Reno is a Model—Even for New York

by Diane Blankenburg

I spent three days last week in New York, one of my all-time favorite cities. I love the hustle and bustle—the diverse people filling the sidewalks, the vehicles squeezing through lanes of traffic, the sounds of horns and life filling the air, and unique aromas floating from the many restaurants that line every block. I love the exciting culture of fine cuisine, famous museums, and star-studded theatrical works.

On one particular evening, I was struck by a visual as I walked down Ninth Avenue on my way to dinner at a quaint French restaurant. A nicely dressed local was walking a large brown dog donning a vest that read ”Adopt Me.”

Densely populated Manhattan with one high-rise building after another hardly seems like the ideal venue to find adopters for large-breed dogs. But New Yorkers love their pets—large and small—and make the city work for them, whether jogging dogs along the river banks or walking them through the busy streets. There is also a large group of people committed to helping the ones that aren’t so lucky.

I was actually in the city to facilitate discussions on this very subject—saving homeless dogs and cats. In fact, on the previous evening I had dinner with a friend and colleague who founded and has led the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals since its inception. The non-profit organization is a coalition of over 150 animal rescue groups and shelters that have banded together to reduce the killing of cats and dogs in local shelters.

For ten years, this organization has been the liaison with the city’s government and has spearheaded numerous life-saving programs. The official mission reads: “The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals is committed to seeing the day when no New York City dog or cat of reasonable health and temperament is killed merely because he or she does not have a home.” It is well on track to reach this goal by 2015.

 Reno is once again the model for success and is helping NYC reach their ultimate goal. One of the groups there is implementing, with my help, a foster care program that is designed after the very successful program developed at Nevada Humane Society and that has been a key component of their lifesaving success over the past six years.

 I love New York for its diversity of people and variety of things to do and see. I also love it for its compassion and commitment to homeless pets. Reno may not have the same population or entertainment Broadway provides, but we definitely have the same degree of compassion and commitment to our community’s pets. An extra big, proud thanks to the Biggest Little City for helping the Big Apple make an even bigger difference! This far reaching influence gives new meaning to our nickname.

Upcoming Events that Help Animals

SHINE, Reno’s only White Dress Event on The Beach at Grand Sierra Resort, June 21 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm, benefits the animals at Nevada Humane Society. Admission includes food and cocktails. Tickets available at NHS, GSR ticket office (775-789-2285 or grandsierraresort.com) and the door.  For info: nevadahumanesociety.org or 775-856-2000.

Real Men Love Cats Adoption Promotion throughout June at Nevada Humane Society. Celebrate like a Real Man and adopt a cat over three years of age for free. Other cats are $25, kittens $60, and dogs $45. Shelter located at 2825 Longley Ln, Reno and open for adoptions seven days a week from 11:00 am to 6:30 pm and an hour earlier at 10:00 am on Saturdays.

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