Carson City animal shelter having success despite shutdown

Taz, a PUPS on Parole graduate, recently adopted from the Carson City animal shelter by Traci DeMattei, settles into his new home.

Taz, a PUPS on Parole graduate, recently adopted from the Carson City animal shelter by Traci DeMattei, settles into his new home.

Carson City’s animal shelter is doing well during the coronavirus emergency and the head of the Nevada Humane Society knows why.

“People have their hearts in it. They care about animals and our mission,” said Greg Hall, CEO, Nevada Humane Society, which operates both the Carson City and Reno animal shelters.

Hall said despite uncertainty and anxiety, people are not panicking.

“First and foremost, we’re seeing a lot of positivity,” said Hall. “You might think people would abandon animals or freak out or think I can’t even help myself, I don’t have a job or I’m at risk, but that’s not what we’re seeing.”

In fact, on Saturday, Carson City residents essentially emptied out the shelter.

“Every animal that could be adopted was adopted,” said Hall.

Even some hard-to-place animals are finding homes. Last Thursday, Traci DeMattei adopted Taz, a large, 3-year-old dog who went through the PUPS on Parole program, which pairs dogs with behavioral problems with inmates at Warm Springs Correctional Center who train them.

“When I got down there they started counseling me that they needed to pick the right person for Taz, he had been through the PUPS program,” said DeMattei. “They brought him into the room and he was so happy, so gentle. You could tell they loved him. They cried when I left with him.”

DeMattei said Taz is settling in, getting along well with her cat and steering clear of her three horses.

“He’s great, I wasn’t expecting him to be as great as he is,” she said. “I hope people take a chance on these guys.”

The numbers change daily, but as of Wednesday the Carson City shelter, which can house up to 120 animals, had 27 animals, seven of which were ready to be adopted. The remainder are either strays who must be held for a certain amount of time to give owners a chance to retrieve them or they need medical attention or behavioral training before adoption.

The shelter is also looking for donations and for emergency foster volunteers, especially those able to foster cats. To discuss fostering, email with the subject line emergency foster or call the shelter at (775) 887-2171.

The shelter has changed procedures due to the coronavirus crisis.

All adoptions are now by appointment only between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Appointments can also be made online at or by calling the shelter.

And before going, people can check the shelter’s web site — — for pets up for adoption.

“People should be prepared to be met at the door. We’re not allowing people to come in and ask questions,” said Hall.

The shelter is not letting groups of people congregate, although families can come together, said Hall, because choosing a pet is a family decision.

Staff is practicing social distancing with visitors and other staff, and disinfecting areas accessed by the public every hour.

So far, Carson City residents have stepped up, said Hall, as have city officials and Friends of Carson Animal Services Initiative. “I want to give the city and CASI a shoutout,” said Hall. “They always support us.”


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