It’s the law

CAPS Mission Statement: “Our mission is to find permanent, caring homes for the cats and dogs in our care, to reduce the number of unwanted litters by educating the residents of Churchill County on the importance and benefits of spaying and neutering, to rescue adoptable cats and dogs from Fallon Animal Control, and to educate the public on companion animal welfare issues and alternatives to cat and dog surrender.”

Basically, CAPS’ mission is no-more-unwanted-pets while trying to find forever homes for those dogs and cats who no longer have a home. Although pets may arrive at traditional animal shelters (municipal shelters) for “legit” reasons (for example, an owner dies, and there is no one to care for the pet), the largest percentage of unwanted pets are the offspring of unwanted litters.

In the aftermath of puppy and kitten seasons, traditional shelters are overflowing with the cutest, most adorable critters that you’ve ever seen! Then, if they haven’t been adopted by a certain time, they are euthanized because nobody wants them. This occurs in thousands of shelters every day in this country.

To help end these useless deaths in Churchill County, CAPS has helped many pet owners with the cost of spaying/neutering their family pets (dogs and cats). CAPS is the only Churchill County animal group, private or public, who maintains an operating facility, keeps their “guests” up to date on vaccinations and strictly follows NRS 574.600–660: spaying/neutering a dog or cat before the adoption takes place. So, if you adopt a dog or cat from any shelter and the pet has not been “altered,” that shelter may have broken the law.

I say “may” because, according to The Humane Society of the United States, the Nevada spay/neuter requirement can be fulfilled in one of two ways: (1) The pet is spayed/neutered before adoption (with one exception: pets who are under four months old), or (2) the adopter consents to have the pet spayed/neutered, signs an agreement specifying a deadline date for surgery and pays a deposit (

Who must abide by this requirement? “All public shelters, non-profits or other organizations that adopt out pets or prevent cruelty” ( If the adopter has contractually promised to spay/neuter the adopted pet, he or she must notify the adopting organization within two weeks after the surgery that the contract is fulfilled.

If the adopter fails to meet the requirements, he or she may be fined triple the deposit and/or the shelter can reclaim the pet. Note how the penalty falls on the adopter, not the shelter in question. So, besides saving future litters from being destroyed, spaying/neutering your pet will avoid possible hefty fines and relinquishment of a pet who you may have come to adore.

For further details, go to, scroll down to Title 50 and click Chapter 574. When that page opens, the information you’re seeking is in 574.600 – 660. For more information about our low-cost spay/neuter program, please call the shelter (775-423-7500) during these times: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

As final notes to this week’s column, we are still seeking items for our garage sale on Sept. 19 – 20. CAPS volunteers will again be at Taylor Place Storage (at 1105 Taylor Place, the street next to Walmart), unit 82A, from 9-11 a.m. tomorrow (and on Aug. 16 and 23) to receive your donations.

Can’t make it on those dates, are housebound or have items too big to handle? All you need to do is call Rita Hand, and she will schedule a pickup for you (home: 775-423-6346; cell: 775-427-3376). Should Rita not immediately take your call, please leave a message, and she will return your call as soon as she can.

Also, while you’re out and about this weekend, please stop by Flower Tree Nursery to buy raffle tickets for their latest contribution to CAPS: a 15-gallon stunning sycamore tree with a retail value of $89.99! Tickets are $1 each or six for $5, and all proceeds directly benefit our shelter guests. The drawing will be held on Labor Day at Flower Tree, and you don’t need to be present to win.

This week’s article was contributed by Betty Duncan, a CAPS volunteer.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment