The Only Cat Challenge

by Kimberly Wade

Update 9/19/17:  The below blog was published Saturday in RGJ. That same day, PV went home to an amazing family who had just lost their cat with a nearly identical purrsonality… our hearts are full.

That being said, I’m leaving her story in here because there are other kitties like her! Aspen, also featured, is still here, and Maggie, arrived a few days ago.  Her story is tough to hear. Her human passed away from cancer a few months ago. It was a tough time, but she hung in there. She stayed with a human friend for a short time (and her kitties) but soon learned that she would do best in a calm home with no other cats (they made her very grumpy). Maggie needs a home where she the one and only, and get lots of TLC from the humans! By the way, her fur is really soft and she loves to cuddle. Maggie may not love other pets, but she LOVES humans! Her pic is below.

Blog from Saturday, 9/16/17:

I need help. One of our biggest challenges at Nevada Humane Society is when a pet arrives that needs to find a home… as the only pet. Regardless of the species, finding a home where there are no other pets is always hard. Let’s face it. We’re a pet loving community, therefore, it’s really hard for us to have only one pet, right? We love seeing our four-legged BFFs cuddle and bond together. So how can we provide for those pets that need to be the only one?

My struggle comes after a couple of cats arrived at Nevada Humane Society who ultimately do their best when humans are their only companions. They came from different walks of life and honestly have fabulous personalities. They’re cute, cuddly and entertaining. They are well mannered and overall, a great companion. They just don’t like other cats (and more than likely they don’t care for dogs either).

PV, a stunning gray and white tabby, was given up when she was only a year and a half old. That was in March. She’s a bit of a lively gal, with what we call cattitude—a cat attitude! She really needs a cat-savvy family who can read her signals when she’s had enough and needs her alone time. For the most part, she’s pawsome. She’ll climb into your lap and purr and head bonk you. Suddenly, she’s done. Her ears go back and she may even growl. Some of our staff and volunteers back off and wait until she’s ready to be a lover again. Others scratch her ears and her butt until she comes out of it—and she does! Within minutes, she’s back to happy.

Aspen is a senior. She’s a fluffy calico with a crooked little tail that wags like a dog. I’ve mentioned her before because she actually lived in our admin offices. She also arrived in March, as a stray. Clearly she had belonged to someone at one point and just gotten lost—because she was very social to humans. She too is a love, constantly head butting people for treats (the girl can eat) and asking to have her coat brushed. We noticed after some time with our other office kitties, she tried to the princess—and yet she wasn’t. She didn’t like that, so she began acting very grouchy towards the other cats. We found the solution to her stress was to place her where she had no four-legged competition.

Both PV and Aspen are wonderful cats. They love people. They need people. They thrive on attention, and you can imagine since they are in their own space here at the shelter we really want to find them a home. They’ve been here longer than others and we don’t want them to get depressed. I don’t mean for this to be sad—but I really need you to all help me find those families that have been considering a pet, have no other pets and would be willing to meet PV or Aspen. We know it may take time for them to adjust in your home, but we also have no doubts that they will. And, once in a home they may not even show signs of cattitude! A shelter is a tough environment for anyone, but for the ones that stay here longer than others because of a simple need like this, it breaks our hearts. They deserve you, they deserve a second chance. Who will help me find the purrfect homes for them?

P.S. Feel free to email me at kwade@nevadahumanesociety.org if you want to hear more about these gals. I love them, but you already know I have a very full house, and we don’t want to see me get divorced (kidding… maybe).

Maggie hiding under bed

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Mother Nature, a CATastrophe

by Kimberly Wade

Let’s be honest. Everyone was talking about Hurricane Harvey, and now they’re talking about Hurricane Irma. A Florida gal myself, I’ve been lucky to only experience one major storm, but I feel for my family and friends back east right now—and the animals are also weighing heavily on my mind.

One of my girlfriends in Texas, Sarah, shared videos of herself literally wading through waist deep water in the streets. Shocking as that was, it was watching the dogs (and cats, believe it or not) swim alongside her. It really made me think. Are these stray pets who have no one and are now looking for that new shelter, with food and warmth? Were they wondering what the heck was happening and where they would go next? Or were they someone’s pet, lost, alone, and pushing forward until they found help? The stories on the news and social media say so much about the animals, and I am so impressed and proud of so many people stepping up to help—because for me (and most of you), our animals are family too.

Sarah found a sweet little pit bull after Harvey hit. Whether he was left behind or his people couldn’t get back to him we’ll never know. But she chose not to judge and instead, save. She took him home and spent the next week caring for him while she looked for his family. He wasn’t microchipped, and his collar had no tags. He was social, affectionate and in good shape—it was obvious he belonged to someone.

