Diane Blankenburg, Nevada Humane Society Development Programs Director
Last week, the Animal Files column featured the SPCA of Northern Nevada and their Executive Director. This community is very fortunate to have yet another wonderful no-kill shelter in this area – Pet Network – and Nevada Humane Society is thrilled to be able to team with both organizations for a common cause.
Pet Network is a non-profit organization located in the heart of Incline Village serving western Nevada and the Lake Tahoe area. In 1991, a small band of volunteers started this organization with the mission of saving lives of at-risk pets. Volunteers are still the heart and soul of their organization and are now reinforced by a staff of dedicated professionals and a state-of-the-art facility. Their current mission is to rescue adoptable animals from euthanasia, connect abandoned animals with loving families, instill respect for animals through education, and promote quality of life through animal companionship.
Becky Goodman became Pet Network’s Executive Director a little over a year ago. Her love of animals started at birth and her parents’ photo albums are filled with pictures of her with animals in tow. Earlier in her career life, she was the Chief Operations Officer at a Credit Union and felt very unfulfilled. The Executive Director position for her local humane society opened up and she applied. “It was the perfect opportunity to combine my knack for business with my love for animals and non- profit work,” said Goodman. “I was ready to give back to the community and animal rescue was my calling.”
She is now part of the Pet Network team that has worked tirelessly to increase their life-saving capacity over the past year, focusing on collaborative efforts with other rescues and animal control agencies all over the region. “We are working to make Washoe County a no-kill community, where every adoptable animal is guaranteed a home,” said Goodman. “Pet Network will do everything in its power to make that happen.”
To Goodman, “no-kill” represents a time within the community where animals are valued and saved through responsible pet ownership, appropriate legislation, and collaborative efforts of shelters, rescues, veterinarians, and the public. “When every adoptable animal is guaranteed a home, we will have achieved our goal. ”
The challenges are great, but the rewards make it all worthwhile. “With the current economy, sustainability is the greatest challenge we face,” said Goodman. “Animals are being abandoned at record rates and donations are significantly lower than last year. Rescue and rehabilitation is an expensive endeavor, and we need help to continue our life-saving work.” But for Goodman, it is all worthwhile when she sees animals that came into their shelter frightened, sick, or abused and walk out the door happy and healthy into a wonderful home.
Pet Network’s adoptions have increased by more than 50% over the past eight months, of which they are very proud, but not satisfied as long as adoptable animals are at risk. Goodman believes that our community’s animals need full-scale collaboration between every facet and faction of the community – private citizens, corporate partners, shelters, rescue groups, veterinarians, and public officials. She states that we must stop unwanted breeding of pets, focus on finding homes for the pets in need, and create community buy-in for a no-kill community. In her own words, “Saving animals is a community-wide project and we need every person within the community to be involved if we are truly to guarantee every adoptable animal a home.”
Goodman practices what she preaches and has put enormous effort into collaborating with the other local animal welfare groups. She believes we live in a model rescue community, where local rescues support and assist each other with the same passion they support themselves. “Nevada Humane Society, SPCA of Northern Nevada, and Wylie Animal Rescue Foundation have all been so supportive of Pet Network’s initiatives to increase their capacity and we sincerely appreciate their support and assistance.”
This community truly demonstrates that when rescues and shelters collaborate, the animals are the winners. This collaboration maximizes the impact of the individual organization and makes a much stronger collective difference as Washoe County becomes one of the safest places in the country for homeless animals. A place I am proud to call home!
Want more information?
Call or visit Pet Network: 401 Village Boulevard Incline Village, NV 89451 (775) 832-4404.