Holiday miracles for the animals

The holidays do not provide a break from the daily challenges in an animal shelter. Fortunately, there are plenty of heart-warming little miracles happening every day at Nevada Humane Society.

When Sheila arrived at the shelter, she resembled a dirty mop rather than a dog. She was barely able to walk or see, and it looked like it had been a while since she had last known a kind touch or a good meal. Sheila’s matted coat was shaved off; her broken jaw, rotten teeth and eye injury were treated in our clinic. Despite all she has been through, she now is a lively, happy, loving little dog.

Cowgirl was an extremely tiny kitten and so weak when she arrived that she was in danger of dying. In many shelters, neonatal kittens are quickly destroyed, but not here. Cowgirl got a lot of TLC in our clinic. Although it was touch-and-go for a while, she had a strong will to live in that tiny body.

A few days later, Cowgirl went to a foster family; they bottle fed her for weeks and she began putting on the ounces. This week, we received a touching video from Cowgirl’s foster-turned-permanent family. Check it out online at the YouTube Nevada Humane Society channel: “Cowgirl’s Adoption Story.”

Last summer, tourists from New Jersey were driving on Pyramid Highway when they saw a dog that had been hit by a car. Laredo ended up at the Nevada Humane Society with a broken leg and other injuries. After surgery and two months of care later, Laredo was back in shape and the people who found him had not forgotten about him; they arranged to have him flown to their home in New Jersey.

This week we got an update: “Laredo is the cutest! He’s even bilingual; he knows English and German commands. It snowed for the first time and Laredo was afraid of it at first. We couldn’t have picked out a better puppy!”Laredo’s story is so fitting for this season: One moment he is lying on the side of the road severely injured; the next moment the kindness of strangers transforms what could have been a very sad story into the happiest of endings.These miracles for the animals are not just successes — they belong to you. You make these opportunities for a new life possible for homeless pets by donating, adopting or volunteering. The animals would thank you themselves, if they could.

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Lights of Love

By Diane Blankenburg

For most people, the holiday season is a time of fun and festivities that is shared with families and friends. For me, I usually reflect on my life and what is meaningful to me—both past and present. I replay past holidays in my mind and heart, stirring up a range of emotions from the delight of joyful moments to the solemn sadness of what no longer is. But one thing that always brings a smile to my face is to remember the four-legged ones who have so touched me at the very root of my soul.

Snowball, Jacque, Pepper, Frosty, Indie, Sommer, Felice, Felix, Edith, Blackie, Smokey, Brandy, Toy, Sammy, Bailor, Lady, Beaumont, Marshall, and Boomer took me from childhood to where I am today. They carried me through relationships and across the United States. They supported me through educational endeavors and career changes. They lifted me up when I was down and kept me company when I was alone.

‘Tis the season and I sit here in reflection once again. But this year, I want to do something extra special for my beloved animal companions. I want to honor them in a way that is fitting for all of the unconditional love and pure joy they have given me for so many precious years. This year at the Nevada Humane Society shelter where I work, white lights will shine pure for those that have passed and colored lights will brighten up the room in honor of my current brood just as they brighten up my life every day.

Nevada Humane Society is entering their fifth season of hosting the special Lights of Love Tribute. It’s a way to acknowledge your four-legged loved ones, past and present, and help homeless pets at the same time. The shelter will be illuminated in their honor and two twenty-foot trees of light will be on display at The Summit and the Siena Hotel Spa Casino.

You can help light up the lives of homeless animals in our community through a $10 contribution per light that celebrates each pet you cherish. This also makes the perfect gift for your animal-loving friends and families who already have everything they need.

So this year, my four-legged friends will shine along with thousands of other pets that have had or still have loving homes during the holidays. How fitting that they will illuminate the shelter where thousands  of others come so that they, too,  can find  homes for the holidays. There is no better tribute!

Events that Help Homeless Pets:

Home for the Holidays Adoption Promotion at Nevada Humane Society through January 2. Adopt a pet and help reach the goal of finding homes for 1,200 pets. Special adoption fees are $40 for most adult dogs, $10 for adult cats, $30 for kittens. Visit nevadahumanesocicty.org for more information.

Lights of Love Tribute at Nevada Humane Society through January 2. A $10 contribution will light a white light for each pet you wish to remember or a colored light for each pet you wish to honor. Lights on display in the NHS shelter and illuminating 20-foot trees at The Summit and Siena Hotel Spa Casino, compliments of Christmas Décor and Reno Lawn & Landscape. All pets, remembered or honored, will be listed in the special Lights of Love Book, and a tribute page will be sent to you or the person of your choice. Great gift idea! For more info, call 775-856-2000 or visit nevadahumanesociety.org.

Home for the Holidays Cupcake Day & Pet Photos with Santa at Nevada Humane Society. December 3 from 11am-5pm. Holiday cheer and a variety of cupcakes for sampling. Call 775-856-2000 for more information.

The Summit Pet Adoption Center hosted by Nevada Humane Society. Starting November 25, open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 11am – 5pm in The Summit shopping center. Variety of dogs and cats available for adoption.

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In Their Paws

By Diane Blankenburg

I have worked for Nevada Humane Society for almost five years and during that time, close to 50,000 homeless pets have come through our shelter doors. I have been involved in every aspect of the process—from admission, to veterinary care, to behavior evaluation, to day-to-day care, to promotion, and ultimately, adoption.

