Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Gabbs dogs have arrived in Reno!

Posted by Shannon Asquith, UAN Director of Field Services, who is on site in Reno.

In the 10 plus years I have worked and volunteered in the animal protection field, I’ve never had a day when I have worked so hard and yet felt so thrilled about accomplishing so much for the animals -- until now!

Having monitored the situation in Gabbs for a few months now, I was more than ready to join the team effort to finally take all of the dogs off of the ranch for good. And what a team effort it was! Yesterday, I joined staff from The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the Yerington Animal Shelter, the Nevada Humane Society and the ranch owners to load up and transport a total of 58 dogs.

UAN's Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) team is now caring for 27 of the shyest dogs at our temporary shelter in Reno, in a building donated by the Nevada Humane Society. The other 31 dogs were transported to receiving shelters in northern California, including the Sacramento SPCA, Peninsula Humane Society and Contra Costa County Animal Services, whose staff will coordinate transfers to local rescue groups. A big thanks to Paul Bruce of HSUS for working so hard to coordinate these transfers and the collaborative effort among the groups!

After less than 24 hours in our “new digs," everyone is settling in quite nicely! When we arrived, we placed the crates directly into the dog runs, giving the dogs a nice little place to sleep and feel protected. They also have blankets, treats and plenty of wet and dry food. This afternoon, a Nevada Humane veterinarian checked all of the dogs and gave them rabies and DHPP vaccinations.

Joe, pictured here with me, and his brother Moe are sharing a run and quickly getting used to their new lifestyle. Joe has already had three meals today and was seen by the vet for an injury to his ear that he had when he left Gabbs. The ear is healing fine and I think he is now ready for dinner.

“The Girls," as we have named a gang of three female Lab mixes, are also adjusting quite well. They are always very interested when Lead EARS volunteer Janell Matthies (from Sacramento, California) stands outside their run, anticipating another treat. I will try to post a photo of The Girls tomorrow...

And, by the way, we have no shortage of treats for our friends from Gabbs! The Nevada Humane Society recently received a 53-foot trailer full of donated dog treats and biscuits that they are happy to share with us.

In the same collaborative spirit, Michelle Besmehn, Manager for Best Friends' Dogtown Program, is happy to help our volunteers with their efforts to socialize the dogs by providing over-the-phone behavior consultations to Lead EARS volunteer Janell Matthies. You may have seen Michelle on The National Geographic Channel’s new series, Dogtown.

Thanks to the dedication of UAN's EARS volunteers and others, these very special dogs who have never known the warmth of a cozy bed, the smell of a grass yard or a scratch behind the ear now have a chance at a new life!

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