Think an adorable little puppy would make the perfect stocking stuffer this holiday season?
Lee and Tom Blomquist at the Silver Springs Spay-Neuter Project, despite having five adorable, "authentic indigenous Nevada trailer puppies" who need homes, are not so enthusiastic about Christmas puppies.
"What people need to do is think about it," said Lee Blomquist Saturday, taking a moment from her busy schedule as a dog and cat rescue worker to describe the problem of unrealistic, impulse pet buyers.
"It's like bunnies and chicks at Easter," she said. "Chicks grow up to be chickens, you know? And that cute little cuddly thing you paid for isn't there anymore."
Too often, says the state-licensed veterinary technician, these puppies end up in the back yard where nobody pays attention to them.
"Tom is fond of saying, 'They're not ceramic -- you can't just put them up on a shelf somewhere."
She says this time of year is especially sad because shelters are filling up with adolescent dogs -- and those are the hardest ones to adopt out.
If you really want to give a pet as a holiday gift, says Blomquist, start with a dog bowl and a few dog toys. That way the prospective owner expects the animal and can prepare for the responsibility of being a pet owner. After the holiday blitz, the two of you can go pick one out together.
The Blomquists will make the five, 8-week old puppies available for adoption right after Christmas. Their mother, who appears to have some Aussie in her, according to the Blomquists, was caring for them under a trailer in Mark Twain. They were living off macaroni and cheese until they were moved to a foster home.
Of course, these are not the only dogs being helped and re-homed at the Silver Springs Spay and Neuter Project.
Lee Blomquist helped Dr. Lisa Hayden in Yerington remove a bullet from a rottweiler named Freya on Friday. Freya is currently living in the shelter built for Rosie, who was found chained to an abandoned motor home off Kit Kat Road in Mound House in November. Rosie, now called Brandy, has found a loving home on four acres in Spanish Springs.
Unfortunately, due to limited funds and resources, the Blomquists are not able to help everyone.
"We don't have thousand of dollars to put out toward vet bills and we don't have a thousand of pounds of dog food," Lee said. "Of course, if more people were helping us we could help more people."
She said some people are uncomfortable giving money if they don't know where it's going. She explained that donations to help her and her husband's project can be made toward their accounts at Pet Chef Express on Roop Street, Critter Junction near Gottschalk's or at Benson's Feed on Highway 50.
If you do end up getting a "Christmas puppy" this year, make sure you get them spayed or neutered right away, she said.
"It makes for better pets."
Of course, it's not guaranteed to make them calmer.
"They don't call them Jack Russell Terrorists for nothing," she laughed.
YOU CAN HELP
Call: Pet Chef Express 841-5800
Critter Junction: 883-4559
Benson's Feed: 882-3999
Or check out the Silver Spring Spay-Neuter Project online: http://truckeesrest.tripod.com