“Staff and volunteers from Animal Services endured heavy smoke and winds to evacuate more than 100 animals from Washoe and Pleasant Valley during the Washoe Fire,” the Red Cross said in an announcement for the event. “Many beloved animals were housed in the evacuation center at the Reno Livestock Events Center, nurtured and cared for by this marvelous group of people until it was safe for them to return home.”
This year’s Real Heroes breakfast honors the first responders and unsung heroes whose remarkable courage exemplifies the humanitarian spirit demonstrated by the community-wide response to the recent series of disasters that included the vehicle-versus-train accident in Churchill County, the shooting at the Carson City IHOP, the accident at the Reno Air Races and the Caughlin and Washoe fires.
“Back-to-back disasters this past year disrupted many lives, but also brought out the best from a community that responded with compassion and hope,” said Pam Howland of the American Red Cross.
Several northern Nevada residents also expressed their appreciation for the efforts of Washoe County Regional Animal Services during the Washoe Fire through letters, donations and even a couple of home-made pies from Pleasant Valley resident Janet Cook and family.
Cook said Animal 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.
Animal Services Manager Barry Brode had only been on the job for a few days when the Washoe 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.
“This is what Animal Services prepares and practices for,” Brode said. “During the Washoe Fire they exceeded all my expectations. They did their job and they did it extremely well.”
The breakfast will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. today at Harrah’s Reno.