Giving Back and Giving Thanks

by Kimberly Wade

By the time you read this, Thanksgiving will have come and gone, but the feeling of giving back is most definitely still in the air. With everything happening across the country and the world, it’s important to take the time to be thankful for what you have as well as to give back to those in need. For me, and for us at Nevada Humane Society, that of course includes our furry family (who am I kidding, our furry family comes first year round) and those animals still residing at NHS.

Personally, I can look back and see a handful of struggles over the year. I can reflect on challenges with work, family, friends, all the normal things that many of us go through. But I can also look beyond that. In fact, today I am grateful for owning my home, daily homemade meals (hubby is a chef—but don’t worry, I put in my share—I bake), my health, my husband and our family, my pets, a job I love, the ability to travel, the list goes on and on. No matter what hardship comes my way, no matter how emotionally challenging, I can always look back and know things will get better, that I ultimately have it pretty good.

The homeless pets at NHS? To be honest, they have it pretty good too. They are loved like family by each and every one of our staff and volunteers. They are provided with warm bedding, toys, treats, long walks (for the dogs) and plenty of enrichment (laser lights and catnip for the cats). But they too want what we all want for them… a home of their own. That’s why I’m personally asking that each and every one of you make a difference this holiday season and give back. It doesn’t have to be to animals (though it should) but at least to a cause that matters to you.

Whether you adopt a pet, or donate time or money, or spread the word about whatever passion you hold close to your heart, it’s all important. And we all need to bring that to the top of our priority list. After all, what is the gift that keeps on giving? It’s not one that requires shipping or refrigeration or one that will cause a fight among siblings. The gift that keeps on giving is ultimately a donation to help homeless pets (or your charity of choice) and if you’re looking for a way to give back this season, won’t you consider one of our cool opportunities?

  • Sponsor a shelter pet! The cost to help a shelter pet during their stay is $250, which includes spay/neuter, vaccines, a microchip, basic bedding, toys, daily care, and infinite amounts of TLC.
  • Celebrate a pet through our Lights of Love, where your donations light up the community. For only $20, you can light a light to honor or remember your pet. It makes a great gift too!
  • Support a program, like our Angel Pet program, which helps shelter pets with chronic medical conditions be adopted by covering the cost of lifesaving medications for the adopter.

When you give you can be confident your donations are staying right here at NHS. We are a non-profit, a privately funded agency, not affiliated with other groups.  Your giving helps us truly provide for homeless pets. On behalf of our team and the animals we serve, Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you for making a difference.

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Everyday Heroes of Homeless Pets

by Denise Stevens

Some nights I just need to unwind and I do so by watching mindless TV. While watching “Supergirl” (yes, I am ashamed), I began to think about who the everyday heroes are in life. Every day there are people who silently, without fanfare, perform acts of heroism. While they do not zap bad guys with laser eyes or lift multi-ton girders from innocent victims, Nevada Humane Society heroes are the thousands of adopters and volunteers who give so much to help homeless pets.

NHS heroes are from all walks of life. They dress differently, have different incomes and different colors of hair, (only a few wear super capes) and enjoy different things.  Nevertheless, they share some heroic commonalities. These are the heroes who adopt homeless pets into their loving homes and the people who volunteer their time to help these same pets while they wait for their adoptive hero’s and the people who otherwise support the lifesaving efforts of NHS. Each day dozens of people stream through the doors, looking for that pet that speaks to their heart, waiting for their opportunity for heroism.

Take Bugsy for example. She arrived at NHS at just a few weeks old, after a Good Samaritan found her wandering the streets, alone, fighting a severe kitty cold and eye infection. Once she was brought to NHS, she received medication, eye surgery and plenty of TLC from the veterinarian team. She then went to a foster home while she recovered and grew big and strong. Just the other day she came back and was placed on our adoption floor, going home within just a couple of days. For Bugsy alone, she had several everyday heroes—her Good Samaritan, the NHS veterinary team, her foster family, and now, her adopters! Multiply that by the thousands upon thousands of homeless pets that come through NHS—well, you can easily see the number of heroes involved in lifesaving is infinite.

Merriam-Webster defines a hero as a noun, a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities as well as a person who is greatly admired. For NHS and the animals we provide care for, the definition of a hero enhances even more qualities. Our everyday animal heroes are those who give donations of their time and money; those who are here every day as volunteers to socialize, care for, and love on the animals awaiting new homes; those who adopt and encourage their friends to adopt; and lastly, those who work for NHS, who are here because of more than a paycheck—they’re here for the reward of making a difference in the lives of those who need us. Heroes come to us in all forms, yet they all have the same purpose—to provide some kind of lifesaving effort to animals in need.

