Nevada Humane Society is proud to have remained open during the entire pandemic ensuring the homeless pets in our community had the care, resources and support needed to find their forever homes. While so much around us looked so different, we remained focused on our life-saving mission providing care, and finding homes, for more than 16,000 animals in 2020.
As the only open-admission, no-kill shelter in Nevada, continuing to provide life-saving services was essential to our mission. Not knowing what was in store during the pandemic and keeping the homeless pets who need our help in the forefront of our minds, we reached out to our community. More than 600 people signed up to be Emergency Fosters and we are happy to report that nearly all the foster pets taken in during that time were adopted by their foster families.
Our team quickly adjusted to this new normal by working swiftly and efficiently to put a new appointment-only adoption process in place. Additionally, we transformed our Public Clinic Services to a Drive-Thru Vaccine Clinic administering over 3,000 vaccines.
While 2020 challenged Nevada Humane Society to continue to ensure our mission was met, I am proud to say we rose to the challenge and met it head on. A special thank you to Petco Love for the $150,000 in grant funding for general lifesaving purposes and to the Dave and Cheryl Duffield Foundation for their grant of $292,000 for access to care for pets in rural areas and to keep pets in homes, transports from other shelters in Nevada, and foster care program development. Their generous support helps make our life-saving work possible.
I am thankful for our community, donors and partners who were by our side the entire way to help ensure our operations could continue and that homeless animals in our community had advocates on their side.
Gregory J. Hall
Chief Executive Officer
2020 Duck Race Highlights
While COVID-19 kept us from holding our traditional Duck Race down the Truckee River, our re-imagined event in 2020 proved to be our most successful event ever! Thanks to our generous sponsors and community partners, engagement and excitement were at an all-time high. We are proud to be the only open-admission, no-kill shelter in Nevada and all funds raised went directly to our life-saving mission.
305.25 hours in 2020
“It is so rewarding to be able to support the hard-working and dedicated staff at Nevada Humane Society, and in turn, helping all the fur babies to find a safe and loving home. As a huge bonus, I also get to enjoy lots of cuddles, and play dates with the cats, dogs, and small animals that are waiting to find their new homes.”
164.25 hours in 2020
“I love volunteering because I get to spend time with animals that I love but that I don’t have the time or space to raise. Getting to help socialize them and get them ready for forever homes makes me feel productive and as a bonus, I get cuddles!”
566 hours in 2020
“I find the most gratifying aspect of volunteering as a dog walker is the knowledge that I’ve contributed to a dog’s transition from the shelter to a loving home. Working with the dedicated and compassionate NHS staff and volunteers further amplifies the positive experience. Dog walking also provides several physical and psychological benefits for me. The exercise benefits of walking are well known, but accomplishing it through a series of dog walks keeps it from becoming boring or tedious. Each walk provides a unique set of challenges and rewards. When I began volunteering twelve years ago, I worked in an office that was located near the NHS shelter. I usually stopped by on my commute home and walked dogs for an hour or two. On days that had been difficult or frustrating work, I knew that I had still accomplished at least one positive thing by brightening a shelter dog’s evening. Now that I’m retired, I walk dogs in the morning. Getting up early to open the kennels and work with the dogs imparts beneficial measures of discipline, responsibility and joy to start my day.”
We saw an incredible response from community members willing to open their hearts and homes to shelter pets in need throughout 2020. When we asked you to volunteer to Emergency Foster our shelter pets to help us keep our shelter animal population low –you stepped up in a big way! Over 600 of you volunteered to help and many of you ended up falling in love and making your emergency foster pets part of your families!
Treble was rescued from a neglectful situation no animal should ever have to endure. When he first arrived at our Reno Shelter, he was so distrusting of people our team was unable to approach him. All we could do was watch and wait as we worked to slowly earn his trust.
“When I first met Treble, he was cowering under a table and wouldn’t let me anywhere near him. After a few days, and a lot of time spent encouraging him to come out of his shell, he finally let me sit next to him. I knew he would have a long road ahead before he was ready to find a happy home.” – Emily Lancione, Animal Care Director, NHS
To get Treble the extra attention and socialization he needed, he went into our PUPS on Parole Program at Warm Springs Correctional Center, where he was paired with a dedicated trainer who worked with him day and night to teach him basic commands and how to trust people again. When he returned, our devoted team of staff and volunteers spent countless hours with Treble getting him ready to be adopted, so he would never again have to experience neglect.
