February is Responsible Pet Owner Month

Gardnerville Ranchos resident Kailey Larson’s cat Cal was attacked and killed in November by neighborhood dogs.

Gardnerville Ranchos resident Kailey Larson’s cat Cal was attacked and killed in November by neighborhood dogs.

According to the Douglas County Animal Services’ Facebook page, February is Responsible Pet Owners Month and one cat mom hopes her story helps spread awareness and pet safety.

“This area needs some help with animals through training and care,” said Gardnerville Ranchos resident Kailey Larson.

On Nov. 16, Larson went home on her lunch break to let her cat out.

“He’s a special needs cat, he was blind in one eye, but he was a good cat, full of energy and liked being outside.”

Larson did what she could to protect him.

“He had GPS tracker and knew his way around too,” she said.

Larson said about 30 minutes after she let Cal outside, two neighborhood dogs got out, attacked Cal, dragged him away and killed him.

“I was told they were big dogs; a German shepherd and a husky,” she said. “I feel like the owners didn’t take responsibility for it. I never heard from them.”

Larson and others feel like missing pets, and animal attacks are a common occurrence in Douglas County.

“A mail lady was bit and one of my neighbor’s dogs was attacked too,” she said. “It’s a common thing to see on Facebook and in the community forums, there’s always something about it.”

Talking from her veterinary background, Larson said pets require lots of attention and care.

“Especially if you have an animal that is high energy, like a work dog,” she said. “It’s not fair to leave them outside all day, every day with nothing to do it can lead to aggression.”

Community Relations Manager Eric Cachinero said Douglas County Animal Services is aware of the situation and involved in finding solutions.

“We live in a diverse and growing community of pet owners and unfortunately accidents do happen with pets,” he said. 

Douglas County Animal Services along with Douglas Animal Welfare Group provide many services for animals and pet owners, including protecting the health and welfare of the community by maintaining rabies control, Trap and Release programs for feral cat colonies, foster programs for kittens and community assistance for low income pet owners, adoptions and more.

“Taking responsibility for your pet and discovering new ways to grow as a pet owner can strengthen the bond between you and your dog or cat,” said a post on the Douglas County Animal Services Facebook page.

The shelter also provides training and education for pets and pet owners.

“Whether they are puppies or adults, training is an essential component of responsible pet ownership,” reads a post on the Douglas County Animal Services Facebook page. “It does wonders for their confidence, offering mental stimulation that keeps their minds sharp and focused, moreover through training, we foster deep and unbreakable bonds with our furry companions, enhancing the joy we experience together.”

Some tips to ensure the safety and wellbeing of pets include:       

Feed your pet regular nutritious and balanced meals.

Provide your pet with suitable housing.

Groom your pet well and regularly.

Pick up after your pet in public and don’t let it stray.

Sterilize your pet to prevent unwanted litters.

Keep your pet on a leash when in public.

Make sure your yard is secure.

ID your pets. One of the most important things you can do for your little ones as a pet owner is proper identification. Microchips are an excellent choice for pet ID as they are a permanent form of pet identification. Collars with tags are another great option for pet ID, but it is important to remember to always ensure your pet has his collar on — even at home.

Choosing a veterinary clinic and sticking with it. Don’t wait to take your pet in once they are sick, but annual wellness visits create an ongoing health history which helps detect changes within your pet’s health. This also allows you to keep your dog and/ or cats up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Schedules. Setting up a schedule for your pet’s meal times, potty breaks, grooming, training, and exercise needs can make your day easier to track.

Getting to know your furry companion. Learn what your little one’s love. Whether it be treats, toys, foods, types of exercise or enrichment activities not all dogs or cats like what the next one does. Just like humans, every pet is different. Spend the time to get to know yours.

Keep your pets safe. Taking a moment to consider your pet’s safety each day, you will continually be growing as a responsible owner.

For more information visit Douglas County Animal Services on Facebook or call 775-782-9061.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment