At Nevada Humane Society, lifesaving takes a village
Nevada Humane Society
It’s no secret that Nevada Humane Society loves pets and that we’ll go above and beyond to save a life because we feel all life is precious. Whether it takes a few days or a few weeks to find new homes, we are here for them. Whether they are old or young, cute or ugly, we are here. Whether they have medical needs or not, if we can treat them and give them a healthy, happy, second chance at life we do it. If a situation arises and we find ourselves needing to take in dozens of animals at a time, we find a way to make it happen. This is lifesaving. This is Nevada Humane Society.
We are a charitable, non-profit organization founded in 1932, originally created to address the suffering of local stray animals. In 2007, our Board of Directors changed the mission to one of lifesaving. In 2014, Nevada Humane Society expanded lifesaving efforts to include Carson City. Today, more than 80,000 animals have been placed into loving homes since 2007 and we continue to grow, maintaining our status as one of the top communities in the country for saving homeless pets. Nevada Humane Society is widely recognized as a leader in animal sheltering and stewardship and is considered a national model, educating shelters on lifesaving practices.
What many people don’t know is that lifesaving takes a village, and while Nevada Humane Society may be the cornerstone to that village, there are many other heroes that also deserve credit.
Each day there are people who silently, without fanfare, perform acts of heroism. Nevada Humane Society’s heroes are the thousands of adopters, volunteers and supporters who give so much to homeless pets — and they’re from all walks of life. They dress differently, have different incomes and different colors of hair 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 heroes and the people who otherwise support our lifesaving efforts. Each day dozens of people stream through the doors, looking for that pet that speaks to their heart, waiting for their opportunity to be a part of our village.
Take Donner, for example. This adorable, two-month-old black lab was found by a Good Samaritan among a large litter of puppies just last month. Donner was the only one who appeared to have a challenge — he couldn’t keep food down and therefore his health was at risk. The Good Samaritan knew we were his second chance and brought him to Nevada Humane Society.
When Donner arrived, he went into foster care with one of our staff members. When he struggled every time he ate, our veterinary team immediately considered megaesophagus, a condition caused by a birth defect. Donner was referred to the University of California Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. After his consultation, Donner was diagnosed with a vascular ring anomaly — something where a blood vessel that should have shrunk after birth did not and is now constricting the esophagus, making it hard for him to keep food down. Lucky for Donner, he is a surgical candidate and his outcome for a second chance is good.
We live in an amazing place. When we call, you answer. When we fall down, you lift us up. We owe our lifesaving to you, because when we said it takes a village, we weren’t kidding. Without you, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Our successes are your successes. Here’s to the heroes of northern Nevada and all across the country who are stepping up and not talking about making a difference, but actually doing it. Thank you for helping to create a bright future for so many pets in need.
Kimberly Wade is the senior manager of communications and events at the Nevada Humane Society.
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.