Thanks For Giving

‘Tis the season for love and laughter, celebrations and giving—something we can all use! Let’s face it. We’re all busy and have too much on our plates. It’s time to slow down, remember those around you (especially our four-legged ones) and take the time to make a difference.

I know I talk all the time about making a difference, but repetition is key. We can talk all we want about doing something better, giving back to someone else, but how many of us actually do it? That’s why this year I challenge you to give back and to also challenge those close to you, because together, we can make one really big impact.

Here’s the deal. There’s Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. They all appeal to you to spend, which is great because you are supporting the economy, but the spending goes towards things (usually) as opposed to a cause. Instead of getting that second latte while you push through the shoppers, or paying the extra five bucks for two-day shipping, won’t you please give to us?

Tuesday, November 29, is Giving Tuesday, a national movement where people are invited to donate to charity during the biggest season of giving. We ask that you give to Nevada Humane Society to allow us to further our lifesaving mission. To be honest, our homeless pets have it pretty good. We have two beautiful shelters, one in Reno and one in Carson City. The animals are loved like family by staff and volunteers. They are given warm bedding, toys, treats, play time outdoors, catnip and more. But what they really want is a home of their own. Your donations help us do just that—give them the second chance they so deserve.

When you donate to Nevada Humane Society, your gift helps repair the broken leg of the cat that was hit by a car. It allows us to drive to California to see a specialist for the young dog who was born with a heart condition and needs special surgery. It allows us to help people—those who temporarily are down on hard times and need us to help out with food for their pets—after all, they don’t want to give up their pet they just need some help. Your donation is the gift that keeps on giving. It may not be the latest tech toy or a fun, winter wardrobe, but it makes a difference in the lives of those that need it.

Want to help on Giving Tuesday? Here are some easy ideas, all of which can be done by donating online, calling us at 775-856-2000 ext. 324 or visiting us:

  • Sponsor a shelter pet! The cost to help a shelter pet during their stay is $250, which includes spay/neuter, vaccines, a microchip, basic bedding, toys, daily care, and infinite amounts of TLC.
  • Celebrate a pet through our Lights of Love, where your donations light up the community. For only $10, you can light a light to honor or remember your pet. It makes a great gift too!
  • Support a program, like our Angel Pet program, which helps shelter pets with chronic medical conditions be adopted by covering the cost of lifesaving medications for the adopter.

When you give you can be confident your donations are staying right here. We are a non-profit, funded by your donations and not affiliated with other groups. Your giving helps us truly provide for homeless pets. On behalf of our team and the animals we serve, Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you for making a difference.

One more thing. Don’t forget to bring your pets and get their picture with Santa Paws on Saturday, December 3 at our Reno shelter at 2825 Longley Lane. Professional photographer Susan Koppel will be here to bring out your pets’ best side in this fun event! Photos just $5. Details: www.nevadahumanesociety.org

P.S. Maddie’s Fund coined the term #PetFriday last year to invite people to spend time with those who bring us joy, as opposed to battling the throngs of shoppers on Black Friday. This year, we join the movement and ask you to do the same. Take time out from your shopping to donate to Nevada Humane Society or visit us and our furry family. Who knows, you may find love too! We’re closed on Thanksgiving, but otherwise open daily from 11am to 6:30pm (we open at 10am on Saturday).

Posted in Uncategorized. Leave a Comment »

Meet The Socially Awkward Sweeties

by Kimberly Wade

Last week we talked about introverted cats. This week we’re taking it to a whole new level, so get ready to laugh and tell all of your cat loving friends to visit us this weekend—because you need to meet the 2016 Socially Awkward Sweeties!

You may ask what we mean by socially awkward. You know. The ones from high school that were definitely not named Homecoming Queen or Most Likely to Succeed. These aren’t even the nerds. The Socially Awkward Sweeties are the ones with the coke bottle glasses (we’ve all been there), the ones who panic at the sight of a crowd, the females who may (again, we’ve been there) have a tiny moustache and the males who, well, every time they try to talk to a girl they wind up sweating profusely from their armpits and walking away with their head hanging.

I touched on this last week, but our Socially Awkward Sweeties arrived from a single home over the last couple of weeks. Nearly six dozen feline friends from special circumstances who now need to get out of the shelter into your home.

