Reno Finalist #1 )
Five years ago when I thought about adopting my first dog, I had two criteria: an older, small dog. I adopted a dog that met that criteria but what I’ve gotten in return is 10 fold. I adopted an 11-year-old Jack Russell Terrier mix in 2014 who was older and overweight and thus, sadly, overlooked. He was perfect – active, snuggly, happy, a smile that would light up the room, up for adventure and best of all: deserving of a second chance and a loving forever home. Through our five years together he’s had ear cancer resulting in a sewn up ear canal, Cushing’s disease which caused uneasiness, fatigue among other things, heart pauses where his heart literally stops and one day it will for good and laryngeal paralysis where part of this throat was closing and he literally was struggling to breathe. And you know what? I wouldn’t change a thing. Petey is my best friend. My happy little guy no matter what. My little love bug. Having him has opened my eyes to a myriad of things our community needs including advocates for senior dogs, volunteers at our local shelter (Nevada Humane Society) and foster care at the same organization. I’ve volunteered more than 180 hours since I started volunteering at NHS in early 2018. I’ve joined their Board of Directors, helping fundraise, recruit other Board Members and share the work NHS is doing with our community. My wife and I adopted another senior dog (Chance, 11) in late 2018. He was overlooked, sad and stressed. And we welcomed him with open arms and you could tell he was forever grateful. We found out he had cancer and we only had him for four months to the day. We were heartbroken. But I would adopt a sick, overlooked, senior dog again in a heartbeat. As an advocate for senior dogs, I am currently fostering an 11-year-old diabetic terrier who is an owner surrender. His name? Petey (same name as my rescue from 2014). Everything happens for a reason. Shelter pets know you are giving them a new life. They put their past (good or bad) behind them and fully embrace their new life. We owe it to homeless pets to open our homes, donate time and donate money to help their cause. In return, I can promise you they will fully change your life – open your eyes to new experiences, ways to help, and learn a new way to love. Five years ago when I went looking for an older, senior dog, I was blessed with a life-changing, wonderful companion who has forever changed by life, my values and my tireless effort to help. Adopt don’t shop.
Reno Finalist #2 )
I have had five rescues come into my life permanently. Three dogs and two cats. There isn’t enough space to tell them all so I’ll stick with my dogs. I was on the SPCA website and I saw they had puppies listed. I went in for a puppy and realized quickly that I am not a puppy person! The next day I came home with my little Cinder (the small black dog in the photo). His story was rather tragic. He was found stray in Fallon. The day I brought him home he exhibited symptoms of Parvovirus. He was deathly ill and would up hospitalized for more than ten days. He survived and I brought this little dog home with me ready to begin our journey together. He brings me so much happiness. He is the cutest little goofball there ever was. Next was my big lab/chow Charlie. My husband always wanted labs and I refused to let him buy from a breeder. I only want to adopt homeless animals. I had begun volunteering at the SPCA and I came across Charlie. He had been fostered with cats, and other dogs so I knew he would fit right in. His foster mom reached out to me later and told me his story. He was from Winnemucca and his owners were moving. They didn’t want to deal with him any longer so they dumped him. They even threatened to euthanize him if they couldn’t leave him at the shelter. He came to me thin and with hair burned off his neck from a shock collar. He immediately fit into my household and became my sweet protector and husbands new best friend. Last but certainly not least is my little chihuahua mix Ducky. He is my little foster fail. I brought him home with me because he was shut down at the shelter. He was from a hoarding situation in Oakland and sat in the shelter terrified for over a month. He had no social skills and could not walk on a leash. We had a long road ahead of us. After a week he began greeting me at the dog wiggling and grinning at me. Week tow we got him walking on the leash and by week four we were in love and decided to keep him. He is my sweet senior boy. My husband and I find great joy in all of our critters and have been bringing other fosters in and to their forever homes as much as we can this is our rescue story!