Volunteers keep Christmas for shelter animals | RecordCourier.com

Volunteers keep Christmas for shelter animals

by Sarah Hauck
Douglas Animal Welfare Group's Sharon Harner of Minden takes 'Princess' out for a walk Wednesday near the animal shelter in Gardnerville.
Brad Coman |

While paper and bows litter floors and Christmas feasts are spread on tables, the dogs and cats of the Douglas County Animal Shelter will be spending time with volunteers.

Holiday or not, volunteers stop by the shelter to visit with the animals at the Gardnerville shelter.

“We have volunteers who will come in for two or three hours in the morning and walk the dogs and clean up pens and give medications,” Shelter Supervisor Janet Duzan said. “There are people who come back in the afternoon and do all of those things. Some of the dogs even get second walks.”

Care for the 17 dogs and five cats currently awaiting adoption falls on the shoulders of both employees and volunteers.

The shelter will close its doors Christmas Day to the public, but everyday care of the animals will continue behind the scenes, Duzan said.

“Our volunteers are really organized,” she said. “If Christmas falls on their regular walking day, and they aren’t able to make it to do their duty, an email goes out until someone is able to make it out to the shelter to get those dogs the walks. We really have some great volunteers. They are here whether it is snowing or raining or a holiday. They are here walking these dogs no matter what.”

Assistance to the shelter during the holiday season doesn’t stop at walks and administering medications.

The community steps in with donations from Douglas Animal Welfare Group’s Holiday Gift Tree, a staple location being at Max’s Pet Supplies.

“I do this every year because it is so beneficial for the local shelter pets so they can get the things they need,” Store Owner Kori Snyder said.

Snyder has hosted a DAWG gift tree for nearly 10 years.

Specializing in allergy sensitive pet foods and treats, Max’s is a spot that helps the shelter collect those specialty items some of their pets need.

“The tree is a really great push for the shelter to get things for the dogs with sensitivities,” Snyder said. “They can grab toys for the cats and good, durable toys for the dogs to keep in their kennels all year round.”

Each ornament has a request specifically from the shelter covering a range of cat litter to allergy-sensitive treats.

Snyder said the tree not only helps the shelter receives necessities for the animals they care for, but it gives her customers a way to help them as well.

“It is a really convenient way for customers to feel like they can contribute to the community,” she said. “A lot of my clientele have adopted dogs and want to help more, but their homes just don’t warrant bring home another animal. This way they feel like that can do more and I can help assist them with that.”

Pet Station is also helping shelter animals with a donation box located within their store, as well as a unique collaboration with a product company.

For every Nature’s Variety brand purchase, which can include anything from Nature Variety’s line, the company will match it pound for pound in the form of a donation to the shelter.

The next delivery is scheduled for Dec. 31.

For more information about the shelter or any of their animals available for adoption go to Douglas County Animal Care & Services on Facebook, or call 782-9061.

For more information about Max’s call 782-8088.

For more information about Pet Station call 782-0250.