Free Adoptions Pair People and Pets Together June 25

By Kimberly Wade

It usually happens once a year—a big, community wide, fee-waived pet adoption event. The goal? To get a large number of animals into loving homes all at one time while freeing up much needed space in the shelters. Not only have we done this here in Washoe County, but shelters all across the nation have hosted free pet adoption events—and all of us have the same success, which is a win for everyone.

This Saturday, June 25, for one day only, Washoe County shelters have teamed up for Community Adoption Day with the goal of pairing people and pets together—so come one, come all! For this one day, pet adoption fees will be waived on all dogs and cats. Yes, that means puppies and kittens too! Our community has told us that you want this—that you know that working together we can save even more lives. Community Adoption Day on June 25 is for you.

Once it was conventional wisdom that fee-waived adoptions were bad for shelter pets—many in the animal welfare community were concerned that doing this may devalue pets in the eyes of the adopter, compromise their care and reflect badly on their shelter. In 1998, shelters—including us—began to see the real facts—that there were more animals being killed than saved. It was then that communities decided to make a difference, so fee-waived adoptions were introduced. The result? Success. Animals are going home faster, therefore making room for other pets in need. As more studies highlight the success of fee-waived adoptions, we find that they have the same outcomes as for-fee adoptions and are the right thing nationwide—and we are big believers.

Studies by Maddie’s Fund and ASPCA Professional reveal some interesting details:

  • Waiving adoption fees does not devalue an animal in the eyes of the adopter
  • Free programs dramatically impact the lives of thousands of shelter pets who would otherwise reside there for long periods of time or possibly be euthanized
  • Multiple high-profile shelters have implemented fee-waived adoptions successfully
  • A fee-waived adoption does not equal giving away a pet to just anyone; adoption standards are not lowered and the same process as regular adoptions is implemented

So if you’ve been considering adding to your family, now is the time. Community Adoption Day is this Saturday, June 25—all dogs and cats are free! Nevada Humane Society, the SPCA of Northern Nevada, Pet Network Humane Society and Canine Rehabilitation Center and Sanctuary (CRCS) are participating. Between us, hundreds of pets are waiting for you. You’ll find all ages, personalities, looks and traits—but we know you will find someone! See you at our Community Adoption Day!

For specific details about each participant and adoption requirements, please contact them directly:

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What Makes an Angel Pet Special?

by Kimberly Wade

Wanted: A family, made up of one human or several, who will provide unconditional love, support and care, as well as a comfy bed, toys, yummy treats and unlimited belly rubs (and the occasional long walk on the beach).

Alexia is a medium sized, two year old (practically a pup) with a black, shiny coat and big amber colored eyes. Her smile is infectious, her dream job is to be a professional Frisbee golfer and her inspiration comes from watching Olympic athletes on TV. She’s 45% lap dog, 15% road trip buddy, and all goofball (seriously, you’ll never meet a more butt-wiggling, happy-go-lucky dog). Alexia is an Angel Pet.

Petunia is pushing 11, with golden brown tiger stripes and eyes showcasing a deep love and appreciation. Her dream job is a massage therapist which stems from her love of belly rubs and ear scratches. She spends 45% of her time seeking attention from humans, another 20% as a yoga instructor (have you seen a cat stretch?) and the remaining time proving she’s a graduate of charm school. Petunia is an Angel Pet.

Right now, there are about two dozen Angel Pets at Nevada Humane Society—dogs and cats with unique conditions. We’re highlighting them because they are in need of loving homes even more than anyone else—plus their adoption fee is waived and the vet care associated with the condition is covered by the Nevada Humane Society vet clinic. Their conditions range from diabetes to kidney disease to overactive thyroid glands—chronic but treatable and manageable medical conditions. Alexia has a heart murmur, managed by daily medications and a really lazy lifestyle. Petunia’s kidneys no longer function like they once did so she needs daily medications and a special diet to remind them who’s boss.

You know that we feel that all homeless pets deserve love and second chances, but these guys and gals, just like Alexia and Petunia, carry an even bigger need which is why we’re raising awareness for them. Angel Pets offer companionship, unconditional love and every other benefit a pet provides—but they too need something in return. Whether a prescription diet or daily medications, Angel Pets need a family who will commit to them and be there for them in sickness and health—and Nevada Humane Society is here to provide medical care, training, and support for any condition these animals may have.

