Busy Weekend At Nevada Humane Society

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Imagine having to drive over an hour just to take your pet to a veterinarian. That's what people living in Hawthorne have been dealing with for years, but one woman and a group of volunteers are trying to change that.

Yvonne Downs is the Director of The Humane Society in Hawthorne, which is a good thing, considering The Humane Society operates out of her garage. But recently, she managed to expand those services, with help from nearly 100 volunteers.

The Nevada Humane Society in Reno was a little bit more crowded during the last weekend in March. That's because volunteers were transporting 180 cats and dogs from Hawthorne to be spayed and neutered.

"It's just been a huge event," says Downs. "With so many people participating and making this happen."

Downs started this project by taking the 60 cats living in her garage on a 130-mile drive to Reno. Buses filled with other animals would soon follow, including one driven by Hawthorne mechanic John Tommila, who gave up his day off to help out.

"It just makes sense," says Tommila. "By doing this spay and neuter clinic, they can prevent hundreds of unwanted animals."

Several veterinarians from Reno, Carson City and Yerington also came in on their days off. Most of them worked 15 hours on Saturday and followed it up with a 12 hour shift on Sunday.

"It's been awesome," says Annie Calamusa, a Veterinary Technical Assistant. "The animals have been very good. It's been a really rewarding experience."

Downs is also raising money on the side for the Hawthorne Humane Society. She's received checks from Petco and the National Humane Society and will be auctioning off a guitar autographed by the Doobie Brothers for additional funding.