Are you feeling stressed? Pet your pet

As the holidays approach, I’m feeling a little more anxious than usual. All the hustle and rushing of getting feasts ready, tree up and gifts sent. I don’t know about you, but it’s enough to make my head spin. That’s when I realized that petting Watson made me feel calm.

I figured it must just be me, but when I did a little research I found studies to back up my pet theory. In a recent study conducted by Washington State University, scientists found that playing with or petting an animal increases levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decreases production of the stress hormone cortisol. How great is that? I used to have a stress ball that I squeezed; now I just hug Watson, and stress is gone.

To my surprise there are numerous studies that support the theory that animals help reduce stress. Heart researchers found that the patients who recovered most quickly from a heart attack were people who owned animals. They also maintained their health longer.

In another study, researchers found that pet-owning patients with high blood pressure could keep lower readings during times of mental stress than patients without pets. I suspect they were petting their pets.

One school in Mesa, Ariz., has dogs in the classroom. The dogs are service dog dropouts who just couldn’t make the cut but are well-trained and gentle. The dogs perform the great service of listening.

Many of the readers at this school are reluctant, struggling readers. That is where the dogs come in. The students read to the dogs. They also pal around with the dogs throughout the day. To quote the principal, “You can always talk to the dog, and the dog is not going to judge you.”

So, I guess there are a lot of reasons to include animals in our lives. They don’t judge us, are always happy to see us, take us for walks and spend time napping or watching the football game with us. Gosh, I think I better go give Watson a treat for keeping me happy and healthy.


Folks who need their animals spay/neutered for free. Details are below. This is a limited time offer until the funds run out.

Aluminum cans. If you have cans to pick up, give us a call (775-423-7500) and we will come get them.


David, Faye, Lori and Mimi for the tender loving care you give to CAPS guests. You are the heart and soul of CAPS!


CAPS will be at Walmart on Dec. 14 with the Kissin’ Booth and a puckered-up pooch. Come by for a pooch smooch. Be sure to check out our merchandise after you get a pooch smooch! Don’t forget to get a CAPS 2020 calendar.


November Pet Holiday: National Take a Hike Month. Take your BFF for a stroll in the park!

CAPS is offering free spay/neutering through a grant from Maddie’s Fund.

This offer is good until funds run out. To qualify, you need to have one of the following: Medicaid, a child enrolled in NV Check Up Program, food stamps, 2018 tax return stating income is less than $30,000 or veteran’s disability card including a photo ID. Also required is a Churchill County ID. For more information, call CAPS at 775-423-7500.


CAPS’ mailing address is P.O. Box 5128, Fallon, Nev. 89407. CAPS’ phone number is 775-423-7500. CAPS’ email address is Please visit the CAPS website ( and Facebook page (Churchill Animal Protection Society). Be sure to “like” CAPS on Facebook because we are really likable.

CAPS is open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Kathleen Williams-Miller is a CAPS volunteer. Contact me,


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