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News 2003

SSSNP in the Press

Nevada Appeal

Column: Kurt Hildebrand

August 17, 2003
Tom Blomquist donned shorts and a tuxedo and started hitchhiking in order to make the point that Lyon County needs to make an effort to advertise outside the county to hire a new animal control officer.

Now that he successfully made his point, Tom is back trying to find homes for dogs.
"We still have two golden retriever, German wire-haired pointer pups we're trying to place," Tom said in a message Wednesday. "I found a book of dog heraldry and, in Latin, these dogs have a coat of arms, non disputar illegitimus."

My Latin is pretty rusty, but it sounds like these dogs may have a little trouble tracing their lineage.


Blomquist calls Lyon's job search `unacceptable`

Sandi Wright

8/1/2003 10:47 pm




Lisa J.Tolda/Lisa J.Tolda
Animal rights activist Tom Blomquist dons shorts and a tuxedo as he tries to hitchhike from Mound House to Yeringtons city hall Friday.





Wearing shorts and a tuxedo, Tom Blomquist set out to hitchhike from Mound House to Yerington City Hall Friday to call out Lyon Countys failure to hire a new Animal Services supervisor.

Blomquist, director of the Silver Springs Spay-Neuter Project, claims Lyon County officials arent doing enough to fill the position vacated in April when Dan Rodgers resigned.

We need someone with the training and background to bring this animal control department up to par, Blomquist said.

Acting animal services supervisor Rick Smith, a candidate for the position, said he has been advised to refer all questions to the county manager.

But he confirmed that, to the best of his knowledge, the county had advertised only in two local newspapers and one national publication an effort Blomquist called unacceptable.

Thats not my idea of advertising, he said.

But County Commissioner Phyllis Honeywell said commissioners already have asked County Manager Stephen Snyder to do a more extensive search.

We got quite a few phone calls from people that have voiced the same opinions as Tom, so we wanted them to know were listening, Honeywell said.

We asked the manager at our last meeting to be more extensive in his search and look outside the immediate area. I dont know how far hes gotten with that or what the application deadline is, but we were advised there are quite a few people whove contacted us from outside the county, she said.

Snyder could not be reached Friday.

Blomquist, a full-time banquet waiter in Reno, said he and his wife Lee started the Silver Springs Spay and Neuter project in 1996.

Blomquist said he also is upset with the handling of stray dogs. State law requires any dog 4 months or older be spayed or neutered prior to adoption a practice he claims is not consistently followed in Lyon County, he said.

They are ignoring the spay-neuter laws. We need someone who understands the NRS statutes. If I knew my catechism as well as I know my NRS 574, Id be the Bishop, he said.

If I tell them theyre violating the law, they need to listen to me. I lobbied for that law. If a dog escapes, it breeds, he said.

To demonstrate his sincerity, Blomquist said he is selling memorabilia from his personal collection to help the county with advertising costs including an autographed copy by former President Richard Nixon of his book, Six Crises a Confederate $10 bill and a Civil War powder horn.

Lee Blomquist said Friday evening that her husband got a ride as far as Silver Springs about 20 miles but had to forego the remaining 40 miles due to an emergency involving a trapped cat.

When you have an animal emergency, there really isnt a choice as to whats more important, she said.

Copyright 2002 The Reno Gazette-Journal





Nevada Appeal
Kurt Hildebrand
July 13, 2003
Tom Blomquist called and said he managed to give away eight of 11 puppies at PetSmart last week.

He says he still has three of the half AKC golden retriever dogs.

For $125 anyone adopting the dogs will get two months free insurance, spay or neutering, training by Guy Yeaman, a microchip and registration and a few added benefits.

"A guaranteed improvement in people's blood pressure and a cure for baldness," Tom says. "These dogs are so smart that they practically house train themselves."

Anyone interested can contact Tom at the Silver Springs Spay-Neuter Project at 577-3518 or e-mail them at


It's all about the animals for veterinary technician

By Patrick Abanathy

5/19/2003 07:36 pm

One thing many people will be able to claim at some time or another in their life is the title of pet owner.

