Together we built a wonderful 52-acre haven for homeless and abandoned pets. We trained our staff and volunteers to provide model care for our pets in spacious and cage free facilities with ample outdoor space to heal physically, mentally and emotionally. Together we have provided the individualized medical and behavioral rehabilitation to allow pets to be adopted quickly into loving homes.

A sizable portion of the funds for our shelter property and facilities came from our Telluride-based supporters, including a $75,000 grant from the Telluride Foundation. These were investments made for the future sheltering and care of the homeless and abandoned pets in our region. This was an investment in a long-term solution for the entire region and it will remain so.

Telluride Humane Society’s website reads that they are “the first humane society with services within the County of San Miguel and the town of Telluride.” For 25 years now, Second Chance Humane Society has been operating rescue, adoption, humane education, school enrichment, spay/neuter, animal-assisted therapy, feral cat, dog training, lost pet prevention, community outreach and foster programming throughout our service region, which includes San Miguel County and Telluride.

In our conversations with the Telluride Humane Society founder over the past nine months, Second Chance hoped to create a unified organization rather than work independently as two separate entities. Our approach was that if there are gaps in our services, let’s work together to improve them rather than work individually. Replicating rather than supporting our existing programs and services would seem likely to create confusion and inefficiencies, while reducing the impact of what could be done by delivering one integrated system.

Telluride Humane Society has chosen to operate independently of Second Chance Humane Society and we will honor that choice. Second Chance Humane Society is about protecting homeless pets and championing the relevance of animals in our lives. This organization came into existence as a result of a group of compassionate people working together to create positive results. We have no intention of this changing; there is always room at our table. Telluride Humane Society is going to be saving animals and we welcome them as they begin doing this critical work.

I welcome further questions or concerns. I can be reached at 970-626-2273. On behalf of the Second Chance Humane Society Board of Directors, we are so grateful for the generous support we have received over the past quarter century that has made thousands of second chances possible.

Kelly Goodin

Second Chance Humane Society executive director