by Kimberly Wade
Animal welfare is progressive. We know that people come and go, the needs of a community change and life just happens. In 2017, Nevada Humane Society hit a milestone—10 years of lifesaving. Though we originated in 1932, our Board of Directors didn’t move to change the mission to one of lifesaving, creating and sustaining a no-kill community, until 2006. At that point, a new regional animal shelter was already under construction—the one currently on Longley Lane—after the community recognized the need for it. Everyone knew that by bringing Washoe County Regional Animal Services and Nevada Humane Society together under one roof, it would create a better place for homeless pets as well as provide a one-stop shop for people. The shelter opened in 2007, and today, after 10 years of lifesaving, we can say that over 100,000 lives have been saved—a feat that hasn’t been easy but is immensely rewarding.
Over the last 10 years, Nevada Humane Society created programs based on community need. You asked, we answered. With things like progressive adoption campaigns to encourage people to visit the shelter first, before going to a pet store or other means of acquiring a pet; low-cost spay and neuter services and vaccinations; programs for senior people and senior pets; Nevada Humane Society truly created a safety net for homeless pets in this community.
If you had told management at Nevada Humane Society 10 years ago that we would be transporting in animals from other shelters, animals that wouldn’t otherwise have a second chance, we wouldn’t have believed it. If you had told the team that spay and neuter would work, that we would see drastically decreasing numbers of kittens, feral cats and even puppies, we wouldn’t have believed it. The lifesaving mission in 2007 seemed virtually impossible but we were determined.
It’s pretty impressive now to see the difference. Our free Animal Help Desk helps provide people with various resources so that relinquishing their pet to the shelter is their last option. There are temporary food programs if you are down on your luck and can’t feed your pet. There are resources to help you with a dog or cat who isn’t as well-mannered as you would like. There are ways to manage and care for feral cats, keeping the population down yet allowing them to live a healthy, outdoor lifestyle—as they are meant for. There are adoptions! People now can come to a shelter for any pet, any age, breed, look or personality. There are dogs and cats, yes, but also small animals, farm animals and so much more. We have partnered with prisons, allowing inmates to not only better themselves as people, but to also help homeless pets, by training dogs who need basic manners or socialization and caring for tiny, newborn kittens—raising them so that they can then be adopted into loving families.
We have listened to the needs of our community to provide a better life for homeless pets, all while helping people too. We accepted that animal welfare is progressive and always changing—this has allowed us to succeed. This has allowed us to overcome challenges, learn from mistakes and keep moving forward. This has allowed us to hit 10 years of lifesaving, and proudly declare that over 100,000 animals are now in loving homes because of everything we aimed for. To all of you who supported us then and still support us now… thank you.
Events for the Animals: Tickets for Heels & Hounds, a champagne brunch and fashion show, are on sale now! The event celebrates the Year of the Dog and benefits all homeless pets at Nevada Humane Society. Heels & Hounds is on Sunday, April 8. Tickets start at $80. Details: 775-856-2000 ext. 320 or http://www.NevadaHumaneSociety.org.
Featured Pet: We’re Huey, Dewey and Louie, three young and fabulous brothers. We were brought up from southern Nevada to give us a second chance at a new home. We may look alike, but our purrsonalities are very different! Sweet, lovable and curious—we’re the best packaged deal, and our adoption fees are sponsored, so we go home, together, for free! Meet us today!