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Charitable Giving Drive From Navarro-Intera Employees

Cats like Magoo, who are waiting to be adopted, get to enjoy toys, food, bedding and more when they are donated.

Cats like Magoo, who are waiting to be adopted, get to enjoy toys, food, bedding and more when they are donated.

Heaven Can Wait would like to send a huge thank you to the employees at Navarro-Intera for once again choosing our organization for their annual charitable giving drive.  Last week a representative from the environmental services company stopped by our clinic with a carload full of pet food, towels, sheets, pet carriers and a cash donation.

All of the items donated are used every day in the HCWS Spay and Neuter Clinic and in our Adoption Center for the cats and dogs in our care.  The contribution is greatly appreciated.

A letter that accompanied the donation said:

“…Our employees association, Support for Navarro Association for People (SNAP), selected your organization to support based on your mission to eliminate companion animal suffering and pet overpopulation through aggressive spay/neuter, adoptions, community outreach programs, and education…”

If your company or charitable group would like to start a Donation Drive, please contact us volunteer@hcws.org for a list of items that Heaven Can Wait needs.  Or if you’ve already collected items, please come by our clinic at 546 N. Eastern Ave. Ste 175 Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  to drop them off.   There is no minimum number of items that need to be donated.

Here is a suggested list of items we always need:

  • Towels
  • Blankets
  • Pet Carriers
  • Pet Food
  • Cat and Dog Toys
  • Dog Collars
  • Cat and Dog Treats
  • Kitty Litter

Heaven Can Wait spays and neuters 10,000 – 13,000 cats and dogs each year.  The majority of pet clients come from low-income homes and the cost of surgeries are not fully covered by fees.  The other half of our clients are un-owned, free roaming cats.   Your generous donations are always greatly appreciated and help us continue our work to end the senseless killing of healthy pets in Las Vegas area shelters because of pet overpopulation.


HCWS Spay And Neuter Clinic Priced To Meet Every Budget


Heaven Can Wait Animal Society low-cost clinic leaves NO EXCUSES  to not have your cat or dog spayed or neutered.  Call TODAY (702) 655-4800 for an appointment. 

(Special applies to eligible residents in Zip Codes: 89156 and 89110.)

  • Owned Cats – $10
  • Chihuahua or Pit Bull Dogs -$40
  • Unowned Cats -FREE

Let’s make 2013 the year when ALL Clark County pets are fixed and ZERO unwanted kittens and puppies are born.  Please join us this Spring during the time when new life is born and support our efforts to end pet overpopulation and euthanasia in Southern Nevada.  Look for our mailer or make your Donation NOW.

8-Year-Old Works Hard To Make Homeless Cats Comfortable

Jayleigh (rt) Jessa (left) show how cats at the HCWS clinic love the blankets made by Jayleigh.

Jayleigh (rt) Jessa (left) show how cats at the HCWS clinic love the blankets made by Jayleigh.

At 8-years-old, Jayleigh Swift is already hard at work helping homeless animals.   The third grade student handmade 50 blankets to keep the cats that come to the Heaven Can Wait clinic feel cozy and comfortable while they recover from spay and neuter surgeries.

Jayleigh’s proud grandmother, Karyl, explained that her granddaughter earned money to buy the fleece for the blankets from her allowance and she used reward money for getting a straight A report card to buy dog food.  “We need to take it to them, they need it,” Jayleigh told her grandmother.

In addition, Jayleigh gave a speech to her classmates at Explore Knowledge Academy about homeless pets.  Later the school decided to hold a dance that raised funds for Heaven Can Wait Animal Society.

The family toured a feral cat clinic.

The family toured a feral cat clinic.

Jayleigh and her family recently had the opportunity to tour the spay/ neuter clinic.  They got a firsthand look at how the blankets are being put to use.  Harold Vosko, Heaven Can Wait’s president, thanked Jayleigh for her generosity and congratulated her on a job well done.  We hope Jayleigh never stops helping homeless animals and that one day her dream to become a veterinarian comes true.

