Column: Kurt Hildebrand
December 29, 2002
Tom Blomquist of the Silver Springs Spay-Neuter Project says he found a litter of genuine
Nevada trailer dogs last week.
"It is a fact that the more trailers they are born near or under and the number of abandoned
vehicles in the vicinity can verify the authenticity of the Nevada trailer dog," he said.
In this case the puppies
were found within spitting distance of no fewer than seven abandoned vehicles.
"These are great puppies," he said.
"Any dog is a teachable animal and the mother dog is a real sweetheart."
Tom realizes that the number of homes available
to dogs is limited.
"Homes are finite, dogs aren't," he said. "Our only answer is aggressive spay and neutering."
Article published December 22, 2002
Think twice before you get that Christmas puppy
Think an adorable little puppy would make the perfect stocking stuffer this holiday season?
Tom Blomquist at the Silver Springs Spay-Neuter Project, despite having five adorable, "authentic indigenous Nevada trailer
puppies" who need homes, are not so enthusiastic about Christmas puppies.
"What people need to do is think about it,"
said Lee Blomquist Saturday, taking a moment from her busy schedule as a dog and cat rescue worker to describe the problem
of unrealistic, impulse pet buyers.
"It's like bunnies and chicks at Easter," she said. "Chicks grow up to be chickens,
you know? And that cute little cuddly thing you paid for isn't there anymore."
Too often, says the state-licensed veterinary
technician, these puppies end up in the back yard where nobody pays attention to them.
"Tom is fond of saying, 'They're
not ceramic -- you can't just put them up on a shelf somewhere."
She says this time of year is especially sad because
shelters are filling up with adolescent dogs -- and those are the hardest ones to adopt out.
If you really want to
give a pet as a holiday gift, says Blomquist, start with a dog bowl and a few dog toys. That way the prospective owner expects
the animal and can prepare for the responsibility of being a pet owner. After the holiday blitz, the two of you can go pick
one out together.
The Blomquists will make the five, 8-week old puppies available for adoption right after Christmas.
Their mother, who appears to have some Aussie in her, according to the Blomquists, was caring for them under a trailer in
Mark Twain. They were living off macaroni and cheese until they were moved to a foster home.
Of course, these are not
the only dogs being helped and re-homed at the Silver Springs Spay and Neuter Project.
Lee Blomquist helped Dr. Lisa
Hayden in Yerington remove a bullet from a rottweiler named Freya on Friday. Freya is currently living in the shelter built
for Rosie, who was found chained to an abandoned motor home off Kit Kat Road in Mound House in November. Rosie, now called
Brandy, has found a loving home on four acres in Spanish Springs.
Unfortunately, due to limited funds and resources,
the Blomquists are not able to help everyone.
"We don't have thousand of dollars to put out toward vet bills and we
don't have a thousand of pounds of dog food," Lee said. "Of course, if more people were helping us we could help more people."
said some people are uncomfortable giving money if they don't know where it's going. She explained that donations to help
her and her husband's project can be made toward their accounts at Pet Chef Express on Roop Street, Critter Junction near
Gottschalk's or at Benson's Feed on Highway 50.
If you do end up getting a "Christmas puppy" this year, make sure you
get them spayed or neutered right away, she said.
"It makes for better pets."
Of course, it's not guaranteed
to make them calmer.
"They don't call them Jack Russell Terrorists for nothing," she laughed.
By Kurt Hildebrand
December 8, 2002
B'sghetti's was packed on Monday for the Capitol City Humane Society dinner.
Young, Betty Horrocks and Tom Blomquist organized the event with the help of restaurant owner Scott Doerr.
people lined up for spaghetti, sauce and salad in support of the animals.
Young Lea Cartwright aided Blomquist in drawing
prizes for the raffle, which included a big stuffed gorilla, books and other donated items.
Rosie makes appearance at Humane Society fund-raiser
By Karl Horeis, email@example.com
December 2, 2002
Rosie the Rottweiler,
found chained to a motor home in Mound House last month, will make an appearance tonight at the Capital City Humane Society
fund-raiser dinner at B'Sghetti's Restaurant.
"She is doing fine," says Tom Blomquist of the Silver Springs Spay and
Neuter Project. Rosie will give paw-print "autographs" at the dinner.
She was found chained to an abandoned motor home
off Kit Kat Road in Lyon County. With eight puppies wandering around her, her eyes were so infected, they were swollen closed.
the Rosie coming to dinner Monday is a new dog, thanks to Kathi Unruh, who found her, and Lee and Tom Blomquist, who cared
for her. The Blomquists spent $400 on a dog run for Rosie and her puppies. She has healed from eye surgery and been adopted
into a new home -- as have all her puppies.