Her landlord saw him and told her he needed to go—she can’t have a dog where she is currently living. She wanted what was best for him—a home—so she took to social media.

It only took a couple of days. The owner saw her Facebook post and contacted her. The dog, known as AJ, had family in a nearby city so she hit the road to deliver him home. She told me that as she drove up, three men came running out to her car, shouting, “That’s him! That’s him!” AJ was also beside himself, and as soon as she stopped the car, he jumped out and ran to his people. One of the men picked him up and carried him like a baby—AJ was home. Sarah told me it was bittersweet (she would have moved in order to keep him had she not found his family) but she was so happy knowing he was back with his family.

As pets are still being reunited from Harvey, I have no doubt Irma will have the same results—even in the wake of disaster and uncertainty. But just as I mentioned a couple weeks ago, being prepared for any kind of disaster is key—especially remember to microchip your pets and register the chip! Washoe County Animal Services offers free chips (there’s no excuse not to do it), then you just need to register your pet with the chip company or on the Found Animals website. Make sure your contact info is up to date too!

Finally, let’s keep those around us, those braving hurricanes, wildfires and other unfortunate circumstances, in our thoughts. We’re supposed to all be on the same side, to not judge, and to just love… so let’s do that, in the wake of all of this. Oh, and get your pets microchipped. AJ could have been home much sooner if he was chipped—he was one of the lucky ones.

Events: Don’t miss The Wags & Whiskers Gala, A Night in Havana, on November 11 at the Peppermill! We’re transporting guests all the way to Cuba for A Night in Havana, complete with Cuban-themed entertainment, unlimited Mutt-jitos and Meow-jitos and hand-rolled Cuban cigars. From salsa dancers to bongo drums to aerialists, sights and sounds of Cuba will be in the air! Tickets: 775-856-2000 ext. 320 or www.NevadaHumaneSociety.org.

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A Night in Havana

by Kimberly Wade

Looking for a unique twist on an event? Want to get away, even if just for a night? Then it’s time to get your tickets to Nevada Humane Society’s Wags & Whiskers Gala, A Night in Havana, presented by Renown and Hometown Health! The event is Saturday, November 11 at Peppermill Resort Spa Casino and tickets are now on sale.

You may recall this was previously named Blue Jeans Ball, then Denim and Diamonds. We’ve really taken it for a spin this year, with a new name and the idea that each time we hold it we’ll have a different theme—this year it’s Cuban! We are really excited with the changes we’ve made and think that in the future we can continue to be creative and unique while we raise money and awareness for homeless pets at Nevada Humane Society.

The Wags & Whiskers Gala, A Night in Havana, will include dinner, an online bidding auction and a fabulous live auction, but there’s also so much more! We’re transporting guests all the way to Cuba for A Night in Havana, complete with Cuban-themed entertainment throughout the evening. Salsa dancers will make you move to the music, bongo drums will have you stomping your feet, and aerialists will offer sky-high entertainment. Savor unlimited Mutt-jitos and Meow-Jitos or pick up a hand rolled Cuban cigar—literally, rolled right there in front of you for your entertainment! You’ll also meet some of the special furry friends that will have their best paw forward to thank you personally for helping them get the second chance they deserve.

The Wags & Whiskers Gala is an annual benefit to raise money and awareness for homeless pets in northern Nevada. With over 17,000 animals coming through Nevada Humane Society’s two locations (one in Reno; one in Carson City) each year, The Wags & Whiskers Gala will not only help to cover their cost of care, but focus on those who arrive that are sick and injured—therefore making an even bigger impact on lifesaving.

Tables of ten may be purchased for $2,000 while individual tickets are $200. All tickets include dinner, unlimited wine, beer and signature cocktails and all of the festivities mentioned above. You’re going to not only have a fabulous time but you can be proud knowing that you’re making an incredible difference for homeless pets—not to mention you’ll learn why we are different, and how we save the lives of those that may not always be saved at other organizations. We help the sick and injured, young and old, cute and ugly and our stories—and in person guests—will tell you why.

We’re ready to treat you to a Cuban adventure while sharing our love for animals, so get your tables and individual tickets online at NevadaHumaneSociety.org or call 775-856-2000 ext. 320. See you there!

 Adoptable Pets at Nevada Humane Society

Featured Pet: Hi, we’re Kameron and Kristopher! We’re young brothers with dynamic markings, velvety coats and sweet purrsonalities. Change isn’t always easy for us but as long as we’re together we adjust well and make the best of each situation. As part of the Double the Love adoption promotion, we’re available for just $25—two for one! Won’t you meet us today?