When I see the hundreds of faces in our shelter, I often wonder what it must be like from their perspective. Were they suddenly uprooted from a warm, loving home because their person died or could no longer afford them? Were they found wandering the cold streets of Reno—frightened and lonely? Were they abandoned in their yard by people who suddenly left town, looking for a new life? Were they surrendered with broken bones or illnesses by people who were unemployed and couldn’t afford veterinary care? Were they given up because of a foreclosure that forced their human family to downsize?

No matter what the situation, it must be confusing and stressful for most and downright terrifying for many. Animals’ senses are extremely more sensitive than humans’ and the mere change in new sights, smells, and sounds can be overwhelming.

But what do they feel when they are uprooted from family, home, and life as they know it? How do they cope with going from sleeping on a cozy couch surrounded by their human family to sleeping alone in a kennel or cage? What goes on inside their bodies and minds when Johnny doesn’t take them out for a romp in the yard? Or Sally doesn’t brush them as they curl up on her lap? What do they sense when visitor after visitor passes them by and chooses some other dog or cat to adopt?

We are blessed with wonderful no-kill animal shelters in our community, but shelters should definitely be a last resort. For homeless pets, they are lifesavers, and we all do our best to make their stay as comfortable and comforting as possible as they wait for a new, loving home.

We can never truly know what it is like to experience a shelter from the eyes, ears, noses, and hearts of homeless pets. But on December 17, local celebrities and volunteers will experience spending the night In Their Paws at the Nevada Humane Society shelter. Guests will curl up in dog kennels and cat colonies overnight with the hopes of bringing more awareness and raising funds for shelter animals. They will truly know what it’s like to be In Their Paws—at least for one night and better understand how important it is to find them Homes for the Holidays!

Events that Help Homeless Pets:

Home for the Holidays Adoption Promotion at Nevada Humane Society through January 2. Special adoption fees: $45 for most adult dogs, $10 for adult cats, $30 for kittens. Visit nevadahumanesociety.org  or call 775-856-2000 for more information.

Home for the Holidays Festivities at Nevada Humane Society. December 10 from 11 am-5 pm. Local school choir performances, animal-related book signings, and holiday goodies. Shelter is located at 2825 Longley Lane, Reno.

Older but Wiser Cat Adoptions on December 10 & 11 at PetSmart on S. Virginia. Nevada Humane Society and SPCA of Northern Nevada host a special pet adoption event for mature cats that often get overlooked in shelters. Pets available for adoption from 11am – 4pm.

Lights of Love Tribute at Nevada Humane Society through January 2. A $10 contribution will light a white light for each pet you wish to remember or a colored light for each pet you wish to honor. Lights on display in the NHS shelter and illuminating 20-foot trees at The Summit and Siena Hotel Spa Casino, compliments of Christmas Décor and Reno Lawn & Landscape. Great gift idea! For more info, call 775-856-2000 or visit nevadahumanesociety.org.

The Summit and Franktown Corners Pet Adoption Centers are open Saturdays and Sundays from 11am – 5pm. The Summit center is also open Fridays for the same hours—both through December 31. Variety of dogs and cats available for adoption.

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Animal Files: Local celebrities to spend night in shelter ‘In Their Paws’

I have worked for Nevada Humane Society for almost five years. During that time, close to 50,000 homeless pets have come through our shelter doors. I have been involved in every aspect of the process, from admission, to veterinary care, to behavior evaluation, to day-to-day care, promotion and, ultimately, adoption.

When I see the hundreds of faces in our shelter, I often wonder what it must be like from their perspective. Were they suddenly uprooted from a warm, loving home because their person died or could no longer afford them? Were they found wandering the cold streets of Reno, frightened and lonely? Were they abandoned in their yard by people who suddenly left town, looking for a new life? Were they surrendered with broken bones or illnesses by people who were unemployed and couldn’t afford veterinary care? Were they given up because of a foreclosure that forced their human family to downsize?

No matter what the situation, it must be confusing and stressful for most and downright terrifying for many. Animals’ senses are extremely more sensitive than humans’, and the mere change in new sights, smells and sounds can be overwhelming.

But what do they feel when they are uprooted from family, home and life as they know it? How do they cope with going from sleeping on a cozy couch surrounded by their human family to sleeping alone in a kennel or cage?

What goes on inside their bodies and minds when Johnny doesn’t take them out for a romp in the yard? Or Sally doesn’t brush them as they curl up on her lap? What do they sense when visitor after visitor passes them by and chooses some other dog or cat to adopt?

We are blessed with wonderful no-kill animal shelters in our community, but shelters should definitely be a last resort. For homeless pets, they are lifesavers, and we all do our best to make their stay as comfortable and comforting as possible as they wait for a new, loving home.

We can never truly know what it is like to experience a shelter from the eyes, ears, noses and hearts of homeless pets. But on Saturday, local celebrities and volunteers will experience spending the night “In Their Paws” at the Nevada Humane Society shelter.

Guests will curl up in dog kennels and cat colonies overnight with the hope of bringing more awareness and raising funds for shelter animals. They will truly know what it’s like to be In Their Paws — at least for one night and better understand how important it is to find them homes for the holidays!

 

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