Rosie will be called Brandy by her new owners in Silver Springs.
love her," said Blomquist of the couple. "They love her."
Tonight's dinner is the main fund-raiser of the Capital City
Humane Society, according to Blomquist. The funds will not go to the Silver Springs Spay and Neuter Project, but that doesn't
worry Tom Blomquist.
"Anything that helps animals is helping us," he said. He described how Isabel Young of the Humane
Society gave $200 to the effort to save Rosie after she heard what happened. Now that Young is working to develop an animal
shelter in east Carson City, Blomquist is eager to help her out.
"I really hope that she and her group can be successful
in getting a shelter," he said.
Since 1995, the Blomquists have helped spay and neuter animals and nurse many back
to health. Their Silver Springs property is home to 20 dogs and nine cats.
The Humane Society dinner will include two
kinds of Italian pasta and three sauces: no-neat marinara, meat marinara and alfredo. Also served will be salad with Italian
dressing, garlic bread and wine.
The dinner is at 5:30 p.m., and tickets are $12.
For more information about
Rosie, call the Silver Springs Spay-Neuter Project at 577-3518 or the Carson City Humane Society at 841-1911.
New pup to get behind the wheel
By Kurt Hildebrand
People love a happy ending and it sounds like there was one for
Rosie the Rottweiler, found tied to an abandoned motor home earlier this month.
Rosie's plight appeared on Page 3 the
Nevada Appeal on Nov. 15.
According to Tom Blomquist of the Silver Springs Spay and Neuter Project, Rosie and her litter
are on their way to happy recovery.
Rosie has received needed eye surgery and as of Tuesday and had found a home with
a couple. One of her nine puppies was adopted by a cross-country trucker.
It turns out that Rosie herself will make
an appearance at Monday's Capital City Humane Society dinner and fund-raiser at B'Sghetti's.
Tom says she will be providing
paw print autographs. The dinner is 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $12. Call 841-1911 for information. For more about the Spay
and Neuter project, call 577-3518.
Article published November 15, 2002
Silver Springs shelter needs home for Rosie
Jill Keller, Appeal Staff Writer
Kathi Unruh found this Rottweiler chaine to an abandoned motor home along
with eight puppies. Six puppies have been adopted, but the mother and other two puppies are being cared for by the Silver
Springs Spay-Neuter Project until they find homes. Brian Corley
A Silver Springs humane shelter
for injured and abandoned animals needs to find a home for one of its newest visitors.
Rosie was found chained to an
abandoned motor home off Kit Kat Road in Lyon County last week by a local worker. With eight puppies scattered about, the
Rottweiler had no water or food and was suffering from eye infections.
"I was just in utter shock," said Kathi Unruh.
"When I talk about it, I still get really stressed."
Unruh first called the Lyon County Animal Shelter and was told
that if the county responded the puppies would be euthanized, she said. Fearing the worst, Unruh then called Tom and Lee Blomquist
at the Silver Springs Spay-Neuter Project who responded to care for the dog within an hour.
The couple brought food,
water and medical care for Rosie and her puppies. Six of the puppies were adopted before the couple took Rosie and the remaining
two puppies to their home.
The Blomquists spent $400 to build a dog run for Rosie and her puppies and are nursing her
back to health. The unexpected cost caused Tom Blomquist to be late on the mortgage, but he said it was worth it.
the end of life, I'd rather know that we did something to save Rosie and the pups," Tom Blomquist said.
be ready for a home in two to three weeks, after she is fully healed.
Since 1995, the couple has helped spay and neuter
animals and nurse many back to health. The Silver Springs property is now home to 20 dogs and nine cats, several who are blind,
deaf and diabetic.
The couple pays most of the costs out of their own pockets but is always looking for donations.
"We're going to do it with or without anybody's help," Tom Blomquist said.
For more information about Rosie, call the
Silver Springs Spay-Neuter Project at 577-3518.
Article published October 27, 2002
Letter serves as reminder to suport animal project
I received a letter from 12-year-old Lea Cartwright, who read about the theft of the two collection
boxes belonging to Silver Springs Spay and Neuter Project.
Lea is no stranger to the project. She lives nearby and
visits the animals all the time.
"The money in those boxes could have fed Duke, my dog's friend, or bought a toy for
Cleo-catra," she wrote.
