How One Fire Sparked My Awareness

by Kimberly Wade

Earlier this week I was driving home and as I exited the freeway, I noticed the plume of distant smoke wasn’t actually so distant. In fact, it was too close to home. At a stoplight (oops, don’t tell), I jumped on my phone to search for any news about a local fire. The Mogul fire, as it was dubbed, had just sparked near Somersett, a few blocks from my house. I bypassed my street to follow the firefighters and police. I’ve never seen a wildfire up close. This week, I did. The flames were literally right there.

I’m an East Coast beach baby, born and raised on the water, and I just don’t understand the desert. We had a heavy winter, yet it seems we have more fires than ever. I can empathize with locals who have endured them but I had yet to experience it myself—until now. I was used to hurricanes which offer plenty of time to prepare. Fires, not so much.

I panicked of course, called my husband and asked if I should prepare. Though realistically (I can be dramatic) the fire would have to jump a road and a ravine, it was still too close to home for me. I packed the necessities and got the kids (pets) ready. And that brings me to this—are your pets ready for a disaster?

I had all the kennels lined up with bedding. I had food, supplements and medical items. I even took their toys. Of course they were thinking we were going on an adventure, but I was already imagining loading three dogs and three cats into our cars and finding a place to stay (we would have bunked overnight in my office because I’m lucky enough to work at Nevada Humane Society).

Our cats range from one to three years old, but Maisey has a virus that requires supplements and a carefully monitored diet. Our dogs are all seniors, ages nine to 14. Our lab, Gilda, is incontinent, has hip and knee challenges, and eye issues. Lovingly, I say she’s a hot mess. They too are on supplements, and we have a slew of meds just in case. I recently checked all of their microchips and made sure they were registered and up to date with our contact info, and had all their vet records neatly organized. I was in good shape.

Emergencies come in many forms and can require a short absence from home or a long one. Each type of disaster requires different measures, and so you can prepare, I’m offering this simple advice:

  • Get a rescue sticker for your windows. Make sure it’s visible and includes types and number of pets. If you must evacuate, write “evacuated” on it when you leave so it’s known they’re safe.
  • Arrange a safe haven for your pets. Do not leave them behind! Look now to find boarding or someone who can take them in.
  • Choose a designated caregiver if you can’t get home. Whether temporary or permanent, this will help if you need to separate.
  • Prepare emergency supplies and a travelling kit, including first aid, leashes, collars and items that help keep your pets calm. Make sure their info is up to date—ages, vaccines, any medical conditions. Know contact info for your veterinarian. Get them microchipped and make sure that info is up to date. Have recent photos of your pet available in case they become lost.
  • Think about your home too. If you live in an earthquake prone area, find the safe rooms. I experienced a bad hurricane and I put my cats in harnesses, leashed them to me, and we all rode it out in the bathroom tub—with my roommates.

The three biggest things to be ready for a disaster, natural or not, are to prepare in advance, make a plan for if and when it happens, and stay informed. Take my advice. Don’t wait. Do it now.

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Finding Homes for Everyone

by Kimberly Wade

Summertime is typically the time of year when shelters—Nevada Humane Society included—are seeing kennels fill up and space limitations stretch. Kittens and puppies arrive daily, needing specialty care to help them grow big and strong for adoption, while adult animals sometimes (I said sometimes) are passed over for their younger counterparts. It gets crowded in shelters, and though at Nevada Humane Society our population is still much less than it was a decade ago when we changed the mission to one of lifesaving, we still have plenty of animals that need you and a loving home. That’s why we’re so glad to be participating in Clear the Shelters this weekend, on Saturday, August 19.

NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations’ Clear the Shelters is a community-driven nationwide pet adoption campaign that seeks to match deserving animals with loving and permanent homes. This year, NBC and Telemundo stations all across the country will join with hundreds of animal shelters, including Nevada Humane Society in both Reno and Carson City, to offer low cost pet adoption fees to help families find and adopt a new pet. Since 2015, Clear the Shelters has resulted in more than 70,000 pet adoptions nationwide and we’re thrilled to be adding to those numbers this year!

PV is an incredibly gorgeous gal (despite the odd name) who is only about a year old. She has these beautiful gray and white tabby markings and the sweetest smile. She’s actually been here longer than most others because of her spitfire purrsonality. Yes, she’s plenty sweet, but she also has a lot of spice to her! She loves to cuddle but now and then gets a little feisty, so she needs a cat savvy family who can read her signals when she’s telling you to back off. She also prefers to be the boss, so for her to be your only pet is ideal, as well as a home with no young kids. She’s one of my favorites and also one who needs some added help finding a home, so we’re hoping during Clear the Shelters she’ll meet her match.