“The PUPS on Parole Program gives homeless pets in need a second chance when they have nowhere else to turn for help. Often the dogs that go to this program have been abused and abandoned –just tossed aside. Programs like PUPS on Parole are designed to make our mission to care for pets, find them homes and save lives a reality. And stories like Treble’s are proof that these programs work and save lives.” – Greg Hall, CEO, NHS
Treble returned to the shelter after PUPS and when the pandemic started to affect our community and we had a need to reduce our shelter animal population ASAP, Treble made the list of shelter animals in need of Emergency Foster homes. Luckily for him, his Emergency Foster turned out to be his new dog dad!
“I had been actively looking for the perfect dog to adopt, trying to decide what type of dog was best for my lifestyle. When I learned about the need for Emergency Foster volunteers during the pandemic, I decided that would be the best route for me to start. I figured even if I decided I couldn’t keep a dog long-term, the least I could do was give a dog a very nice home for a short period of time.” – Thomas Wheeler, Treble’s Dog Dad
When the NHS team contacted Thomas to say that Treble could return to the shelter, Treble and Thomas had already become family. The dog that struggled so hard, and for so long, to find love found his best friend and his forever home. “Once Treble realized he was finally home, I saw a huge increase in his comfort and decrease in anxiety. Now I take him everywhere with me… whether it’s running errands or camping my way through Utah & Colorado, he’s always by my side! He is a truly amazing dog, his eyes show every emotion you could think of and it melts my heart!” – Thomas Wheeler, Treble’s Dog Dad
The kindness and generosity of people like Thomas are what makes it possible for us to help over 16,000 animals each year. Our community is truly amazing and we are so grateful to everyone who adopts, volunteers and donates.
AZ Sugar Glider Rescue
When mother-daughter sugar gliders Phyllis (mama) and Rhonda (daughter) were surrendered to our Reno Shelter late last year, it didn’t take long for our team to realize these two were a unique case, requiring specialized care.
NHS team members Pryce and Amber have personal experience with exotic animals, so they started caring for them as the Nevada Humane Society does not often get exotic animals. Many times Amber will house exotic animals at her home until we are able to have a partner organization get them or she finds adopters.
“People think because they see a cage with cute things in it that is all that small animals might need,” said Amber, NHS Dog Care Supervisor. “In the case of sugar gliders, they require specialized diets, exotic animal veterinary care, and they are nocturnal animals.”
After some research, Pryce and Amber found the AZ Sugar Glider Rescue. This rescue group is based out of Arizona and founded by Dan and Tamra with the purpose of helping sugar gliders live happy and healthy lives.
While caring for these two gliders, Pryce contacted Tamra to make arrangements to transport them to Arizona. Due to airline restrictions, it was impossible for our team to fly with the sugar gliders so they took it upon themselves to drive Phyllis and Rhonda to Arizona.
During the surrender appointment, they learned that Phyllis had an open wound. Our Veterinarians determined that it was granulated tissue from a slowly healing chronic wound. These two gliders are still in the care of Tamra and her team.
“We are patiently treating and waiting for Phyllis’ injuries to completely heal before allowing them to be placed in a forever home,” said Tamra. “The progress on Phyllis’ healing has been huge and we’re hoping it won’t be much longer before she can find her forever home with her daughter, Rhonda.”
Sandy Claws’ Story
When Sandy Claws came to our Reno Shelter in October of 2020, she was struggling and in dire need of medical care. She was only a few weeks old and her right eye was bulging with red exposed tissue, signaling that she had a corneal rupture. Our Clinic Team examined her right eye and immediately knew they were going to have to operate to save her life.
Due to the extent of her injuries, our Veterinary Team had no choice but to remove both of her eyes. That way, although she would be blind, she would still be able to live a pain-free, happy life.
In total, our team performed three life-saving surgeries on Sandy Claws. Not only did this resilient kitten undergo multiple eye surgeries and spay surgery, she also was found to have Feline Panleukopenia, which required quarantine and intensive treatment. Kittens are affected most severely by the highly contagious virus as their tiny immune systems are often not strong enough to recover.
Her adopters were so excited to bring her home; they even bought special noise-making toys and made sure their house and furniture accommodated a blind kitty.
Our clinic treats over 16,000 animals every year. Many of these animals, like Sandy Claws, require extensive treatment to ensure they will go on to lead happy, healthy lives.
“We love her to death, despite a kitten’s ability to find trouble. She’s such a good kitty.”
– Sandy Claws’ adopter
NHS 2020 Transport Stats
2020 Community Events
We are thankful that while 2020 presented some new challenges, we were able to continue achieving our life-saving mission while helping those in the community. From staff making home-made holiday meals for our shelter pets to donating excess gloves and medical supplies to our healthcare heroes and hosting a COVID-safe Trunk or Treat event to holding a pre-COVID offsite event at Sky Peaks Senior Living promoting senior pets to be paired with senior residents. We are grateful that we were able to help more than 16,000 pets in 2020 (not including their human counterparts, too.)