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Bringing Home Your First Pet: How to Prepare

By Guest Blogger Jessica Brody of Our Best Friends

blog

Photo Credit: Pexels, Pixabay

When you think about getting a pet, the first feelings are excitement and joy as you imagine the fun you’ll have with your cute, new friend. However, being a pet owner is a big responsibility, and the decision to get a pet doesn’t come lightly. You need to ensure you choose the right animal for you, prepare your home accordingly, and make sure you take good care of your new companion. Taking the proper steps before you bring an animal into your home helps to ensure you and your pet share a happy and healthy relationship.

Choosing the Right Pet

One of the most important aspects of choosing a pet is determining how much space you have. Many fish are small, but some require large tanks. The same is true for reptiles, amphibians, birds, hamsters, and other animals that require cages. Remember that animals grow. A puppy that fits in your lap now may grow to be over 100 pounds. Similarly, a snake that’s less than one foot in length now can grow to be much larger.

Cats and dogs require space to move around, so if you live in a 400-square-foot apartment, you may want to consider a fish, bird, or hamster. If you have an apartment and want a dog, stick with smaller breeds, and remember that dogs will require outdoor space as well. You must be willing to walk your dog several times a day, regardless of the weather or your mood. If you are opting for a dog, you will want to research the breed (if possible) to see if you have a good match. Again, if you live in a tiny apartment, that’s not a good option for a Border Collie.

The temperament of any animal you choose should match what you’re looking for. Some animals and individual breeds are more independent, while others need a lot of attention. Consider the energy level of the animal you’re adopting. Some breeds of cats and dogs prefer to lounge around, while others have high energy levels.

Think about the kinds of activities you want to do with your new furry friend to help you determine what kind of pet is right for you. If you prefer a more hands-off pet to observe, a dog is not going to be the right choice. If you want to snuggle your animal, a fish isn’t the best decision.

Preparing Your Home for a Pet

Find out if your animal requires special cages or food, and have those items ready before you get your pet. You don’t want to be setting up your hamster’s cage after you bring him home. Have food bowls, leashes, collars, toys, and anything else you need before you get your new family member. If your pet isn’t kept in a cage, such as a dog or cat, provide him or her with a safe, quiet, and comfortable area, such as a bed or crate.

Research as much as you can about how to care for your new animal friend. You need to know what to feed and what not to feed it, how to feed it, how often to clean its cage, how to clean its cage, how to groom your pet, and more. As you can see, there is a lot to prepare for when caring for an animal.

Every activity you share with your animal builds a bond. Petting and grooming provide comfort, while training and playing help build a bond. If Fido is a service or companion animal, there are special ways to bond or spend time with your new animal. Many of the ways are the same as other pets, but with a focus on you doing as much as possible without other family members around.

Keep in mind the importance of providing your furry friend with proper mental stimulation and attention. For dog owners, it’s especially helpful to incorporate obedience training with early socialization. By introducing your pet to expected behaviors in specific situations, that can pave the way for better behavior down the road.

Caring for Your Pet

Fulfilling your dog’s needs for exercise, discipline, and affection is crucial. Regardless of how much or how little activity your pet requires, he or she needs structure to stay balanced. Create a schedule feedings, training, sleep, and playtime. You need to stay consistent.

Make regular vet appointments for your animal. Even snakes, birds, gerbils, and other animals need checkups. It’s important to keep shots up to date, monitor your pet’s health, and catch problems before they become serious. If you choose to get a dog or a cat, it’s vital that you spay or neuter when the time is appropriate. Also, consider microchipping your dog or cat. Even if you’re careful, pets can get away.

Unexpected illnesses or accidents do happen with animals, which is why it’s worth looking into pet insurance. This can help cover the costs of medications and major medical bills in the event that your animal is injured or gets sick. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.

Lastly, it’s important to consider the outcome for your animal if something happens to you. Be proactive here and talk to friends or family members to determine who can take over guardianship of your pet if the unthinkable were to occur. You want your pet to still have the best life possible even if you can’t be there for them.

Having a pet is a lot of fun and can provide you with a special bond and a companion. However, it’s important that you choose the right pet for your needs and lifestyle. You are making a commitment to care for this living creature, and you want to be prepared to follow through. When it’s time to take the leap, don’t pass up planning ahead before bringing your pet home, and make sure you are well educated in how to care for your animal. Doing so will ensure your animal companion lives a longer and happier life.

