Taking It To The Streets

by Kimberly Wade

I promise I’m not bragging when I say Nevada Humane Society (NHS) has made not only a local difference but a national one for homeless pets. Ok, maybe I am. A little bit. I’ve been with NHS for almost 6 years and I’ve already seen so much that we can do but it never ceases to amaze me at the levels we continue to jump in order to be a voice for those that don’t have one. But this time it’s different. Not only are we helping the four-legged; we’re helping the two-legged as well.

This past weekend, a Pets for Life event was held to offer free vaccines, pet food and pet supplies to a targeted group of people within our local community. Hundreds of people lined up to reap the benefits of our available services and resources. It was a grass roots effort that both staff and volunteers organized to improve community pet health and reduce pet overpopulation—and it was a sight unlike any other.

The event serviced an underserved region (lack of vet care, pet stores and even healthy food options) of town, yet the appreciation from the people and pets in need was beyond genuine. I helped one young woman with three dogs—one Pit Bull, one Chihuahua, and one fluffy terrier—wrangle their excitement as they were given water, treats, and attention from all sorts of life—other dogs, NHS staff, volunteers, and fellow neighbors. The dogs were happy, healthy, and well socialized. The woman was grateful. She expressed her sincere thanks multiple times and was sure to let us know. And she wasn’t the only one. Hundreds of others were there patiently waiting their turn and offering just as much appreciation.

We understand people have bumps in the road and go through tough times. Let’s be real. All of us experience this. And as we at NHS always strive to help our four-legged friends, it isn’t always possible to be everywhere for everyone at every time. We do our best with the resources we have—especially considering the 10,000 plus homeless pets that come through our shelter annually that need to be priority. But when we have added resources so that we can really get out there into the community to the people that need it most, well, we do it. And we enjoy it and we’re proud of helping others.

Pets For Life began at NHS nearly a year ago, after we were awarded a mentorship and training program grant by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and PetSmart Charities® to provide direct, hands on community outreach in Reno. Pets for Life aims to keep pets in the homes they already have, improving their quality of life and elevating the human-animal bond.

Kimberly Wade is the Senior Manager of Communications and Events for Nevada Humane Society. She has been with the organization for nearly 6 years but her passion for animals has existed her entire life. Kimberly lives with her husband, 3 cats (one pictured), 3 dogs and a fish.

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