The project helped Lea get her animals spayed and has been working to spay and neuter strays
and other pets in the area. She has a new puppy, Phobe.
Lea is an eighth-grader at Silver Stage Middle School and said
she hopes that some big companies looking for a charity consider the project.
Anyone interested in helping out can
contact Tom Blomquist at the Spay and Neuter Project. His number is 577-3518.
By Kurt Hildebrand
October 13, 2002
My animal folks are both planning fund-raisers in the near future.
of the Capital City Humane Society says the annual Paws in the Park will be Nov. 9 at Riverside Park. Tom Blomquist of the
Silver Springs Spay and Neuter Project is cooking up a non-event to raise money for the shelter.
"Isabel and I are
working on some joint fund-raisers," he said. "I'm thinking of doing a non-event. We could try to get Tom Baker not to show
up. We could even do a skit where we try to teach Isabel how to say the word Nevada."
Speaking of cooking,
Tom said he picked up top honors at the Stew Doo, last weekend.
"My goal was just to make a stew that didn't embarrass
us and I ended up winning the darn thing."
Article published September 29, 2002
Thieves deserve to be in the doghouse
Hildebrand, Sunday columnist
The people who walked off with two of the Spay and Neuter Project's collection
boxes ought to be in the doghouse.
In fact, the boxes look like doghouses and are placed at businesses through Carson
and the Dayton Valley corridor.
Spay and Neuter Project operator Tom Blomquist is a proud guy. He's managed to operate
a no-kill shelter on donations and the money he and his wife earn. Tom works late shifts as a waiter in Reno to bring home
enough money to insure the 20 dogs and nine cats that would otherwise be put down get a new lease on life.
think I would still be waiting tables at my age," said the 53-year-old. "I've always made my living in the saloon business."
Tom's tokes go to help support the animals he and wife, Lee, keep on the property.
The two boxes were taken from Piper's
Casino and an area Pizza Parlor.
"They don't bring in much money," Tom said. "But a few dollars help."
heard from Tom about Cody the dog, found early this summer after someone attempted to perform a home castration.
is happy with his new family and, though he will always be a bit neurotic, he is doing fine.
Article published July 21, 2002
Who would try to castrate Cody the dog?
Hildebrand, managing editor
Someone tried to castrate Cody, and he is lucky to be alive today.
Labrador-mix was found by a Mound House woman on Tuesday as he wandered the neighborhood. She named him Cody.
trucking through my yard as my daughter and I were putting windshield wipers on her car," said the woman, who asked not to
"I grabbed a bucket of food and a bucket of water," she said. "He came up and took a drink and then
started eating, then I coaxed him into the house with dinner."
I'm not going to print the woman's name in the newspaper
because she is in fear that whoever attempted to castrate Cody might try and finish the job.
Tom Blomquist of the Silver
Springs Spay-Neuter Project said it looked like Cody had been castrated with a knife or a pair of sheep shears.
brought the dog to Yerington veterinarian Lisa Hayden who sewed him up.
"The interesting thing about this dog is that
his hair and skin texture is that of someone whose owner could afford good food," Tom said. "We want to find out where this
dog came from. He is in such good shape, we wonder if he wasn't tortured by a husband mad at his ex-wife or something like
In the meantime, Cody is in a good home and being taken care of.
"The woman who found him has fallen
in love with him," Tom said.
Homes needed for cluster of cats
More than two dozen cats are up for adoption after their elderly owner was taken from her Silver Springs home to a convalescent
center, the director of an animal rescue program said Sunday.
About 15 kittens and 12 cats, from four weeks old to 20 years, are in need of new homes, said Lee Blomquist, director of
the Silver Springs Spay-Neuter Project.
Their former owner is what we refer to fondly as one of our cat ladies, Blomquist said. She was an animal lover all her
life and there are no laws here restricting how many cats you can have.
Nevada Aging Services contacted the Silver Springs Spay-Neuter Center after the felines were discovered before their owner
was placed last month in a convalescent center, Blomquist said.
Some of the adult cats are a little iffy at this point, she said. One male cat is about 20 years old and might be suffering
from kidney failure. Finding him a home is going to be real dicey, but Id like to give him a chance.
Some of the other older cats appear to have upper respiratory problems, she said.
They are semi-feral so theyre hard to treat, but theyd make great barn cats, Blomquist said.
Then there are those that are litter-box challenged.
This woman didnt have any litter boxes in her house so the cats used the corners of her house for litter boxes, Blomquist
said. I put litter boxes in the corners of the house, but not all the adult cats have gotten the clue yet.