By asking the various customers that come into our shelter, we’ve discovered that many people express interest in adopting a pet with special needs but do not have the financial means to absorb the cost of medical care. Under the Angel Pets program, Nevada Humane Society eases the burden of caring for that pet while the adopter gives the pet a chance to live a healthy life outside of the shelter. We waive adoption fees and cover medical care relating to their condition in our vet clinic—because that’s how much we feel the Alexias and Petunias deserve a home.

If you have ever thought about opening your heart and home to a special pet, please consider adopting an Angel Pet from Nevada Humane Society. You can visit the shelter, spend time with one—or several—Angel Pets and see who is a good fit for you. Remember, we’ll offer education and support regarding their medical condition, arm you with supplies and send you home with any medications and pet food. That means all you need to do… is love. We promise it’ll be the best relationship you’ll ever have, so what do you say? Will you be the human angel to one of our Angel Pets?


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How To Save A Life

by Kimberly Wade

How can you save a life? This question is daunting, exciting, and yet has many answers. If any one of you were asked this, it may seem to be a loaded question. If Nevada Humane Society was asked this, we would have not one, but several answers. Lifesaving if our mission, and that, to us, means saving the young and old, cute and not so cute and everyone in between. To Nevada Humane Society, all healthy and treatable pets should be saved—this is lifesaving. Right now, a different kind of lifesaving is even more prevalent—foster care.

Our foster program allows us—and you—to save the lives of thousands of young kittens and puppies during Kitten Season. It’s the time of year when the weather is warmer and unaltered animals are, well, taking care of business. In turn, we see thousands (not kidding) of babies enter the shelters from roughly April through October. The foster program allows us to place each of these babies in a temporary home—your home—where you help them grow big and strong while getting them ready for adoption. You get the joy of having baby animals in your home; then the reward of knowing you saved them and helped to place them with a loving family.

I’ve been fostering since 2007. In fact, that is how I originally got involved with Nevada Humane Society. Since then, my husband and I have taken in a lot of kittens—even the occasional puppy. Newton was the first one that never left… as in he’s still with me today. He was 4 weeks old facing several physical ailments. He had fleas, ear mites, and wouldn’t use his back leg. Our veterinarians said it was nerve damage. My husband and I combined exercise with massage to help Newton regain the use of his leg. Nearly three weeks later, after we had begun to accept that amputation may be necessary, he began to walk. Today, nearly 2 years later, Newton is thriving. No one would ever guess anything was wrong. His personality is that of gratefulness. He knows he was saved; the way he looks at us says it all (actually he looks at everyone this way). This is why we foster—not just to make a difference but to earn that look. And this can be you. Foster families are the backbone of lifesaving.

It would be impossible for Nevada Humane Society to care for all of these little kitties without our foster program, which is all volunteer based. It’s an ideal, low-cost way to greatly increase the number of lives saved while at the same time providing a wonderful opportunity for the community to become more active. Our program has hundreds of dedicated caregivers who eagerly open up their hearts and homes to care for and ultimately save lives—over 2,300 last year. But we need more. And today.

Foster homes—your homes—free up limited space at the shelter so that more animals can be saved—ones that are ready for adoption. Though there are also foster needs for puppies and certain adult animals, the greatest need lies with kittens. Right now, an average of 20 kittens enter the shelter each day. Will you help us by becoming a foster family?

Here’s the lowdown:

  • You provide care until kittens weigh about two pounds—big enough to be spayed or neutered and made available for adoption.
  • You pick up kittens the same day they arrive (we call you to tell you we need you).
  • You need a separate space for the kittens from your own pets, and your own pets must be current on vaccines.
  • We provide supplies, training and support. There is no fee; your time is voluntary.
  • Time frame is anywhere from a few days to eight weeks. After that you can take a break or choose to pick up a new batch of foster babies.

So, are you ready to go save the Newtons of the world? Mind you, not everyone has challenges like he did. That’s just what I like. We have plenty of weaned, healthy, happy little ones. It’s fun, rewarding and will allow you to answer that question—how to save a life. Because truly, when you foster, this is what you’re doing.

For info on the foster program or to sign up, please call 775-856-2000 ext. 314. You can also visit our website,

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