Blessed Are We at Nevada Humane Society

by Kimberly Wade

Many of you may not know this but prior to NHS, I was a producer at a local news station. That basically means I was responsible for putting content on the air. Our biggest struggle was always that so many people didn’t want to hear the bad things, yet they wanted to know if something was awry in their neighborhood. It was my job to give them that information. However, there’s also “fluffy” news which is that of happy, lighthearted content, and a “kicker” which is the uplifting or funny story that is typically aired at the end of the newscast. Finding these stories (which usually featured animals—though you could have guessed that because of my obsession with pets) was one of my favorite parts of the job. I would pick stories that made people smile, gave them something good to talk about, and raised awareness for a specific cause. Knowing all of this, now that I’m at NHS, we’re often in the news for this reason—because we make a point to brag about all the good that we do.

In fact, just recently, we made local and national headlines for something that we are so beyond excited about. Thanks to one of our adopters, we won a $100,000 grant from Petco Foundation, and we couldn’t be more thrilled! It came at the perfect time, and allows us to really stop and reflect on all that we are blessed with this holiday season.

The tale of this honor stems from Petco Foundation‘s Holiday Wishes Grant Campaign. In October, pet parents and animal lovers submitted stories about how adopting a pet changed their lives. Over 3,000 stories were submitted nationwide (I even wrote one from my recent adoption). When the winners were announced this past week, 53 animal welfare organizations were recognized, receiving $750,000 in grants to celebrate their lifesaving work. Not to brag (though we did admit we do this) but NHS won the grand prize. Grand prize! Our adopter came out on top over thousands of stories to win us $100,000, as well as a year’s supply of Halo dog and cat food. I mean, come on, how exciting is this?

We were notified by Petco Foundation a few days before the winners were announced, and we had to keep it top secret. Only a few of us knew about it (I was one of the lucky ones). It was such a hard secret to keep! I had the pleasure of contacting the adopter to let her know and to thank her. She was blown away and yet so humbled that she could help. It’s just simply so amazing that the story of one fabulous dog, adopted by one fabulous person, is not only life changing for the two of them but now for us and the thousands of animals that will benefit because of the Holiday Wishes grant. Truly, we are blessed this holiday season.

We can’t thank Laura Hibbard, the adopter, enough. We’re infinitely grateful to Petco Foundation and Halo, Purely for Pets, for helping us to increase our lifesaving efforts with their support. And to everyone who has helped to get our name out there into the community, local and afar, we are indebted. Yes, we at NHS do a lot of hard work for the homeless pets in our community, but without adopters, donors, supporters, volunteers, and the simple sharing of information, we wouldn’t be successful. Washoe County and Carson City wouldn’t be as nationally known as they are today without your help. We may brag, but it is you who takes that bragging to the streets to make a difference.

P.S. While you can read about Brindy’s story on our Facebook or through our website, below is an excerpt. We encourage you to visit our website to read it all because we promise it will warm your heart.

“I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and thought that a service dog would be a great asset to me. After learning that it takes 2-4 years to get a pre-trained dog, and since I’ve always enjoyed animal training, I decided to train my own service dog. I started by compiling a list of requirements for a dog to match my needs. I went looking for a lab when I found Brindy at NHS in Reno in May 2010,” said Laura Hibbard, Brindy’s adopter. “Brindy is the most intelligent dog I’ve ever owned, performs a multitude of tasks for me and goes with me almost everywhere. I’ve heard of people who reject pet adoption because “you don’t know what you’re getting.” That was certainly true in my case because Brindy is far more than I ever expected!”

 

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Honoring Our Beloved Pets

by Kimberly Wade

Each year, Nevada Humane Society sets aside time to pay tribute to the pets in our lives, past and present. The holiday season is a time to show our animal companions how much they mean to us, and our annual Lights of Love is a touching way to do just that.

If you haven’t participated before, we certainly encourage you to do so—plus this celebration makes a great gift for family and friends alike. Big holiday trees are lit throughout our community, at Legends at Sparks Marina and The Summit, as well as at our shelters, in Reno and Carson City. We also have lights all over the shelter as an acknowledgement to our beloved friends. Here’s how it works. For each pet you wish to remember, a white light is lit. For each pet you wish to honor, a colored light is lit. All pets’ names are listed in our special Lights of Love tribute in our shelter, and a tribute certificate will be sent to you or the person of your choice. The best thing about Lights of Love is that all of the donations raised by you celebrating your pets benefit our homeless animals—and some of them need your support more than ever.

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, 13 dogs were found in a tiny trailer near Brunswick Canyon above Carson City and the Carson City Sheriff called NHS for help. Of course, this was the day that the snow began to fall. The first day 11 of the dogs were rescued during the snow storm but weather and darkness prohibited us from finding the other two. The snow that night made the dirt road up the mountain impassable so a few days went by before another attempt at rescue was made. We knew there were still dogs up there, alone, scared, and cold.  One of our NHS Animal Control Officers, along with an Animal Caregiver, on their day off, began the trek up the mountain to attempt to find the dogs. Officer Albertson had left the door to the trailer open the last time we were there, hoping the dogs would come home. Lucky for us, they did, and the two remaining dogs were found sitting on a tattered old couch when we arrived. The dogs are now warm and safe, being cared for at NHS.

Many of the dogs were seniors, and although they appeared to be well fed, they need a little help with their social skills—some are a little like grumpy old men. Because they came to the NHS, they will get this help.

Lights of Love is a way to help raise funds for precious lives just like this. Your donations are what allow us to go above and beyond for animals in need. We began this program as a way for you to celebrate your furry family, but at the same time, help those who don’t have family. Lights of Love is a meaningful gift on so many levels—allowing you to reflect on your pets, bring a smile to someone else’s face, and of course, give back to our homeless pets.

We know the holiday season is a time when everyone seeks donations, but we sincerely ask that you contribute to NHS by celebrating your pets with a Lights of Love tribute—therefore, contributing to the lifesaving efforts for the Brunswick Canyon dogs. Their future depends on you and it goes to show that it takes a village sometimes to make a difference.

Call 775-856-2000 ext. 332 or visit www.nevadahumanesociety.org to honor your pet with a Lights of Love tribute… and save a life at the same time.

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