Rescuers ask Gardnerville to memorialize volunteer |

Rescuers ask Gardnerville to memorialize volunteer

A dog enjoys chasing birds across the Virginia Canal retention basin on Monday. A little bit of water in the basin had the dogs jumping in and out.
Kurt Hildebrand |

Three dogs enjoyed a Monday afternoon running around Carson Valley’s latest dog park.

Members of Douglas County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue hope to make it a permanent memorial to one of their volunteers.

Anne E. Thomas was the search and rescue team’s dog handler for many years, and a 30-year volunteer with the group before she succumbed to cancer on April 29.

She trained the unit’s two search dogs, Shadow and Gini.

More than a dozen members of the team asked Gardnerville to consider naming the park after Thomas.

The town doesn’t have a policy for naming parks, which would have to be in place before the decision could be made to name the park after Thomas.

So far it also doesn’t have a source of water or a fence around it, both of which would be required for it to be a real dog park.

There are 67 on-street parking spaces available around the basin now.

Search and Rescue member Merrilyn Noble said Thomas was an outstanding dog handlear and the group felt naming the dog park after her would be a good fit.

“She was a very special person, who helped a lot of people in need,” Noble said.

Sheriff Ron Pierini attended the town meeting in support of the search and rescue team.

“When we lose someone who has 30 years in as a volunteer we need to do something,” he said.

Gardnerville Town Board members said they’re still working on a plan for the park.

“We’ve only recently decided on making it a dog park,” said board member Lloyd Higuerra. “We still need a water fountain and fencing.”

Noble said the group can be patient, and would be happy to help where they could.

Board member Cassandra Jones agreed that the town needed to have a plan.

“This is the first time, but it’s not going to be the last time we’re asked for something like this,” she said.