History Of NHS

History of Nevada Humane Society


It began with Alice Boswell, the first Board president, in the office of her attorney. Alice was a woman ahead of her time, an activist, feminist, and a supporter of Native American rights. She recruited her daughter, Carlisle Ramsey, to act as the first Treasurer. Through continued efforts of many dedicated people, such as Enid Johnson and Genevra Kimpton, the City of Reno finally recognized the need for a higher standard — and Nevada Humane Society was born.


Nevada Humane Society ceased animal control work in the mid-70s and began its growth toward the agency it is today. Philanthropist George Whittell provided a bequest that allowed for the land purchase and construction of the shelter on Kresge Lane in Sparks; on January 1, 1980, Nevada Humane Society left its barns and trailers at the Mill Street location and moved into its new facility.


2extIn October 2004, 250 people joined officials of Nevada Humane Society, Washoe County and the City of Reno to celebrate the beginning of construction on the new Regional Animal Services Center. The new shelter was a joint project of NHS and Washoe County and aimed to create one-stop shopping for all things animal.


The shelter would provide a broader range of services and eliminate the redundancy of duplicate shelter efforts such as adoption, owner-surrenders and wildlife intake. This streamlining allowed for additional focus on outreach efforts and support for lifelong adoption matches.


The new facility, designed by architects Ganther Melby LLC and George Miers & Associates, is state-of-the-art in both form and function and opened in 2007. Designed to meet animal sheltering challenges for decades to come, the 60,000-square-foot facility incorporated cutting-edge shelter technology, enhanced cost-effectiveness, reduced energy consumption and facilitated cleaning. These design features helped control operating expenses, as well as provided for the physical and mental well-being of animals waiting redemption and new homes.


Today, in 2017, Nevada Humane Society is proud to say that since the lifesaving mission was introduced just over a decade ago, over 90,000 lives have been saved, as animals are placed into good, loving homes. Today, we also operate a location in Carson City, where we oversee both animal control functions as well as adoptions and care. We expanded to the state's capital in 2014, and overnight, the lifesaving rate went from 55% to 95% for cats and dogs. Washoe County and Carson City can now both be proud of lifesaving accomplishments for the animals, and we only continue to grow.


Nevada Humane Society is a charitable, 501(c)3, non-profit organization and the Federal Tax ID is 88-0072720.