Maddie's Pet Project

It takes a village to help Nevada’s pets

By Kimberly Wade

Kimberly and Newton

It takes a village. This statement couldn’t be truer for people and pets alike, especially this time of year, as people are more focused on giving back and coming together. It’s also appropriate as Maddie’s Pet Project in Nevada is wrapping up five big events that brought communities together — events that helped elevate the status of dogs and cats and raise awareness that we’re doing something big in Nevada.

Here are just a few recent examples of how Nevada residents and humane groups came together:

Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days. While we are still counting adoption numbers, we know that well over 1,000 dogs and cats were adopted to loving families during the two-day event in November. Organizations from Reno to Elko and Mesquite to Las Vegas worked together to promote pet adoption and placed a record numbers of dogs and cats over those two days. Grateful stories and comments are still flooding in, and we couldn’t be prouder to have organized this effort.

Rural Spay/Neuter Clinics. We also held three spay/neuter clinics in rural northern Nevada in just over three weeks. More than 350 dogs and cats were spayed or neutered and vaccinated for free. The goal was to provide these communities with access to care that they wouldn’t otherwise have, not to mention the health benefits for the pets. Maddie’s Pet Project in Nevada joined forces with veterinarians and their teams, Nevada Humane Society and SPCA of Northern Nevada to successfully work with the communities of the Pyramid Paiute Tribe, Reno-Sparks Indian Colony and Lovelock. The thanks we received from the families whose lives we touched are immeasurable.

Saving Nevada’s Pets Conference. This one-day event for leaders and managers of Nevada animal shelters and rescue organizations was held Oct. 25 in Reno. More than 100 people representing 54 groups from across the state attended. This was the second conference of its type and the first held in Reno. The purpose was to promote networking, share best practices and cultivate leadership among animal welfare organizations. National speakers addressed attendees on such topics as how shelters can inspire change in communities with few resources, how to develop strong volunteer programs, and how to help people solve common behavior problems with their pets.

Though we can take pride as Maddie’s Pet Project in Nevada, all this work is not thanks to us. It’s thanks to the organizations that collaborate with us, the communities that support our efforts, and the people who cherish their pets as family. It’s especially thanks to Dave & Cheryl Duffield Foundation, a private charitable foundation based in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Without their funding, none of this would be happening.

It takes a village to say the least. Look at all of us in Nevada. We are coming together to help each other. We are not one group making a difference, we are many groups and individuals. We are bonded by our love of pets and the desire to set everyone up for success. We’re striving for good things. Let’s keep the momentum going.

Kimberly Wade is the campaign manager for Maddie’s Pet Project in Nevada, a new campaign to increase live release rates for dogs and cats in Nevada shelters and rescue organizations. She lives with her husband and their cats, one of which has an Instagram page to raise awareness for foster and adoption programs. Reach her at

Caption: Cooper, age two. Cooper is a likeable, entertaining fella who believes in going with the flow. He is friendly, social and curious. Good music, long naps and daily playtime makes his perfect day. He is available for adoption through Nevada Humane Society and would really love a home for the holidays. Contact the shelter at 775-856-2000 ext. 302 to meet Cooper today! Photo credit: Nevada Humane Society
Caption (top): Kimberly Wade and Newton