Just another Day at Nevada Humane Society

by Bonney Brown

Miles, a charming young tabby cat, walks with one stiff leg; the result of a run-in with a car. The veterinary staff in our clinic provided the lifesaving care Miles critically needed. His pelvis and leg were broken and he needed surgery to save his life. Miles cannot jump very well, but he gets around just fine with his peg leg. Now he all he needs is a loving home.

Norwood, a Dachshund-mix, and seven of his dog friends arrived at the shelter last week. Their person had passed away, leaving them, four cats, and two birds without anyone to care for them. Norwood is extremely overweight and he huffs and puffs at the slightest effort. He is getting the full treatment in our clinic– blood work, dental care, and lots of TLC. We hope he will be ready for a new home just in time for the holidays.

Ono, an exceedingly friendly pet pig who was not getting enough to eat, was also rescued this week. She got a ride in our horse trailer straight to her new home, where she enjoys a spacious corral with a cozy shelter, plenty of food, and a llama friend to keep her company.

When a litter of day-old puppies arrived at the shelter they went into the care of one of our managers, Debbie Kelly. Debbie took them home and fed them throughout the night every two hours– and many nights afterwards. One of the puppies had a cleft lip and we were not sure what the outcome would be for him, but Debbie was determined to give him the best shot at life. She named him Wilbur for his likeness to Wilbur of Charlotte’s Web. The pups thrived and now, eight weeks later, they are plump, happy, and ready for adoption.

Each day, new animals arrive at Nevada Humane Society in need of shelter and care, filling every day with new challenges, but also with lifesaving miracles. Our dedicated staff is there for them thanks to you. You see, our work for the animals is funded entirely by kind people, like you. We do not receive government funds or money from large national groups. The same is true of the other wonderful animal rescue organizations in our community. So I hope that as you think about giving to your favorite causes this season, you will remember the animals.

Ways You Can Help Homeless Pets:

Home for the Holidays Adoption Drive at Nevada Humane Society through January 1. Adopt a pet and help reach the goal of finding homes for 1,200 pets. Special adoption fees are $45 for most adult dogs, $10 for adult cats, $30 for kittens.



In Their Paws

By Diane Blankenburg

I have worked for Nevada Humane Society for the last six years and during that time, over 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 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 15, 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 4 the Holidays Pet Adoptions $45 adult dogs, $10 adult cats daily at Nevada Humane Society and weekend adoption centers at Legends at Sparks Marina and The Summit.

In Their Paws celebrity fundraiser at Nevada Humane Society from Saturday, December 15 at 2pm to Sunday, December 16 at 10am. Celebrities and volunteers will stay the night in the shelter (2825 Longley Ln, Reno), to bring awareness and raise funds for homeless pets. Shelter will be open for adoptions all night long. Call 775-856-2000 for more information.

Pets as Gifts

by Bonney Brown

One day, I noticed a woman and two children in our Nevada Humane Society shelter looking at the cats available for adoption. They stopped in front of Mario’s cage, a mellow former tomcat with nicks in his ears, who now enjoys lounging, eating and affection. I could not resist stopping to put in a good word for him.

One of the boys chimed in: “We think Grandpa might like him!” Turns out Grandpa’s cat had passed away and they thought he might be ready for a new cat. One boy snapped a photo on his cell phone. They were on their way to visit Grandpa and planned to show him the photos and tell him about some of the cats they saw.  “My father is an old warrior, like Mario,” laughed the boy’s mother.

A few days later they were back. After seeing the photos and hearing about the cats, Grandpa had selected Mario.

While some experts will always advise against pets as gifts, I think there are situations, like this one, where it can work beautifully. This family did several things right. They made sure Grandpa wanted a cat and they included him in the selection process. They were also committed to caring for the cat if Grandpa ever could not do so.

Pets can be the light of someone’s life and, under the right circumstance, may make the perfect gift. However, there are important guidelines to follow.

Ask the individual if they would like a pet and if so, what kind of pet. The only exceptions to this would be an immediate family member, such as parents adopting a pet for a child or perhaps a senior who lives with you. In this case, you are making the commitment to care for the pet if the recipient cannot or does not want to do so.

Let the gift recipient choose their own pet. You might think they should love the cute puppy you picked out, but maybe they’d prefer a quiet cat. After all, adopting a pet is a matter of the heart, so it is always best for the individual to select their own pet.

Set on surprising the recipient? Give a pet adoption gift certificate, available at all three animal shelters in our area.

The time spent helping your loved one find their perfect pet at an animal shelter is a gift almost as special as the pet they select as their new best buddy.


Home 4 the Holidays Pet Adoptions $45 adult dogs, $10 adult cats daily at Nevada Humane Society and weekends adoption centers at The Legends and The Summit.

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