Harold Vosko, HCWS President thanked Jayleigh for her caring about animals.

Harold Vosko, HCWS President thanked Jayleigh for her caring about animals.

Heaven Can Wait Animal Society needs your help TODAY to save homeless cats and dogs.  Through our aggressive and targeted spay and neuter programs, we believe there will soon be Zero homeless pets euthanized in Southern Nevada.

Jesse showing one of the 50 handmade blankets.

Jessa showing one of the 50 handmade blankets.

Alley Cat Allies Sponsors Special Spay/Neuter Clinic

Alley Cat Allies, HCWS and C5 sponsored spay-a-thon to get ahead of kitten season.

Alley Cat Allies, HCWS and C5 sponsored spay-a-thon to get ahead of kitten season.

Alley Cat Allies, the national organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, sponsored a special “Spay-a-Thon” Saturday, March 9 in which 240 feral cats were neutered at the Heaven Can Wait Clinic.

The event was held to get a jump start on curbing “kitten season” among the feral cats living in Las Vegas. Volunteers with the Community Cat Coalition of Clark County (C5) helped humanely trap 188 cats to neuter and volunteer veterinarians and vet-techs from Heaven Can Wait Animal Society gave their time to spay/neuter and examine the felines.  Later the cats were returned to their colony site.

“Las Vegas is a great example for high-volume, high-quality TNR programs across the country,” said Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies. “Kitten season is perhaps the most important time of the year to champion this practice, because it improves the lives of the cats while humanely ending the breeding cycle among feral cat colonies.”

Taking cats off into the clinic.

Taking cats off into the clinic.

Springtime is “kitten season” – the time of year when female cats go into heat and give birth to litters of kittens after only 63 days of pregnancy. Keith Williams, director of C5, said volunteers worked into the night Saturday and Sunday to trap and spay/neuter an additional 52 cats, bringing the total number of cats spayed over the weekend to 240.

“The dedication of our volunteers to completing projects and the Heaven Can Wait clinic to supporting them is key to the success of our TNR efforts,” said Williams. “It is obvious why we are so successful. This type of caring and dedication will not be stopped.”

After surgery cats are tagged so they can be returned to the correct colony.

After surgery cats are tagged so they can be returned to the correct colony.

Heaven Can Wait and C5 partner together every month for a “feral cat clinic” where 100 to 300 cats are humanely trapped, sterilized and returned to their colony.  With the onset of kitten season, both groups were grateful to be able to hold an additional spay-a-thon with sponsorship from Alley Cat Allies.

“At this time of year, Alley Cat Allies will focus on the plight of feral cats and publicize the fact that spay and neuter can offset kitten season,” said Aileen Walden, Interim Director of Community Programs and Support.   “We will offer spay-a-thons in several areas around the country.”

One of the patients.

One of the patients.

Aileen explained that statistics show 80 percent of pet cats are sterilized, while only 2 percent of feral cats are fixed.  Stopping feral cats from breeding will cut down greatly on euthanasia rates.

Aileen is also an advocate of targeted spay and neuter programs, like Heaven Can Wait’s Operation Clean Sweep that goes into low-income neighborhoods.  She cited a study that found 90 percent of pets were fixed in households earning $35,000 or more, but the numbers plummeted to 50 percent in households with lower incomes.



World Spay Day


By Colette Hayes

According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are 6 to 8 million homeless animals in the U.S. These include puppies, dogs, cats and kittens. Each year these animals enter shelters where around half are adopted and the other half are euthanized. The large number of homeless animals is not just a problem in this country; it’s felt across the globe as well. February 26 was World Spay Day, a day dedicated to supporting efforts in our community and around the world to reduce the large pet overpopulation. This day serves to educate people about the importance of spaying and neutering their pets.

