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Dr. Henderson Honored For Animal Advocacy

As the veterinary director for Heaven Can Wait Animal Society, Dr. David Henderson DVM is a leading advocate in the war against pet overpopulation in Las Vegas, NV.  His work on behalf of animals was honored by the Las Vegas Valley Humane Society with the presentation of the Judith and Ken Ruiz Animal Advocacy Award. 

Below is a video tribute to Dr. Henderson and the great work he does to save the lives of animals and help the animal rescue groups that are eliminating the senseless deaths of 30,000 unwanted cats and dogs in our city each year.

Thank you Doc Henderson!


Buffy – Overcoming and Forgetting

Buffy was surrendered after two dogs in her family ganged up and injured her.

Written by Carol Lisowski

Buffy is a six-year-old female Shepherd/Irish Wolfhound rescued from a shelter by HCWS. Buffy’s owner adopted two Pit Bull dogs who ganged up on her and hurt her, so the owner turned her over to a shelter. HCWS helped her begin her road to recovery and safety. Her tail was badly hurt, and it took several months for it to heal from the bites. A traumatic journey from a home that became unsafe, to a pen in a shelter, then a rescue, training, and another pen to wait for someone to love and care for her. Could we humans endure what so many pets go through in their short lives?

This story especially touches me as I write it because it reminds me that since humans domesticated dogs and cats to be our companions, we became their caretakers, their voices, and their families. When people acquire animals, it is their responsibility to care, feed, love and keep these animals safe. These animals are not throw-a-ways. Before getting a pet, we should ask ourselves if we are willing to commit to that animal’s care and needs for the rest of its life.

Buffy has endured hard lessons in her life, but she now has a forever home where she is learning to overcome and forget. Her new family is Ken and Judy House and adopted sister, Ginger, who is six years older than her. Ginger’s first impression of this really big dog was that she was going to have to share her treats. At this point, Buffy doesn’t do well with other dogs she doesn’t know, but Ken is hoping that she can overcome this as well. Buffy graduated from the Pups on Parole training and heels nicely. She loves to go for walks in the desert along with Ginger and Ken.

Her favorite things in life now are the walks, biscuits and eating, (maybe not in that order,) and her new Mom, Judy, said not to leave out that her favorite toy is a duck which she carries around in her mouth. She likes to stay close to Ken and was sitting by his feet while he told me her story.

You, too, can be a second or third chance for a dog waiting for their safe forever home. Visit http://www.hcws.orgto see other dogs you can save.  Or drop by the Heaven Can Wait Adoption Center inside the PetSmart off I-215 and S. Rainbow.  Cat adoptions are Thursday – Sunday and dog adoptions are held each Saturday.

Won't you give a home to a good girl like Buffy?

Twilight & Lisa – Best Friends Forever!

Here is an email we received about a sweet little cat named Twilight who was adopted from the Heaven Can Wait PetSmart Adoption Center.

– –

I was never really a “cat person” until I visited our local PetSmart and fell in love.

It was early morning and HCWS wasn’t open yet.  But there in the window was a tiny black kitten with huge yellow-green eyes staring back at me.   I stood for a moment and watched him and as I started to walk away, he decided to follow me in his cage as if to say “don’t go.”


A few days later, I returned and hoped that he was still available for adopting.  He was! The moment I walked into the “meeting area” he came right over to me and jumped on my lap.   It was like he waited for me to come back for him.  And I took him home that afternoon.

His shelter name was John but I renamed him Twilight, also known in the house as “Twi-Twi,” “Twi-Bear” and finally “Mits” because of his cute feet.  Ever since I brought him home, he never leaves my side and follows me everywhere.  He’ll watch me do laundry, cook and clean up around the house.      

Adopting Twilight was the best thing I have ever done.   I encourage anyone and everyone to visit HCWS and adopt a cat or dog.  The people who work there are wonderful, selfless individuals who take excellent care of all the pets in need.   And if you can’t adopt, at least donate to them and help a great cause.