Anyone adopting a cat can take it to a private veterinarian or to the Spay-Neuter Projects veterinarian at the Yerington
Veterinary Hospital, which charges $30 for neutering and $50 for spaying, she said.
Reno also has reasonable spay and neutering prices through the SPCA (the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
and the Nevada Humane Society, Blomquist said.
Article published June 4, 2002
Dogs, cats need new home
not B.J. and Princess's fault they're homeless.
The two dogs are owned by an elderly Silver Springs resident, who was
recently placed in a convalescent home by state aging services, and she left behind 25 cats -- 15 of them kittens -- and three
dogs. Like many seniors who don't plan on being ill, the woman made no plans for the care of her animals. She had found a
home for one puppy, but B.J., a 10-year-old silky terrier and Princess, a 7-year-old beagle mix, are left with no place to
The Silver Springs Spay-Neuter Project, operated by Tom and Lee Blomquist, received the animals and they are hoping
someone is looking for a pet.
"Anyone who's used to dealing with terrier breeds knows they've got quirks; that's why
they call them 'holy terriers,'" Lee Blomquist said. "Princess, she's a real sweetheart."
The Blomquists are hoping
to keep the dogs together. She said they've taken the dogs to the veterinarian for care their elderly owner neglected. The
Nevada Humane Society has donated some food to take care of the animals, but neither the Blomquists nor Lyon County Animal
Services is equipped to handle cats.
The cats come in all sizes and colors, Blomquist said, but most are feral and
would need a home with someone perhaps looking for barn cats instead of lap cats. The challenge now is local shelters are
burdened with kittens, it's hard to find home for a tame cat much less wild ones.
The Blomquists have operated the
Spay-Neuter Project since 1996 in honor of their dog, Truckee. They mostly offer to transport animals in need of alteration,
and pay for the procedure when their organization has funds.
For information on the dogs or the project, call 577-3518.
Article published June 3, 2002
Silver Springs woman participates in 9-11 quilt project
By Nancy Dallas
SILVER SPRINGS -- Thanks to a global volunteer effort, those who died in the tragedies
of Sept. 11, 2001 will be forever honored with an internationally constructed quilt project.
Joining in the memorial
undertaking, Silver Springs resident Lee Blomquist is submitting handcrafted squares dedicated to two of the more than 3,000
victims of the plane crashes into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.
Each of her
18 1/2 inch by 18 1/2 inch blocks -- one of a bomb-sniffing Labrador retriever named Sirius, the other of Lt. Colonel Stephen
Neil Hyland Jr. -- reflects a personal connection to the losses suffered.
Lee and husband Tom operate the Silver Springs
Spay-Neuter Project, a non-profit animal rescue facility. Dogs hold a special place in her heart.
"One reason I decided
to get involved was when they published a list of the victims, the only dog to die at the World Trade Center was not listed,"
she explained. "He died when the towers collapsed."
Port Authority Police Officer David Kim left his partner, Sirius,
in the basement PAPD K-9 office when the first plane hit. Having no idea what had happened, Kim thought missiles had hit the
building. He placed the dog in his dog crate and told him to stay while he investigated.
Kim was on the 44th floor
when the second plane hit. He made it down to the fifth floor as the building collapsed around him, still not understanding
what had happened. The stairway partially remained and Kim and those near him were rescued; however, after several futile
attempts, he was unable to get back to the area where the dog was left.
Canine Sirius, PAPD No.17, was never found.
choosing her second project, Blomquist wanted to honor a victim of the crash into the Pentagon. She was only six blocks away
on Sept. 11.
"Because I was there, I felt I needed to do that. I looked for someone who was about my age and had been
in the Army at the same time I was. I also worked at the Pentagon in the 1970s."
Hyland, 45, graduated from Notre Dame
in 1977. He was chief of the Accessions and Strategies Branch of the Army's Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel. Hyland had
recently moved from temporary offices on the opposite side of the Pentagon while his regular office area, the side obliterated
by the jetliner, underwent renovation.
His remains were laid to rest Nov. 8, 2001, in Arlington National Cemetery.
the hope it will help each participant come to know the victim as a person, the United In Memory Victims Memorial Quilt Project
was created by freelance graphic artist Corey Gammel and Peter Marquez, an operations manager for a moving and storage company.
The project should be completed by August, with plans to display the quilt on Sept. 11, 2002.
Blomquist noted of her
creative effort, "It was a very unique and comforting experience. With so many lives so tragically lost, perhaps this massive
sewing project will help mend the wounds inflicted on this nation that day."