Community Involvement Saves Lives

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Nevada Humane Society
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

Our mission is to find homes and provide care for homeless animals and to bring people and animals together to make Washoe County a no-kill community.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Our mission at Nevada Humane Society is to save lives by providing care and finding homes for homeless dogs and cats. We do this by bringing people and animals together.

Over the past two years we have intensified our lifesaving focus and have found more homes than ever before which has resulted in great strides in our community-wide save rate. Already, Washoe County is one of the safest communities in the country for homeless pets. Now, we aim to take it the final distance so that we can guarantee a good home to every pet that can be saved. In doing so, not only will we be helping the animals and people of our community but also creating a model that will help other communities.

Community involvement has been key to our success in many ways, but none have been as important as the opening up of homes and hearts to adopting homeless pets. We needed to reach the community in a way that was inexpensive, but also immediately effective. We created innovative, fun adoption promotions. Since we had no budget for advertising and only a skeletal staff with no in-house graphic design expertise, in-house software tools were critical. Using Microsoft Publisher 2007, we were quickly able to create quality posters to advertise our adoption promotions and events throughout the community. These adoption promotions and posters have been featured at the Humane Society of the United States Pet Expo, Best Friends No More Homeless Pets Conference, and the National No-Kill Conference.

After creating the posters, we needed to find easy and inexpensive ways to distribute them. Once again Microsoft Publisher came to the rescue. We were able to send electronic copies of the posters via e-mail to our three-thousand plus volunteer list, asking them to distribute them at their workplaces, schools, churches, stores, and neighborhood businesses. The fun and appealing promotional posters made volunteers proud to distribute them for us. We also posted these colorful and informative posters on our website, as well as around our shelter.

Microsoft Publisher is easy to learn so that inexperienced staff could quickly become proficient. It offers many custom options to produce varied and detailed posters. By designing eye-catching and professional-looking posters, we were able to draw a dramatic number of visitors to the shelter which, in turn, led to increased adoptions.

The attached posters are samples of what our staff created using Microsoft Publisher 2007. We have two to four adoption events every month. Each flyer is tailored specifically for the promotion, matching the theme, and usually featuring photos of our own animals. Publisher’s built-in design features allow us to keep up with the ever-changing creative flow of ideas. For example, the Mardi Gras and Mother’s Day posters allow us to tag on to holiday themes for promotions. The Reno Balloon Races and Hot August Nights are local events we have tied into to promote the animals. The Great Orange Cat Rescue was the result of an eviction case that brought a large influx of cats and the poster campaign helped rally the community to help these animals. The flexible features make your product effective and easy to use. Best of all, the posters were highly effective.

The adoption results were remarkable. By the end of 2007, we found good homes for over 8,030 formerly homeless pets. The adoption rate increased 53% for dogs and 84% for cats, compared to 2006, a higher increase than any other community in the nation. The number of dogs and cats dying in animal shelters communitywide decreased 51%. We achieved a save rate of 92% for dogs and 78% for cats despite a per capita intake rate that was twice the national average, effectively making us one of the safest communities for homeless animals in the United States.

In 2008, the positive results continued. We found good homes for 8,635 formerly homeless pets and increased dog and cat adoptions another 9% over 2007. We decreased by another 10% the number of dogs and cats losing their lives in Washoe County animal shelters.

TechSoup and Microsoft has made quality tools such as Microsoft Publisher affordable to us. This one product has enabled Nevada Humane Society to make a huge difference for the animals of our community and the people who care about them. In a very short period of time, we made a dramatic lifesaving difference for thousands of dogs and cats.

We’re still working hard to save lives and Microsoft Publisher is still the key tool in sharing our message that every homeless animal deserves a loving home. Without it we would not have succeeded in inspiring the community to help make that goal a reality.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery