Washoe County Regional Animal Services – Spring Newsletter 2024


This quarter we are sharing a few exciting updates, some great information, tail wagging statistics, and some great stories!

Keeping Our Parks Safe: Tips for Preventing Dog Altercations

As the spring sun brings more daylight, our furry companions eagerly beckon us to our scenic parks for sniffs and socializing. However, a recent unfortunate incident at the Rancho San Rafael off-leash dog area serves as a sobering reminder about safety during these activities. Two dogs engaged in a fight, resulting in tragic consequences.

How can we prevent such tragedies? WCRAS offers these non-lethal tactics to break up dog fights:

Firstly, it’s important to acknowledge the inherent risk in off-leash and dog park areas. Dogs should be well-socialized and under owners’ control, whether on or off-leash. Consider bringing tools to assist in diffusing altercations:

  • Audible tools like air horns or whistles to grab attention
  • A walking stick for separation
  • Pepper spray to disrupt a confrontation
  • An open umbrella to startle and disengage dogs

Additionally, consider segregating dogs by size to minimize conflicts. Keeping large dogs in their designated areas and small dogs in theirs, as Link Piazzo park was designed, can help avoid altercations with an obvious underdog.

The days are getting warmer and we are seeing more calls about pets being left in cars. Pets left in cars, even on 60 degree days or with the windows cracked, can suffer heatstroke and possibly death.

If you see a pet in a car on a warm day, call Animal Services 775-322-3647 to report it. Animal Services will dispatch an officer to the location right away!

Do not ever leave your pet in the car on a warm day, not only can you seriously harm your pet, but you will also receive a $600 fine.


🐈 What are Community Cats? 🐈

Community Cats is a catch all term for feral and stray cats who live outdoors and are generally unowned. While they may not be socialized to humans, they are an integral part of our communities.
Many outdoor and community cats are microchipped. If you are unsure if a cat is part of a community cat colony or is an outdoor explorer who belongs to one of your neighbors, make a plan to scan! Scanning for a microchip can help identify if the kitty has a local owner. There are many self-service microchip scanning stations located around town or you can have us scan them at WCRAS.
Want to learn more about community cats and how you can support them? Visit our website for information and resources: Washoeanimals.com/community-cats

WCRAS Receives New Lifesaving Trailers: Ready to Roll in Times of Crisis!

Thanks to a generous grant from the Department of Homeland Security, we’re proud to introduce not one, but TWO self-contained emergency evacuation trailers!
These state-of-the-art trailers are more than just vehicles—they’re our newest frontline heroes in safeguarding furry friends during emergencies!
From natural disasters to large-scale hoarding cases, we’re ready to roll out these mobile sanctuaries at a moment’s notice.
Equipped with onboard generators for heating and cooling, running water, and stocked with all the essentials to care for displaced pets, these trailers are a game-changer in our mission to protect and care for animals in need.
Curious to learn more about how to prepare you and your pets for emergencies? Head to our website to learn more:  https://www.washoecounty.gov/animal/field_services/disaster.php

New Microchip Scanning Stations: More Locations, More Reunions!

Not one but TWO new microchip scanning stations have been added to help reunite lost pets in our community! Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD) has added a new microchip scanning station at Fire Station 42 in Cold Springs, located at 3680 Diamond Peak Drive, and an additional microchip scanning station was added to the new Pet Station store in Downtown Reno at 299 E. Plumb Lane! 

The public can take found pets to any station to scan them for a microchip, lookup the microchip registry, and contact the registry who can help put the finder in touch with the pet owner!

A full map of all 12 microchip scanning stations that are available for public use can be found at HelpingPetsHome.com!

Tail Tallies: Unleashing the Purr-fect Numbers! 🐾

Dive into the fascinating statistics from this quarter at Animal Services and get ready to be wowed by our whisker-worthy metrics from January – March 2024!

Pet Resources

Vaccination clinics

Having updated vaccinations is important for all pets in our community; Animal Services offers a vaccination clinic at our office on the first Wednesday of every month from 3:00pm – 7:00pm.  Appointments generally take about 15 minutes and most vaccines are only $10 each!  Click here to make an appointment!

Free Microchipping

Microchips are a permanent form of identification for your pet to help them get home! Bring your pet to Animal Services anytime Monday-Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm or Saturday 9:00am – 3:00pm and our staff will microchip your pet and register your microchip for free!


Free pet food for local seniors

On the third Tuesday of the month, Animal Services, in partnership with SPCA of Northern Nevada, will be at Washoe County Senior Services to provide free pet food to local seniors with pets. Every month we provide about 1,500 pounds of pet food to local seniors with pets!

Public Microchip Scanning Stations

Want to help keep a lost pet out of the shelter? With 12 public stations setup across Washoe County, you can now scan any found pet for a microchip and contact the microchip company to help you reunite the pet! You help a pet and save valuable space at the shelter for pets that truly need to be here. Talk about a win-win! For more info check out our lost and found page. 

Dog Licensing

A license to help them get home, and to follow the law? Now that’s a two-fur deal! Whether you are purchasing your first annual dog license or have been licensing your dog with us for years there’s no time like the present to get your pup licensed!

Get your license now at Washoe.docupet.com

Update your contact info

Does Animal Services know who to contact if we find your pet? Having updated contact information is vital to helping us reunite pets with their families. If your information has changed please help us update our files by completing this simple online form. You can also email us at Pets@washoecounty.gov or stop by our office.

Happy Tail:

Microchip Miracle: Julius the cat’s long awaited reunion

Julius the cat disappeared 7 years ago, but guess who was brought to WCRAS recently? You guessed it,  Julius! Thanks to his microchip, he’s back with his family. Microchipping isn’t sci-fi, folks! It’s real. 
If you think microchipping your cat isn’t worth it, think again! It only takes one moment for a cat to go missing and a microchip may be the only thing that can help us get them back to you.
Animal Services offers free walk-in microchipping for Washoe County Residents. Bring your cat or dog by today for your FREE microchip!

Kudos Corner!

Shout out to one of our newest Officers, David Hogg! He responded to a call where a dog was in trouble. The dog was stranded on the other side of a rushing creek. Officer Hogg navigated the dirt roads to reach the other side and rescued the elderly dog, who was struggling to walk. Officer Hogg’s quick thinking and determination ensured the dog’s safety. This sweet old lady was reunited with her family the very next day!

See you next quarter with more news and updates!