Here’s the deal. You know that person that doesn’t like to be hugged? Or maybe they are super independent and prefer their own companionship over anyone else? Our Socially Awkward Sweeties are just that. While they are a mix of colors and ages, and all in pretty good health, they don’t exactly have the personality that is going to get them into the yearbook as Most Popular. Their personalities are rather… bland. They prefer to keep to themselves all the time. Think of it like an ongoing game of hide and seek, or Where’s Waldo.

Take T. Agave, an International Hide & Seek Champion and one of the Socially Awkward Sweeties. She’s only three, but has traveled the world competing in hide & seek competitions for years. She won every time! T. Agave has since retired from the highly competitive sport but old habits die hard. She’s seeking a home where she can comfortably hide out and yet maintain your respect no matter how little she shows her face.

Then there’s T. Birch, a five-year-old fella who was given an invisibility cloak by a family member. The problem? It doesn’t work all the time. He’s only without his cloak when he is really comfortable—so you may not see him for several weeks at a time. Don’t worry though, because you’ll know he’s there by the empty food bowl.

Still not sold? Meet T. Goji, age four, and known as The Magician Cat. For years, he has studied the ancient art of vanishing from the highest level magicians in the world. T. Goji can disappear in an instant—so fast you may even doubt you saw him in the first place. David Blaine’s got nothing on him!

So here’s the cool thing. You can be a superhero to the Socially Awkward Sweeties by adopting one (or two) and allowing them be invisible in your home. All you need to do is feed them, clean up after them, and occasionally check on them to make sure they’re okay. Heck, if you’re not a cat lover this is the perfect cat for you because you’ll never see her!

We’re all about lifesaving at Nevada Humane Society so no matter whether you’re voted Best Looking or Most Likely to Disappear we think you deserve a future. The Socially Awkward Sweeties deserve a home even if they just hide under your bed for the next six months. You know this. And hey, if you like a challenge, you can always spend as much time with them as you want and see if they do become that affectionate, head-butting, purr monster you prefer—because they very well may. We have adopters that have gone through this before and now send us pictures of the cats on their lap while they watch Mean Girls on TV together.

Don’t let our kids go through the Socially Awkward phase alone. Adopt one (or two… or three) and help us be even better at lifesaving than we already are. Plus, you’ll be a hero. Not us, you. And that’s where you can be as judgey as you want and take all the credit for all we care. We just want to see their fuzzy upper lip smiling from under the bed.

To adopt, visit our Reno shelter at 2825 Longley Lane. We’re open 11am to 6:30pm on Sundays and adoption fees are waived on cats over the age of three.

Posted in Uncategorized. Leave a Comment »

Introverts Deserve Love Too

by Kimberly Wade

If you’re a pet lover like I am, you know that all pets have extremely different personalities. There are the social butterflies; the thinkers; the dreamers; the affectionate ones and the introverts. It actually amazes me when I look at all the animals who have crossed my path and see how different each one truly is. It’s become clear to me over the years that I have a type, but at the same time, I want to be the one who makes an impact, a positive difference on a life, maybe even giving that pet the chance that they deserve that no one else will give them. This week, I challenge you to do the same.

Recently, we’ve had over 60 cats arrive at Nevada Humane Society from one home. Most of them are in good health and they are a mix of colors and ages. Their challenge? They’re classic introverts, and if you’ve ever encountered a timid, quiet animal, you know they don’t thrive in busy, loud, fast paced environments. Introverts need a calming place surrounded by those who understand them. While we are here to save lives, the shelter is not a calm environment and not a permanent place for the animals. Our team offers the utmost TLC to everyone that passes through our doors, but all of the animals deserve a real home.

I’ve mentioned Charlie Brown and Peppermint Pati before, my two office cats who arrived several years ago after surviving a house fire. They were never around humans as kittens— not to mention they had been through a scary experience. When they arrived I immediately wanted to help them. They hid under my desk for weeks. I couldn’t touch them. They were scared all the time. I knew they deserved patience and TLC. Months went by before we finally bonded and slowly, they became my cats. Today, they’re five years old and we hit a milestone. While both of them snuggle up to my face on my desk and head butt me for attention, you could never actually hold them—until now. Charlie is becoming a lap cat. I am blown away and yet so happy for him to finally experience being a cat.

For most people, this time frame is a lot. They want the cat who immediately adjusts to a new home, who handles all situations with ease and who even likes going to the vet. Well, cat lovers know that all cats matter and while there are plenty of them with vibrant personalities, the ones that are the introverts may actually deserve you a bit more—because they need that extra push to become social. That’s what the cats who just arrived need—people like you who will give them that extra push and be patient.

I can’t imagine life without Charlie and Pati no matter how odd they can be or how long it takes them to continue to adapt. So now I need you to do the same. Over 60 cats need someone patient, strong, and dedicated to lifesaving. Don’t be overwhelmed. You only need to adopt one to make a difference. And I know there are easily 60 of you who read this every week.

“Saving one animal won’t change the world, but it will change the world for that one animal.” That’s one of my favorite quotes. Remember this. By adopting one, you are changing that world, and that means together, we can change the world for these 60 cats.

To adopt, visit our Reno shelter at 2825 Longley Lane. We’re open 11am to 6:30pm on Sundays and adoption fees are waived on cats over the age of three.

Posted in Uncategorized. Leave a Comment »

Busting the Myth: Adopting Black Cats at Halloween is Taboo

by Kimberly Wade

Each year, Halloween puts black cats in the spotlight. There are superstitions that they bring bad luck, and rumors that they are or possess “evil spirits”. Some believe that others adopt them to be used in unmentionable cult rituals. Thus, black cats are all the talk throughout October. As an animal welfare advocate, I’m here to offer some education and let you know that this fuss about black cats around Halloween is more myth than anything else.

Nevada Humane Society, along with multiple other successful, lifesaving pet adoption agencies, has seen nothing but success with black cat adoptions. Today, we all know that in order to find our four-legged friends loving homes, we need to be professional enough to screen potential adopters and evaluate the home life to ensure the animal is adopted into a great family. For me, I’ve been in this field long enough to know that most people adore animals and deserve a companion. I’ve heard how happy they are, how grateful they are, and how appreciative they are that we helped them find true love. I’ve seen photos and read testimonies of success stories… from all adopters, including those who adopt black pets.

The truth is, there is no hard evidence that adopting black cats around Halloween poses any greater risk than adopting any other time of year. In 2007, National Geographic penned an article that was titled “Ritual Cat Sacrifices a Halloween Myth, Experts Say.” Over the years, experts on Halloween and cults have found “no confirmed statistics, court cases, or studies to support the idea that serious satanic cult crime events exists.” But we all know that myths die hard, especially with impressionable minds and social media.

There is evidence however, that not adopting cats from shelters will cost them their lives. This not the case here in Washoe County or Carson City. Yet, in cities where there are no lifesaving shelters, when you make the black cats unavailable, you take away their chance to find a home. This possibly forces these cats to end up on a euthanasia list. Hard to hear, I know, but true (not locally) in many cases. Wouldn’t you rather give these cats the chance to find love? Most people are good and want to do the right thing. Most people cherish their pets. Do we really want to assume people are bad? And why would anyone come to a shelter and pay money to adopt a microchipped pet that we can trace back to them if they really had bad intentions?

Nevada Humane Society is smart. We are professionals. We know what to look for during our conversations with potential adopters. We are never going to just give an animal away or pair a pet with a family that is not going to properly care for them. Our goal is to find loving homes for our kids here at the shelter (yes, I said kids; they are just that to us), regardless of whether it is Halloween or any other holiday.

And here’s something else. The truth is that black cats have been viewed as luck bringers and guardians over many centuries and in many cultures. They have been viewed as sacred and are known to bless a home, and to many, black is the color of protection.

The next time that a truism rolls off your tongue in defense, think about whether it is fact or fiction, and think about who you may hurt by simply following the crowd instead of educating them.

*Animal welfare experts include Maddie’s Fund, ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society and UC Davis, all of whom have conducted various studies over the years on adopting black cats at Halloween.

Posted in Uncategorized. Leave a Comment »

Creating a Better Haven for Feral Cats

by Kimberly Wade

Living in a small, coastal town in southern Maine, I remember seeing cats everywhere. Our cats adopted us—usually they were neighborhood cats who decided to call our home their home for a while, whether a month, year or more. They were all walks of life, some friendly, some not, but my mom tells me that from my earliest days, I would befriend them all. I would help care for kittens delivered by a mama cat in our barn, watching over them as if they were my own. Somehow, I attracted cats from all over—I think my days as a cat whisperer started here. Fast forward to our second home in southwest Florida, and through my teens I experienced the same thing. Neighborhood, cats, business cats, friendly cats and not so friendly cats—they all came to me. I think it goes without saying that I do not take offense to the crazy cat lady status (I’m kind of proud of it) and my love for the feline developed as soon as I could crawl. It also explains my desire to adopt my first cat as an adult, Cali, from a shelter—I was already savvy to saving lives.

I bring this to your attention in honor of National Feral Cat Day, which is this Sunday, October 16, a day to think about the outdoor cats in our neighborhoods. This celebration was started by Alley Cat Allies back in 2001 to raise awareness for outdoor cats and has since grown to educate people worldwide, allowing for neighborhoods to proudly provide for their kitties and defend their honor. Let’s be real, outdoor cats have been part of our landscape for thousands of years and always will be. We can coexist peacefully and animal welfare organizations like Alley Cat Allies are there to offer compassionate and effective solutions to help this happen, because though we hate to admit it, not everyone is a cat lover. But, as we believe animals are family too, we are here to stand up and be their voice.

Here are some of the basics to help you understand outdoor cats, both locally and afar*:

  • Feral cats exist everywhere. They live healthy lives outdoors in family groups called colonies. They are the same species as domestic cats, but are not socialized to humans and can really only be adopted as a working cat—non-toxic, natural pest control. (Yes, we have these cats for adoption in Reno and Carson City!)
  • 1 in 4 Americans have fed an outdoor cat.
  • More than 70% of all cats who enter shelters are killed. That number rises to virtually 100% for feral cats. This does not happen at Nevada Humane Society, but it does happen elsewhere.
  • More than 80% of Americans think it’s more humane to leave a stray cat outdoors, where she can live out her life instead of being caught and killed.
  • Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) for feral cats is a win for the cats and their human neighbors. TNR improves the lives of the cats and calms the neighbors. The traditional method, catch and kill, is cruel, endless, and costly. TNR makes feral cats healthier and ends the breeding cycle, which means no more kittens. It also ends a lot of common behaviors associated with outdoor cats. Yowling, fighting, spraying and roaming—all of these are mating behaviors that stop once a cat is neutered. TNR is successfully practiced in Northern Nevada!
  • A managed TNR program, with a set feeding area and schedule, further discourages roaming. Simple home remedies—citrus peels, decorative rocks or chicken wire—deter cats from digging in gardens. There are also a few useful commercial products available at most pet shops that humanely deter cats from areas like gardens and porches.
  • TNR is the only humane and effective approach to feral cats. That’s why there has been a huge increase in the number of communities with pro-TNR ordinances within just the past decade.

TNR and keeping outdoor cats healthy and happy is a big part of lifesaving for Nevada Humane Society. On October 16, hundreds of groups nationwide will come together to raise awareness about feral cats. We encourage you to take the time to find out more, and become an advocate for the cats too—we’ve posted a wonderful flyer on our website. If you have other questions, we welcome you to email us at kwade@nevadahumanesociety.org and thank you, for being there for our cats.

*All stats and studies are courtesy of Alley Cat Allies and more information is provided about National Feral Cat Day and the cats it honors at www.alleycat.org.

Posted in Uncategorized. Leave a Comment »

Two Weeks Until Denim and Diamonds Gala

by Kimberly Wade

Put on your best denim and bling—it’s time to join us for our annual gala, Denim and Diamonds, A Wags and Whiskers Affair, to celebrate the love of pets! This exciting, fun-filled, unique dinner event is on Friday, October 21 at Atlantis Casino Resort Spa and will honor the Dianda family for their selfless giving and support of homeless pets.

We’re also bringing in some very special entertainment for a wild experience. Corbin Maxey, a 27 year old nationally recognized wildlife expert and biologist known from his numerous appearances on “The Today Show,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “The Martha Stewart Show” and more. For over a decade, Corbin and his reptile friends have been visiting schools, libraries, zoos, aquariums, and private events sharing his love of animals while promoting the respect and appreciation of all nature. At our event, you’ll be meeting him, along with his numerous animal friends, up close and personal—and there is nothing like it!