Thank you  Heaven Can Wait  for bringing me my BFF.

Lisa G.

Where Are You? (Pets Are Forever)

This story comes from Micki Wilson, a Heaven Can Wait Animal Society volunteer who works with our feral cat program.  Micki traps feral cats, brings them to HCWS to be spayed/neutered and vaccinated and then returns the felines to their colonies where she keeps a watchful eye on them. 

Here is a story about a cat that Micki found that was once someone’s pet. 
 – –

It had been about two months since the house had become vacant, when one day I noticed the previous tenant’s cat sitting on the doorstep. 
Since I have cat food in my truck always, I stopped to feed the cat. She was extremely skinny and very hungry. I stroked her fur while she ate. She purred loudly and climbed in my lap when she had finished eating. I sat on the ground and continued petting her for several minutes.
A neighbor came over and told me this sad story.
The day the family moved out, the cat sat in the driveway as they pulled out with their last load. They never so much as looked back!

The cat, on the other hand, waited every day and night for the last two months. The neighbor said sometimes the cat would stare at the door and meow, as if to say, “Where are you?” She said the cat never left the property, as if she didn’t want to miss them when they returned. The only reason the cat ate was because the neighbor brought her leftovers and scraps sometimes. I noticed there was no water source on the property. The cat was severely dehydrated.
This poor cat had never given up on its owner, yet the owner had no problem abandoning her and never looking back! She would die if I left her. I scooped her up in my arms and took her home. After a visit to the vet and some phone calls, she had a new forever home, where she will be cared for and kept safely inside. The new owner says she is the sweetest cat they have ever known, they love her dearly and she gives them lots of joy.
So, why would someone just throw away this wonderful cat? Animals are not disposable. Animals are forever. If you’re not ready for a lifelong commitment, DON’T BECOME A PET OWNER!

The majority of cats rescued by Heaven Can Wait Animal Society were once family pets, like Cody pictured above, that became homeless through no fault of their own. They are loving animals whose only goal is to once again become a beloved member of a family.

Don’t Give Up On Me

Tye is a big, burly boxer that came to Heaven Can Wait Animal Society from a neglectful home.  He spent the first few years of his life alone in a backyard because his family thought he would hurt a smaller dog in the household. 

This lack of socialization turned Tye into an insecure dog who showed his fear by acting like a big bully.

But the HCWS Dog Coordinators saw something special in Tye and felt sure he could be an exceptional dog – if he found the right owners.

Once Tye was enrolled in the Pups on Parole prison program, the coordinators knew they were right.  Tye loved his handler at the Jean Correctional Facility for Women and would spend every opportunity curled up in her lap.  He also quickly learned all of his basic commands and became a model “dog” student.

Finally Tye’s day came to begin a new life and he was taken to the HCWS adoption center.  But his insecurities reared their ugly head and Tye reverted back to his dominant behavior.  He frightened away every person who had interest in adopting him. 

Then a young man named Joey walked into the adoption center and forever changed Tye’s life.  Joey was familiar with big, energetic dogs and wasn’t intimated by Tye’s dominant nature.  He left that day with Tye in tow.

Joey’s roommate Sandra calls Tye her “baby.”  She shared this about him, “Everything changed when Tye entered this house.  With a whole lot of love and consistent training, he has become a perfect gentleman.  He is the most beautiful loving boxer that anyone could ever want.  You can teach any dog new tricks, but more so, they can show you some new ones, as well.”

Tye is part of a wonderful family who understands him and never gave up on him.  He’s become a “complete ham” and is the center of the many YouTube videos Sandra films.  He loves to show off his swimming abilities in the pool, play dress up for special occasions and have play dates with his doggie girlfriend Leelou.

Never Judge A Book By Its Cover

This story was written by Heaven Can Wait Animal Society supporter Gianna Aleman, in response to the blog post about the many superstitions people have about black cats and black and white cats.  They are the most likely felines to be euthanized at an animal shelter.

