Pet society

Pet foster volunteers wanted as Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe expands reach


RENO, Nev. (KOLO) — Over the past year, the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe (HSTT) has seen an influx of animals come to its shelter.

However, the animals are not brought by the locals. Pets are being transferred from shelters across the country filled to capacity.

“I think it has to do with COVID,” said Erin Ellis, director of community management at HSTT. “Some people got pets out of impulse or just because they were home, and now life has changed. I think for some people they’ve been put in a position where they’ve had to move or change modes of life and they had to give up an animal for this reason.

Ellis thinks the influx may also be the result of pet owners not being able to spay or neuter their animals due to the pandemic.

“Because we’re starting to see a lot of healthy young adult dogs coming into shelters that are around that age,” Ellis said.

Together with 30 other shelters, the Humane Society has helped over 400 animals.

As wildfire season approaches, they are looking for volunteers to help with their hospitality program.

“If disaster were to strike and there was a fire to come through, we are the shelter that would help our community pets,” Ellis said. “We had to encourage every pet in the shelter to be able to bring these community animals here.”

For this reason alone, it’s important to keep a broad home base.

Cherri Gillmore has been a volunteer at the HSTT for 15 years and says what keeps her going is knowing she’s a step on the animal’s path to success.

“I will … take sick, mildly ill, or least socialized kittens and help them trust people,” Gillmore said. “People always ask, especially about the foster care part, ‘How can you do that? How do you not keep every one of them? it’s like, well first I’ll be crazy about cats and then I can do it because I know they’re going to come here and I know they’re going to get adopted. there is no doubt in my mind.

To learn more about the program, visit or call 530-587-5948, or follow HSTT on Facebook at

To become a foster family, please contact Samantha Laroche, Host Program Manager, at [email protected]

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