Other Denim and Diamonds festivities include a VIP hosted reception, silent and live auctions, diamond raffle, dinner, and of course, adoptable pets. The VIP reception begins at 5:00pm, with the main event kicking off at 5:30pm and the program to follow at 7pm. The event takes place at Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in their Grand Ballrooms.

We’re known for hosting a variety of events every year to benefit homeless pets, from adoption events to smaller fundraisers to this, our only evening gala event. We work hard to create events that offer something for everyone, while offering the maximum benefit for our animals—because that is the bottom line. As our last big event of the year, won’t you help us make Denim and Diamonds, A Wags and Whiskers Affair, a success for the animals?

Tickets are $200 per person; Tables of 8 are $1,600; and VIP tables of 8 with a hosted cocktail reception along with a meet and greet with the Dianda Family and Corbin Maxey are $2,500. All proceeds benefit homeless pets at Nevada Humane Society. For ticket details, please visit www.nevadahumanesociety.org.

Denim and Diamonds, A Wags and Whiskers Affair, is made possible by NV Energy, Q&D Construction, Inc. and RGJ Media.

Posted in Uncategorized. Leave a Comment »

A New Beginning for Animals in Carson City

by Kimberly Wade

It’s hard to believe that nearly two years ago we began a partnership with Carson City, as the city selected Nevada Humane Society to lead Carson City Animal Services. Our tasks would not only include pet adoptions and animal sheltering, but the animal regulation services too. It was an adventure and one that would ultimately increase lifesaving and overall animal welfare in Nevada’s capital city. The partnership had a goal to provide Carson City citizens expanded levels of service and further expand Northern Nevada’s leadership position in animal stewardship.

Since then, we’ve come a long way. We’ve established a caring and progressive Animal Services team. We pride ourselves on service, helping to keep pets in homes, reunite them with their owners if they go missing, and promote healthy, responsible pet ownership. Innovation helped us transform Washoe County into a leader for animal welfare and it was a no brainer to make Carson City the next big thing. From day one we accomplished this and now, as our brand new animal shelter is nearing the final stages of construction, we’re excited for the next phase of lifesaving.

Construction broke about a year ago, and the new shelter replaces the current shelter on Butti Way, which was built in the 1960s. It will be about 10,000 square feet, with space for 97 dogs, 106 cats and several exotics—much bigger than the current shelter. It will also include a veterinary clinic, so we can soon extend low-cost spay and neuter, as well as vaccines to locals. Licensing, lost and found, and other services will also be on site. Funding came from a sales tax, donations from Nevada Humane Society and Carson Animal Services Initiative (CASI), as well as generous grants from Maddie’s Fund and Petco Foundation. It’s a project that the citizens of Carson City demanded, and one that we are proud to lead.

We’ve watched our community grow in Washoe County, and by grow, I mean we’ve watched animals get second chances and more people welcome pets into their family. More people are involved, with everything from volunteering to donating to opening their homes temporarily as foster families. People love pets, and as we continue to educate the world on just how important this is, and the positive impact having a four-legged companion does for us, it will only continue to grow. We’re excited to have Carson City on board with this lifesaving mission, and we truly hope to one day make Nevada a no-kill state.

As we welcome this brand new, beautiful, lifesaving addition to Northern Nevada, we hope you will too. Join us on Saturday, October 8, from 10am to 6:30pm, and Sunday, October 9, from 11am to 6:30pm, for an open house. Of course we’re hoping to see dozens of pet adoptions, but we’ll also have giveaways, shelter tours, photo opportunities and more. Our new animal shelter is located at 549 Airport Road in Carson City, literally around the corner from the current one.

We know big things are coming and we can’t wait to share them with you. We hope that as we grow, you grow with us—and you help us build lifesaving to extend across Nevada. Our pets matter. And, if anyone ever asks me why I do what I do and why I got into animal welfare, my answer is always the same: They don’t have a voice. I am their voice. I am their second chance. Now, I challenge you to think along those same lines, adopting and increasing your household to add another pet, saving more pennies to donate to the animals, and encouraging everyone around you to do the same. Together, we’re going places, and Carson City is only the second step in the bigger picture.

Posted in Uncategorized. Leave a Comment »
%d bloggers like this: