Many people are surprised to learn that Nevada Humane Society has been around since 1932 — predating the Humane Society of the United States by 26 years. It was founded by local residents who cared about the homeless animals here long before most local humane societies existed.
Northern Nevada continues to blaze new trails in our care and concern for homeless pets. Today, Washoe County is among the safest places in the nation in which to be a homeless pet; more animals get a second chance at the life they deserve than any other community its size. And it’s all because of the large number of animal-loving residents.
Last year, 9,668 pets were adopted from the NHS shelter alone, mostly by local families. With thousands of volunteers, giving a variety of services and foster homes that provide foster care to orphaned kittens and puppies, the love of pets is made abundantly evident.
Our low-cost spay/neuter programs provide services to economically challenged county residents.
They include voucher programs for cats made possible by the Hawkins Foundation and for dogs by the Lifestyle Homes Foundation. Our free Animal Help Desk is available to people across the state, though most callers are local. The help desk assists in all manners of animal-related issues from pet behavior problems to advice for finding lost pets to coping with lifestyle changes. Last year, 20,000 people used this free service to learn what they could do to help animals.
Nevada’s Department of Agriculture recently published the results of an annual survey that tallied various statistics from animal shelters across the state. NHS’s numbers stood out, performing
36 percent of all the reported spay/neuter surgeries and 33 percent of all the reported pet adoptions in the state of Nevada.
This really made an impact on me as part of the Nevada Humane Society management team. We always knew we were making a huge difference in our own community, but had no idea how big of a role we played in the statewide picture. It also made me realize that if some of the same lifesaving strategies that work here could be applied in other communities, together we would create a true safety net for the entire state of Nevada.