 

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How One Fire Sparked My Awareness

by Kimberly Wade

Earlier this week I was driving home and as I exited the freeway, I noticed the plume of distant smoke wasn’t actually so distant. In fact, it was too close to home. At a stoplight (oops, don’t tell), I jumped on my phone to search for any news about a local fire. The Mogul fire, as it was dubbed, had just sparked near Somersett, a few blocks from my house. I bypassed my street to follow the firefighters and police. I’ve never seen a wildfire up close. This week, I did. The flames were literally right there.

I’m an East Coast beach baby, born and raised on the water, and I just don’t understand the desert. We had a heavy winter, yet it seems we have more fires than ever. I can empathize with locals who have endured them but I had yet to experience it myself—until now. I was used to hurricanes which offer plenty of time to prepare. Fires, not so much.

I panicked of course, called my husband and asked if I should prepare. Though realistically (I can be dramatic) the fire would have to jump a road and a ravine, it was still too close to home for me. I packed the necessities and got the kids (pets) ready. And that brings me to this—are your pets ready for a disaster?

I had all the kennels lined up with bedding. I had food, supplements and medical items. I even took their toys. Of course they were thinking we were going on an adventure, but I was already imagining loading three dogs and three cats into our cars and finding a place to stay (we would have bunked overnight in my office because I’m lucky enough to work at Nevada Humane Society).

Our cats range from one to three years old, but Maisey has a virus that requires supplements and a carefully monitored diet. Our dogs are all seniors, ages nine to 14. Our lab, Gilda, is incontinent, has hip and knee challenges, and eye issues. Lovingly, I say she’s a hot mess. They too are on supplements, and we have a slew of meds just in case. I recently checked all of their microchips and made sure they were registered and up to date with our contact info, and had all their vet records neatly organized. I was in good shape.

Emergencies come in many forms and can require a short absence from home or a long one. Each type of disaster requires different measures, and so you can prepare, I’m offering this simple advice:

  • Get a rescue sticker for your windows. Make sure it’s visible and includes types and number of pets. If you must evacuate, write “evacuated” on it when you leave so it’s known they’re safe.
  • Arrange a safe haven for your pets. Do not leave them behind! Look now to find boarding or someone who can take them in.
  • Choose a designated caregiver if you can’t get home. Whether temporary or permanent, this will help if you need to separate.
  • Prepare emergency supplies and a travelling kit, including first aid, leashes, collars and items that help keep your pets calm. Make sure their info is up to date—ages, vaccines, any medical conditions. Know contact info for your veterinarian. Get them microchipped and make sure that info is up to date. Have recent photos of your pet available in case they become lost.
  • Think about your home too. If you live in an earthquake prone area, find the safe rooms. I experienced a bad hurricane and I put my cats in harnesses, leashed them to me, and we all rode it out in the bathroom tub—with my roommates.

The three biggest things to be ready for a disaster, natural or not, are to prepare in advance, make a plan for if and when it happens, and stay informed. Take my advice. Don’t wait. Do it now.

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Finding Homes for Everyone

by Kimberly Wade

Summertime is typically the time of year when shelters—Nevada Humane Society included—are seeing kennels fill up and space limitations stretch. Kittens and puppies arrive daily, needing specialty care to help them grow big and strong for adoption, while adult animals sometimes (I said sometimes) are passed over for their younger counterparts. It gets crowded in shelters, and though at Nevada Humane Society our population is still much less than it was a decade ago when we changed the mission to one of lifesaving, we still have plenty of animals that need you and a loving home. That’s why we’re so glad to be participating in Clear the Shelters this weekend, on Saturday, August 19.

NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations’ Clear the Shelters is a community-driven nationwide pet adoption campaign that seeks to match deserving animals with loving and permanent homes. This year, NBC and Telemundo stations all across the country will join with hundreds of animal shelters, including Nevada Humane Society in both Reno and Carson City, to offer low cost pet adoption fees to help families find and adopt a new pet. Since 2015, Clear the Shelters has resulted in more than 70,000 pet adoptions nationwide and we’re thrilled to be adding to those numbers this year!

PV is an incredibly gorgeous gal (despite the odd name) who is only about a year old. She has these beautiful gray and white tabby markings and the sweetest smile. She’s actually been here longer than most others because of her spitfire purrsonality. Yes, she’s plenty sweet, but she also has a lot of spice to her! She loves to cuddle but now and then gets a little feisty, so she needs a cat savvy family who can read her signals when she’s telling you to back off. She also prefers to be the boss, so for her to be your only pet is ideal, as well as a home with no young kids. She’s one of my favorites and also one who needs some added help finding a home, so we’re hoping during Clear the Shelters she’ll meet her match.