Please make sure to leave your comment about a story that appears on the blog, and it may become a story of its own, like Gianna’s below. 

– – –

I just read your blog about black and black & white cats and superstitions.  Makes me so sad.  Throughout my life I’ve had several cats, and 2 of the most loving were Blaki, a solid black cat and Harley, one of my current cats, who is black and white.  As a youngster I had to fight family superstitions when I brought Blaki home, it’s so crazy.

I owned Blaki in the late 80s, early 90s.  My friend and I found her, a few weeks old, in an abandoned car in NYC, where I grew up.  She was surrounded by her litter mates and her mother, who were all dead.  We brought her to my friend’s house for the night so I could have a chance to convince my grandparents to let me keep her.  After losing her on the floor, because she was sleeping on a black tile in a white and black checkered floor, I brought her home where she kept me company.  She used to wake me up in the morning by gently nibbling on my fingertips.  She was lovely.


Now, Harley is the sweetest, soppiest, and most loving cat who ever lived.  He’s converted many ‘dog’ people to loving cats and most want to take him home with them.


He was adopted from a shelter in New Jersey as an adult, after his homeless owner was sent to a homeless shelter where they did not accept pets.  At the time the police picked up his owner, Harley and his human were living in the town cemetery.  The only things the man had with him was a kennel, a bag of cat food and a jug of water for Harley.  

The animal shelter held on to Harley as long as they could for the gentleman, but after a while he realized Harley would be better off adopted, so he signed him over to the animal shelter.  

Harley was so trusting and well socialized from day one, I know he was loved and cared for by the homeless gentleman who owned him.  

Five years later I still think of the gentle homeless soul who loved and raised Harley in spite of his circumstances.  When I look at that sweet face it makes me smile and reminds me never to judge a book by its cover; not only because Harley is black and white, but because of the homeless PERSON who cared for him so lovingly.  I think we all sometimes need to be reminded of our humanity, but society has a way of using labels to look THROUGH living beings instead of AT them.

Thank you for the work you do, Heaven Can Wait.

– – –

Don’t forget – this is the last week for the spay/neuter special. Through October 31st, Heaven Can Wait Animal Society is offering a special to all owners of black or black & white cats. HCWS will spay or neuter your male or female cat for only $25! You can call the clinic to make your appointment at (702) 227-5555 (option #2) or e-mail us at: clinic@hcws.org

Last Week to Save $5 on Early Registration!

There’s Still Time to Register for LAP Memory Walk

The HCWS 10th Annual Lose A Pound with Your Hound Memory Walk is only days away.  On Sunday October 17, animal lovers from all over the Las Vegas valley will be at Bunker Family Park to enjoy a fun-filled time with family, friends and of course their best four-legged dog buddies.

The LAP Memory Walk will feature games, contests, entertainment, treats for your pup, BBQ food, plus a mile-long walk for you and your favorite canine.

Symbolic “collars” representing the 30,000 animals euthanized in Las Vegas animal shelters every year will line the path of the walk.  The senseless killing of these precious animals is the reason HCWS began the annual walk.  It is our goal to stop pet overpopulation in Las Vegas.

Registration for LAP is quick and easy.  It can be completed on our website at: www.hcws.org or in person at Bunker Park on October 17 at 9 a.m.  There is a $5.00 discount when you register online by 8p.m. on October 15.

Early registration is $25 for individuals.  A goody bag and t-shirt comes with your registration.  There is also an early bird Family Pack registration for 2 adults and 2 kids for $40.  It includes 2 t-shirts and a goody bag.

Proceeds from the walk help HCWS continue to save the lives of homeless pets, adopt more than 1,000 cats and dogs annually, fund our low-cost spay and neuter clinic and promote responsible pet ownership.


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2010 – BUNKER FAMILY PARK  (N.Tenaya and W. Alexander)