CAPS: Is your BFF crying for joy?

Maxxy is a seven-month-old domestic short hair tabby. He loves to play and enjoys being petted while sitting on a lap. He likes everyone including other cats.

Maxxy is a seven-month-old domestic short hair tabby. He loves to play and enjoys being petted while sitting on a lap. He likes everyone including other cats.
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Dear Reader, I just finished reading Starry Messenger by Neil deGrasse Tyson and I found his observations on how humans communicate with other species spot on. According to deGrasse Tyson, humans are just now discovering the sophisticated emotions and thought processes of other species.

Recently, research on the cognitive powers of dogs has questioned the role of tears in dogs. Dogs do not cry the same way humans do, even though they experience emotions that include love, happiness, joy, grief, sadness, and loyalty. Sad feelings will not prompt the tears to flow.

They have many ways to express their feelings, but crying tears is not necessarily an expression of sadness. Some signs that your BFF is sad may include lack of energy, squinty eyes, and whining.

A 2022 study found that tear volume increased in dogs when they reunited with their owners, and it was due to increased levels of oxytocin (aka the love hormone). Happy tears include body wiggles, tail wagging, eye contact, and face licking.

Dogs have tear ducts that function to keep their eyes comfortable and clear. These ducts drain back into the nasal cavity rather than dripping from the eye. If your dog has over abundant tears, there could be big problems. Check carefully for eye infection, discharge, or surface damage.

Because dogs are emotionally intelligent, they read the feelings of their people and often they mirror those feelings. Whether you associate crying with sadness or happiness, dogs have their own ways of expressing those emotions beyond shedding tears. Learning your BFF’s style of communication is one-step closer to understanding what they need.



CAPS is in quarantine for dogs until after Feb. 5. We cannot accept or place dogs in homes until the quarantine is over. There is no quarantine on cats.


We have five adorable five- to seven-month-old puppies – one girl and four boys.

We also have seven fluffy kittens ages five to eight months – four boys and three girls in a rainbow of colors. All our babies need foster homes. Call 775-7500 for details.


  • Dog walkers! We desperately need volunteers to walk and socialize our dogs. Call 775-423-7500 for details.
  • Fancy Feast kitten wet food.
  • Cat litter (clump) for our guests’ comfort.
  • Aluminum cans. We will pick up your cans; give us a call at 775-423-7500. You can also drop them off at CAPS.



  • Lahontan Elementary School for a generous donation. All tails are wagging for you!
  • Our volunteers who walk dogs even in the bitter cold. A four-paw-applause!


The Fallon Elks number 2239 are sponsoring a chili cook-off on Feb. 11. The doors open at 10 a.m. and judging is at noon. A donation to CAPS is the entrance fee and all proceeds will go to CAPS. Bring your best chili to warm up a chilly day. Call 775-428-1366 for details.

CAPS is open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. We suggest appointments for adoptions and food pantry.


  • February Holiday: National Cat Health Month
  • You can sponsor an adoption by paying part or full adoption fees.
  • Due to rising costs in shelter and veterinary care, we have adjusted our adoption fees. Dog adoptions are $150 for female $125 for male. Cat adoptions are $100 for female $80 for male. All adoptees are healthy, spayed/neutered, chipped, and have all necessary shots.
  • If you would like a newsletter, call 775-423-7500 or email
  • CAPS’ mailing address is P.O. Box 5128, Fallon, NV 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 likeable.
  • Over the Rainbow: If you would like your pet remembered send his/her name and a short description to Kathleen Williams-Miller, a CAPS volunteer, at


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