While adopting a pet is a wonderful way to help a homeless animal, there are simply not enough homes for all the animals. Another way to help is to spay and neuter your pet.  Not only does spaying or neutering help reduce the pet population, it also has health benefits for your furry friend.  Petmd.com says that neutering your dog will reduce the likelihood that he will spray or mark his territory.  Behavior problems, such as aggression and wandering off to seek a mate, may be reduced or eliminated. Spaying a female will eliminate the heat cycle which may attract unwanted male animal attention to your home. Behaviors associated with the heat cycle in cats, such as nervous behavior and excessive meowing are eliminated. In female dogs this heat cycle may include restless behavior, bleeding or frequent urination, with spaying these behaviors are no longer a problem.

Long term benefits of spaying or neutering can include reducing the possibility of prostate cancer, ovarian cancer and completely eliminating testicular cancer.  Overall your beloved pet can live a happier, healthier life when spayed or neutered and you can avoid potential medical problems and the cost associated with those medical problems.

In honor of Spay Day, Heaven Can Wait in conjunction with the Las Vegas Valley Humane Society and Community Cat Coalition of Clark County will hold a special feral cat clinic on March 9.  The program is being sponsored by Alley Cat Allies, the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Heaven Can Wait is hoping to spay and neuter up to 200 feral cats on this day.

Flashpoint is one of the more than 80,000 pets spayed and neutered by Heaven Can Wait.  All this loveable cat needs now is a family to love him forever.

Flashpoint is one of the more than 80,000 pets spayed and neutered by Heaven Can Wait. All this loveable cat needs now is a family to love him forever.

Once the cats have been spayed or neutered they will be tagged and returned to their colony where they were trapped.  In addition to the feral cat clinic on March 9, Heaven Can Wait holds a monthly feral cat clinic to spay and neuter cats in targeted zones around the valley. Heaven Can Wait also offers a low–cost spay and neuter program open to anyone.  By spaying and neutering your dog or cat, you are helping to reduce the pet overpopulation problem and giving our furry friends a chance for a healthy and long life.

Eliminating the senseless euthanasia of healthy animals in Las Vegas area shelters is the number one goal of Heaven Can Wait Animal Society.  To date we have sterilized more than 80,000 cats and dogs.  The majority of the spays and neuters are funded through public donations.  HCWS is pleased to report the latest statistics show our efforts are paying off and saving lives.  The past two years Las Vegas shelters have seen a significant decline in the number of homeless pets euthanized.  We will not give up the fight until NO healthy, adoptable cat or dog loses its life because of overpopulation.

HCWS Tackles Innovative Project To Save Animals

The team who worked around the clock saving animals in 2 communities.

The team who worked around the clock saving animals in 2 communities.

Heaven Can Wait Animal Society has never shied away from tackling an innovative project if it helps homeless animals.  From our Pups on Parole program that pairs rescued dogs with female inmates to our monthly feral cat clinic that sterilizes hundreds of cats at a time, HCWS has always stepped up to a challenge.

In September 2012 we were put to the test again when we joined forces with the residents of two communities to spay and neuter all of the free roaming cats and owned pets in the neighborhood.

While our volunteer trappers are used to helping communities control feral cat colonies through Trap-Neuter-Return, this project was very unique.

  1. It ran non-stop for a full week.
  2. Residents played an active role with the spay/neuter team.
  3. Feral cats were kept away from the neighborhood after being sterilized.

With support from Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, the residents of these two back-to-back communities also entered into a two-year agreement with Heaven Can Wait to continue to have new pets and stray animals sterilized.

The trap-a-thon began on a Sunday and ran continuously 24-hours a day until every animal was fixed 8 days later.