Beltor is a seven year old terrier, part pit bull (ish), part water dog and part lap dog. He thinks he’s puppy size and can fit anywhere but in realty he’s large. He’s distinguished and sophisticated, yet sometimes shy at first glance. He may take a bit to open up to you but once he does, BAM! His personality is out and there is no stopping it! He has the best smile and would do anything to make his person happy. He was actually at our Walk for Animals last weekend and he and I sat in a kiddie pool together people watching. Yes, I’m serious. He too has been here longer than most, and for him, Clear the Shelters is going to change this by allowing him to find his perfect family.

I could go on and on about so many of our animals that have become special to me. There’s Aspen, whose picture is featured. She was briefly in our admin offices to gain back some of her confidence after a slow start at the shelter. Now she’s plenty confident, so much so that she doesn’t necessarily love other cats and would prefer a home of her own. And she has a crooked tail—it may have broken many years ago and was never fixed, so it permanently waves an ecstatic hello to you. Pretty stinking adorable. There’s also Duce and Leo, two brown and white Chihuahua (ish) dogs. They are cuter than anything, all tail wagging, teeth showing smiles. For little guys, they have big personalities and we love to watch them charm the socks off of everyone.

Clear the Shelters is locally sponsored by KRNV News 4 and we know that thanks to them, Petco and so many others that have made this nationwide pet adoption event possible, our animals are going to get lucky this weekend—specifically on Saturday, August 19. We’re open normal adoption hours, from 10am to 6:30pm at both locations (2825 Longley Lane in Reno and 549 Airport Road in Carson). We have already low adoption fees, but certain seniors, dogs that have been here longer than others, and all cats over the age of five are free. All dogs and cats are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped—so they are ready to hit the ground running with their new families. We hope you’ll help us make Clear the Shelters a big success, because there’s nothing more that we love than seeing empty kennels after a long day.

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One Week Until We All Walk for Animals

by Kimberly Wade

I know I’ve mentioned this once already, but with the countdown on (one week!) I had to mention it again. Our Walk for Animals is back! Next Saturday, August 12, at the Sparks Marina, hundreds (hopefully thousands) of you will be joining myself along with several other NHS staff and volunteers to take the two-mile fun walk around the Marina to raise money and awareness for homeless pets. We can’t wait!

You may remember that our Duck Race & Festival is normally in August, but we were advised months ago by the City of Reno to not go into the water, so we had to quickly cancel that and come up with another fundraiser in its place. To make it easy, we brought back the Walk for Animals. However, many of you have expressed concern with the heat. Well, Mother Nature forced us to cancel the Duck Race and now her heat may also be cause for concern at the Walk. Never fear, we’re pushing forward and we will be there, with plenty of kiddie pools, tents, drinking water, a doggie spa and more (not to mention there’s a big lake to splash in) to keep both humans and dogs cool. We have got to be here for our furry friends at all costs and given we didn’t have a big choice for date or time for this event, we went with it. We hope you will too.

After my article last week about keeping our pets’ safe in the heat, we understand that the Walk for Animals is going to be hot. We’re doing the rain dance to bring cooler weather, but please also know that you don’t have to bring your dogs, and as humans, you can prepare, by bringing water, strapping one of those cool hiking packs on that stays cold, wearing breathable clothing, and yes, getting in the Marina. The event must still be a success, and we’re counting on your help to get us there—because after all, everything raised goes right back to benefit our homeless pets at Nevada Humane Society.

So since you’re ready to tackle the weather, here’s the deal. The event is from 10am to 2pm at Sparks Marina. Festivities include vendors, food trucks, a carnival and more. The Walk itself is at 11am. To participate, simply register online (online closes at 11:59pm on August 10) or in person either the day before, August 11 from 11am to 6pm at Nevada Humane Society in Reno, or the day of, from 10am to 11:30am at the Sparks Marina. Once you register, start fundraising and join us for all of the fun! It may be good to know that we also have a Cat Napper registration for people who want to participate but can’t be there—this allows you to donate to our team of volunteers who will be walking our shelter dogs.

Rain or shine, we are ready for the Walk for Animals. Events like this help all of our animals, from those that need extra medical care or spay/neuter services, to those that need a new home. Events like this provide food, warm bedding, daily TLC and so much more, so that we can be here for our community and our homeless pets. That means when you participate in the Walk for Animals, you too are making a difference. So… will we see you there?

P.S. To register online click here or if you have other event questions please call 775-856-2000 ext. 320.


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