When their lovable animals become ill or injured, it is only natural that people rely on professionals like veterinary technician Lee Blomquist for help.

Describing herself as an animal R.N., Blomquist has officially been on staff at the Yerington Veterinary Hospital since January.

Licensed by the State of Nevada, some of her duties include administering shots, cleaning instruments, trimming toenails and preparing animals for surgery.

I get to do a lot of stuff the normal layperson couldnt do, she said.

Also, she is qualified to handle lab work; however, in the absence of an onsite lab, she has not had the opportunity to practice this skill since her vet tech work in Carson City.

Born and raised in Jackson, Calif., Blomquist says the desire to work in a veterinary office stems from childhood; however, she joined the army out of high school where she achieved the rank of staff sergeant stationed in Washington, D.C.

She later spent 20 years working for the U.S. Postal Service before receiving her opportunity to become a vet tech.

Although she has been practicing as a vet tech for seven years, her license has been official for only about three after the state began requiring licensing for the profession.

Along with her work in Yerington, Blomquist works with her husband of 11 years, Tom, co-directing the Silver Springs Spay-Neuter project in their hometown.

Also, she is currently chairman of the Lyon County Animal Control Advisory Board.

In fact, it was by query of a fellow board member, Lisa Hayden, where she found her new job at the Yerington Veterinary Hospital.

When not at work, she enjoys quilting, weaving, reading and even pet sitting. Some of her quilts are given away in drawings and she contributed two squares to a Sept.11 memorial quilt.

As for the future, Blomquist plans to remain in the area. The politics and friendliness of the people remind her of her childhood town, she said.

Those who would like to reach Blomquist in reference to the Silver Springs Spay-Neuter Project, may call (775) 577-3518.

Patrick Abanathy is a staff writer for the Leader-Courier and the Mason Valley News, sister Gannett newspapers.

Copyright 2002 The Reno Gazette-Journal

Nevada Appeal

Animal activist takes issue with county over numbers


By Jill Keller, Appeal Staff Writer
February 11, 2003

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A Silver Springs animal activist hopes the Lyon County Animal Control Advisory Board will listen to his concerns about county practices Wednesday.

Continuing his quest to have county animal-control practices reviewed, Tom Blomquist, owner of the Silver Springs Spay-Neuter Project, said numbers provided recently to the county about stray dogs are incorrect.

He also claims the county is not following state law when it allows dogs to be adopted before they are spayed or neutered.

County animal control officer Nonie Higley said that since the county began letting residents adopt dogs with the requirement that the pets be fixed within two weeks, the county has had to euthanize 86 percent fewer animals.

"Everything is done completely to the letter of the law," Higley said. "When you bring in six dogs a day and only adopt out two a day, something has to give somewhere."

The county system allows the shelter to "find warm, loving homes, instead of putting them to sleep," Higley said. Written paperwork is required from veterinarians and new owners following the adoption within two weeks.

Blomquist is not convinced the shelter is following the law and has asked the county district attorney for an explanation. He has not yet received a written explanation, he said.

Blomquist plans to attend the advisory board meeting Wednesday to ask them to audit the animal control department.

"Myself and many other people are very uncomfortable with what's happening out there," Blomquist said.

The advisory board lacks the power to call for an investigation, but makes recommendations to county commissioners, said board member Johnye Saylor.


What: Animal Control Advisory Board of Lyon County regular meeting

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: McAtee Building, Fort Churchill, Silver Springs

Nevada Appeal 
By Kurt Hildebrand
January 19, 2003
I have to acknowledge the only person to consistently navigate my voice mail to leave me regular reports about the Silver Springs Spay & Neuter Project.

Tom Blomquist calls me once a week with items of interest from Silver Springs. This week he said a litter of puppies, which he suspects to be

genuine Nevada trailer dogs, will be fixed and get all their shots for $50.

Rosie the Rottweiler has undergone her last surgery and may get back out in public soon. Anyone who can help with the project should contact Tom at 577-3518.

Kurt Hildebrand is former managing editor of the Nevada Appeal. Reach him at 887-2430, ext.402 or e-mail him at