Beltor is a seven year old terrier, part pit bull (ish), part water dog and part lap dog. He thinks he’s puppy size and can fit anywhere but in realty he’s large. He’s distinguished and sophisticated, yet sometimes shy at first glance. He may take a bit to open up to you but once he does, BAM! His personality is out and there is no stopping it! He has the best smile and would do anything to make his person happy. He was actually at our Walk for Animals last weekend and he and I sat in a kiddie pool together people watching. Yes, I’m serious. He too has been here longer than most, and for him, Clear the Shelters is going to change this by allowing him to find his perfect family.

I could go on and on about so many of our animals that have become special to me. There’s Aspen, whose picture is featured. She was briefly in our admin offices to gain back some of her confidence after a slow start at the shelter. Now she’s plenty confident, so much so that she doesn’t necessarily love other cats and would prefer a home of her own. And she has a crooked tail—it may have broken many years ago and was never fixed, so it permanently waves an ecstatic hello to you. Pretty stinking adorable. There’s also Duce and Leo, two brown and white Chihuahua (ish) dogs. They are cuter than anything, all tail wagging, teeth showing smiles. For little guys, they have big personalities and we love to watch them charm the socks off of everyone.

Clear the Shelters is locally sponsored by KRNV News 4 and we know that thanks to them, Petco and so many others that have made this nationwide pet adoption event possible, our animals are going to get lucky this weekend—specifically on Saturday, August 19. We’re open normal adoption hours, from 10am to 6:30pm at both locations (2825 Longley Lane in Reno and 549 Airport Road in Carson). We have already low adoption fees, but certain seniors, dogs that have been here longer than others, and all cats over the age of five are free. All dogs and cats are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped—so they are ready to hit the ground running with their new families. We hope you’ll help us make Clear the Shelters a big success, because there’s nothing more that we love than seeing empty kennels after a long day.

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One Week Until We All Walk for Animals

by Kimberly Wade

I know I’ve mentioned this once already, but with the countdown on (one week!) I had to mention it again. Our Walk for Animals is back! Next Saturday, August 12, at the Sparks Marina, hundreds (hopefully thousands) of you will be joining myself along with several other NHS staff and volunteers to take the two-mile fun walk around the Marina to raise money and awareness for homeless pets. We can’t wait!

You may remember that our Duck Race & Festival is normally in August, but we were advised months ago by the City of Reno to not go into the water, so we had to quickly cancel that and come up with another fundraiser in its place. To make it easy, we brought back the Walk for Animals. However, many of you have expressed concern with the heat. Well, Mother Nature forced us to cancel the Duck Race and now her heat may also be cause for concern at the Walk. Never fear, we’re pushing forward and we will be there, with plenty of kiddie pools, tents, drinking water, a doggie spa and more (not to mention there’s a big lake to splash in) to keep both humans and dogs cool. We have got to be here for our furry friends at all costs and given we didn’t have a big choice for date or time for this event, we went with it. We hope you will too.

After my article last week about keeping our pets’ safe in the heat, we understand that the Walk for Animals is going to be hot. We’re doing the rain dance to bring cooler weather, but please also know that you don’t have to bring your dogs, and as humans, you can prepare, by bringing water, strapping one of those cool hiking packs on that stays cold, wearing breathable clothing, and yes, getting in the Marina. The event must still be a success, and we’re counting on your help to get us there—because after all, everything raised goes right back to benefit our homeless pets at Nevada Humane Society.

So since you’re ready to tackle the weather, here’s the deal. The event is from 10am to 2pm at Sparks Marina. Festivities include vendors, food trucks, a carnival and more. The Walk itself is at 11am. To participate, simply register online (online closes at 11:59pm on August 10) or in person either the day before, August 11 from 11am to 6pm at Nevada Humane Society in Reno, or the day of, from 10am to 11:30am at the Sparks Marina. Once you register, start fundraising and join us for all of the fun! It may be good to know that we also have a Cat Napper registration for people who want to participate but can’t be there—this allows you to donate to our team of volunteers who will be walking our shelter dogs.

Rain or shine, we are ready for the Walk for Animals. Events like this help all of our animals, from those that need extra medical care or spay/neuter services, to those that need a new home. Events like this provide food, warm bedding, daily TLC and so much more, so that we can be here for our community and our homeless pets. That means when you participate in the Walk for Animals, you too are making a difference. So… will we see you there?

P.S. To register online click here or if you have other event questions please call 775-856-2000 ext. 320.

 

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