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Animal services fire rescue efforts rewarded with donations, home-made pies

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Several northern Nevada residents are expressing their appreciation for the efforts made by Washoe County Regional Animal Services during the recent Washoe Drive Fire through letters, donations and even a couple of home-made pies.

Mark and Nancy Henker of Minden donated $500 in memory of Nancy’s mother Dora. According to Nancy, her mother loved animals and they wanted to offer a donation in her memory as a way to recognize Animal Services staff and volunteers for their “awesome job, hard work and attitude” during the fire.

Pleasant Valley resident Janet Cook and family also sent a donation, accompanied by home-made peach and blueberry pies.

Cook said Animals Services helped rescue her family’s horses, llamas, chickens and goose as the fire threatened their neighborhood and they wanted to show their gratitude with something more personal than a “thank you” card.

“When something like this happens it dawns on you just how much Animal Services does for us,” she said. “They braved all sorts of dangers to get out and collect critters in the midst of that fire. They certainly deserve some pie for that.”

Staff and volunteers from Animal Services worked in heavy smoke and winds to evacuate over 100 animals from Washoe and Pleasant Valleys during the fire. They also cared for the many animals housed in the evacuation center at the Reno Livestock Events Center until it was safe for them to return home.

New Animal Services Manager Barry Brode had only been on the job for a few days when the fire broke out. He said he was amazed by the professional, proactive and clear-headed response by the staff and by Animal Rescue Team volunteers from the Sheriff’s Citizens Emergency Response Team program.

“Animal Services constantly trains and practices for events like this,” Brode said. “During the Washoe Fire they exceeded all expectations. They did their job and they did it very well.”

Donations will go to the Animal Services’ Injured Animal Fund.

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office celebrated 150 years of proud service and community partnership in 2011. Sheriff Michael Haley is the 24th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County. His office continues to be the only full service public safety agency operating within northern Nevada and is responsible for operating the consolidated detention facility, regional crime lab, Northern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center, Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, court security, service of civil process and traditional street patrols.

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