Here’s to the heroes of Northern Nevada and all across the country who are stepping up to make a difference for homeless pets—because without you, Bugsy and her fellow animal friends wouldn’t be getting that chance they deserve at life.

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Happily Over the Hill

by Kimberly Wade

As an owner of three senior pets myself (two dogs and a cat), my husband and I know firsthand that many senior pets are comfortable with who they are. Our chocolate lab, Gilda, and our Italian Greyhound Tito, both are thirteen. Though they have the occasional senior moment, they refuse to give in to age. Gilda jumps and runs in circles each time her meal is prepared. Tito will burrow into his bed six times searching for just the right spot to curl up. Yet they both offer a look of appreciation when we scratch behind their ears, or offer them the spot on the couch next to us—a look that the younger generation hasn’t mastered. The seniors play the senior card often, milking us for all they can get (or maybe that’s just my household). Either way, senior pets bring something special to the table.

Many adopters from Nevada Humane Society tell us they choose to adopt senior pets over any other pet simply because they can’t stand to see a senior pet in a shelter. They know these cats and dogs came from a comfortable home and now they reside in a lonely kennel. Thank goodness for these amazing adopters—they know the advantages of having a senior pet and they help get senior cats and dogs out of the shelter quickly and back into a loving home.

The trouble is there are still senior pets arriving at Nevada Humane Society every day. That’s why we created a new take on the Golden Years with our latest adoption promotion, waiving adoption fees for senior pets who are aged to perfection. Yes, that means if a cat or a dog is over the age of six and matured like a fine wine they can join your family today for free! Standard adoption policies still apply, because we want to match people and pets to the best of our ability, but we want to spotlight these pet that are happily over the hill because they deserve second chances just like everyone else.

The advantages of adopting an oldie but a goodie are immense. They have mellowed and are much easier to handle. Dogs tend to be house-trained, generally know basic commands, are content to lie by your side (more or less), and don’t seem to require as much exercise as a teenage dog. Cats understand the value of a cozy bed and some serious R&R compared to their younger counterparts who enjoy climbing the curtains, knocking things off your shelves, and getting into everything. All seniors, no matter what age, have every bit as much (maybe even more) unconditional love to give.

As I walk through the shelter to snuggle up on the seniors, I happily talk to a guest next to me who is commenting on the smiling face of the dog. They can see her personality is blissful, and I know the age question is next. When they hear she’s a senior, lucky for us, they don’t run away. Instead, they take the time to get to know her. They’re open to trying it, and as any adopter of senior pet will tell you, in a very short time after adopting an older dog (or cat), you too won’t be able to imagine life without him or her by your side.

Nevada Humane Society’s senior pet adoption promotion runs November 5 through November 16. All dogs and cats are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. Adoption fees are waived on all dogs and cats over the age of six, at both the Reno and Carson City shelter. Will you open your heart and home to a senior pet?

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Don’t Miss the Blue Jeans Ball

by Kimberly Wade

It’s exciting, fun-filled and lively—and all for a good cause! Nevada Humane Society’s 3rd annual Blue Jeans Ball is around the corner and tickets are selling fast—so you’re encouraged to get yours today! This unique, country-style extravaganza honors Sheriff Chuck Allen for going above and beyond for homeless pets in Washoe County. Several other dedicated volunteers and businesses that have proven to increase lifesaving efforts in our community will also be honored, including Dick Campagni’s Carson City Toyota Scion and Lisa Schuette of Carson Animal Services Initiative (CASI). Both have helped to make a significant difference and raise awareness for animals in Carson City.

The Blue Jeans Ball is on Saturday, November 14 at the Peppermill Reno. Festivities include a formal dinner, dancing, silent and live auctions, raffles, adoptable dogs and more! Live entertainment is provided by The VooDoo Cowboys, a Las Vegas based country rock band.

With the glamorous Denim and Diamonds live auction, the Blue Jeans Ball features a host of prizes guaranteed to win you over, including vacation and golf packages, designer jewelry, private dining experiences and more. In addition, there will be other items available during the silent auction and raffle contest. All proceeds benefit homeless pets.

The Blue Jeans Ball is at the Peppermill Reno on Saturday, November 14 beginning at 5:30pm. A special VIP reception will feature a private, acoustic concert by The VooDoo Cowboys, custom cocktails, and photos with the event honoree Sheriff Chuck Allen. Individual tickets starting at $150, as well as tables and VIP packages are available at

The Blue Jeans Ball is made possible by Event Sponsors Peppermill Reno and Southern Wine and Spirits; Head Table Sponsors RGJ Media and Ten Country and The Rodeo from Reno Media Group; and Denim Platinum Sponsors US Bank, Renown, Wells Fargo, the Reno Aces, Fingerprinting Express, Reno Dodge, Ebara, the Washoe County Honorary Deputy Sheriff’s Association and Bob the Dog.

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