Sure your horse can fly hanging from a helicopter, but can he load in a trailer?

rescue sling for helicopter rescue of horse

horse rescue by helicopter

What an amazing asset Northern Nevada now has thanks to Sandy McMahon, the Nevada National Guard and first responders who recently took the training in large animal rescue via helicopter. Horses and other livestock in severe jeopardy can get some serious help.  Of course, airlifting a large animal by helicopter, as the newscast by KOLO-8  points out, is a last resort effort after all else fails.

For most of us, thank goodness,  responding to a disaster means being able to easily load our horse into a trailer and hightailin’ it outa’ there.  However, the situation could be tense and frightening for both you and your animals.  Since horses, and other various forms of livestock can’t read the book on “How to behave in a crisis”, ground work, including trailer loading is critical for every horse owner to practice.  It’s not a bad idea for your horse to be exposed to some sensory training, also.

If you need help in those areas, find a good, local trainer who can help.

In the meantime:  “load ’em up, move’m out”.

Do you know your Sector?

Do you know in which sector you live or where your Command Center is located in the event of an emergency evacuation?  Where would you take your horse or look for him if he were evacuated by someone else?

Washoe County has 7 Sectors (5 are in the Reno, Sparks, Washoe Valley areas) and 7 Livestock Shelters:

  • Reno Livestock Event Center, Bartley Ranch Park – Sectors 1 & 3
  • Lemmon Valley Horseman’s Arena, Lazy 5 Regional Park, Gandolfo Rodeo Arena – Sector 2
  • Hidden Valley Regional Park – Sector 4
  • Washoe Lake State Park – Sector 5

Preparation is the key to a successful evacuation.  Not only do you need a plan for you and your family, but you need one for your pets and livestock.  Don’t wait until disaster strikes.  Take the first step toward being prepared – know where to go.

Something else you can do now is to sign up for the Regional Notification System to receive alerts from Washoe County.  This will let you receive alerts quickly by text message even if you’re not at home.

Click on the link below to view the sector map.

Sector Map

Nevada under drought emergency declaration

Nevada has been under a Drought Emergency Declaration since 2012. According to the Nevada State Climatologist and UNR Associate Professor, Douglas Boyle, “….we (Great Basin) have the same conditions now as there were in some of the 200-year megadroughts in the Sierra Nevada and the West.” To read the Nevada-Today article:  University Drought Expertise

There are three main types of water reservoirs: snowpack, surface (man-made) and groundwater reservoirs. Snowpack is s seasonal reservoir with the largest potential for storage, surface reservoirs store less water but for longer durations, and groundwater aquifer storage varies significantly but is considered long-term to supplement the others during drought conditions.”

This drought condition has got to impact Nevada agriculture..    Professor Stringham (UNR CABNR) says that, “Severe drought harms plant communities and triggers shortened grazing seasons on public lands.  She expects agencies will respond to the drought by changing grazing allotments.”  This wasn’t the reason for the dispute “Nevada Rancher vs BLM”, but you can’t help but wonder what kind of response may arise if it does come down to shortened grazing seasons.  (News story “Nevada Rancher’s Fight” ).

Both ranchers and farmers have seen significant shortages in water allocation. That impacts the availability of hay and the competition for that hay.

If you’d like to find out more information about the drought situation, visit the new UNR Cooperative Extension website, “Living With Drought” .

hay stack

How will hay supplies be impacted by drought


Have you ever wished you could eat as well and hassle-free as your pets?

Our pets are living longer, healthier lives just like we are. Today’s dog, cat, exotic pet, horse and even rabbit food is specially formulated to provide a perfectly balanced meal.

However, when you read the ingredients from the label, do you know what all those terms mean? Take Tocopherals (TCP), for instance. It sounded pretty suspicious to me until I looked it up. TCPs are a series of organic compounds consisting of various methylated phenols (alcohols) with Vitamin E activity. They’re used to extend shelf life and reduce fat spoilage and are resistant to high temperature food processing. They as antioxidants and are a natural alternative to synthetic antioxidants, such as BHT, BHA & TBHQ.

The key word here is organic, as opposed to synthetic. That’s a good thing. Trending these days in pet food are such things as “grain-free” and organic. So the next time you’re in Sierra Feed, check out those labels on the great selection of high quality pet foods.

Did I forget to mention chicken feed?