Here is how it worked:

  • Traps were set for the free roaming cats.
  • A small group of residents volunteered to monitor the traps around-the-clock and contacted a member of the HCWS team whenever a cat was caught.  This meant there was absolutely no downtime for the program – a very unique aspect.
  • No matter what time of day or night, one of the volunteer trappers came to the community to take the cat to the HCWS clinic and re-set the trap for another feline.
  • Cats were examined and sterilized, but remained at the clinic after their surgery instead of being released back into their neighborhood.  This allowed for a better assessment of the number of cats that still had to be tcaptured.
  • The fixed felines were given food and lots of attention while they stayed at the clinic.  The staff called it their “Spa Week.”
  • Owned pets were brought in for surgeries and released back to their owners.
Sandy and her new Mom.  Sandy was one of the kittens rescued during the project.

Sandy and her new Mom. Sandy was one of the kittens rescued during the project.

At the end of the 8 days a total of 30 free roaming cats were sterilized, plus two pet cats.  In addition, three kittens were taken into foster care after their mother was killed by a dog in the community.  All are now fixed and have been adopted into new homes.  A total of four dogs were neutered as well.

The event went off without a hitch, except for some unfinished business with a cat named Amanda.  Amanda is a friendly free roaming feline who is cared for by everyone in the community.  She had given birth shortly before the project began and hid away her litter for safekeeping.  The residents followed Amanda back to her hiding place after her surgery and have continued to watch over her kittens since the spay-a-thon.  Once the babies were old enough, they too were spayed and neutered.  One of the kittens who is now called Sandy (pictured above) was adopted by a neighbor.

Heaven Can Wait would like to thank all of the residents who kept this very unique project running.   We also send a special thanks to Jean Spaziani of C-5, HCWS trapper Susan Watkins and our clinic director Judy Erickson for working nonstop for 8 days and tackling a new approach to save homeless animals.

Please show your support for projects like this by Clicking Here.  If you would like to work on projects like these, please fill out a volunteer application at: http://www.hcws.org

Behind The Scenes

Joanie Spina
During the past decade lots of wonderful videos have been filmed highlighting Heaven Can Wait, our spay/neuter clinic and our community programs. We would like to take this time to introduce the person who has been on the camera side of these videos and send her a long overdue Thank You!

Joanie Spina, award-winning director of the popular documentaries, “Born To Die” and “Dr. Death” has generously given her time and expertise behind the scenes filming and directing countless videos for our group. Owner of Roxie Video Productions, Joanie has been sharing her passion for saving homeless animals with HCWS since she moved to Las Vegas in 2002.

Joanie explained that when she moved into her Las Vegas home the neighborhood was overrun with feral cats and she knew something had to be done to stop their misery. A lucky introduction led her to Heaven Can Wait where she learned about our feral cat clinic and trap-neuter-return program. Joanie had just completed a degree in videography and offered her skills to our group.

“After 30 years in the entertainment industry I wanted to do a project that was an important cause to me. I knew the feral cat story needed to be told,” said Spina.

Joanie combined her staging and directing background from her days with the David Copperfield show with her new filming skills and made several videos of Heaven Can Wait’s feral cat clinic. She caught on tape the mass delivery of feral cats trapped by volunteers, the pre-surgery prep performed by volunteer vet-techs and the spay and neuter surgeries done by local veterinarians.

Joanie calls the clinic, “A well-oiled machine.” She is encouraged by the progress HCWS President, Harold Vosko has made over the years. “It’s been very rewarding to see how Harold keeps the momentum going,” said Spina.

Recently Joanie has been behind the scenes with HCWS spokesperson Taylor Makakoa for a new series of videos. The team has filmed stories about our cat adoption program, Pups on Parole program to rehabilitate rescued dogs, Pawsitively Seniors cat foster program and more.

Joanie is the proud guardian of three dogs. Soon life will be taking her away from Las Vegas and Heaven Can Wait will miss her greatly. On behalf of everyone in our organization, thank you Joanie for all you have done for homeless animals and for all your help to Heaven Can Wait.

If you have a talent or skill you would like to share with HCWS please complete a volunteer application at: http://www.hcws.org.