Gardnerville woman honored by Points of Light foundation

Staff Reports

Gardnerville resident Cherie Owen has been named a "Daily Point of Light" by the Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C.

Owen has been volunteering in the rescue of animals for 32 years. She moved to Gardnerville in 1992 with her dogs and started volunteering at the Douglas County Animal Shelter.

Owen felt that the killing of the shelter animals for lack of space, money and lack of will, was not the way to think. Owen founded and is the president of Douglas Animal Welfare Group. DAWG is a nonprofit organization formed in 2000 with approximately 100 members, all volunteers, who rely solely on donations to support their work.

In 2005 they transported and paid for the spaying or neutering of over 70 animals. Since 2000, DAWG assisted with 464 adoptions. In 2006, DAWG paid for 17 spay or neuter for animals and assisted in 92 adoptions. Due, in part to these efforts, the most important accomplishment has been the elimination of the need to put down any adoptable animals. No adoptable animals have been put down in the Douglas County Animal Shelter since DAWG was formed.

In 2005, the Nevada Appeal in Carson City, named DAWG the Organization of the Year. In 2006, the Douglas County Historical Society honored Owen for her "significant historical contribution to the quality of life," in Douglas County for forming DAWG. In November of 2006, the chamber of commerce named DAWG as the "Service Organization of the Year." In 2007, Channel 2, KTVN, picked Owen as "Someone to Know" which is a 5-minute segment on their nightly news program once a week.

The Daily Point of Light Award honors individuals and volunteer groups that have made a commitment to connect Americans through service to help meet critical needs in their communities. It focuses on the goals for children and youth set by the President's Summit for America's Future.

Each weekday, one volunteer or volunteer effort in the country receives a Daily Point of Light Award. To nominate a volunteer, go to


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