LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It was a packed house at Las Vegas City Hall, with many animal advocates demanding the city council to make a change and take back control of the Animal Foundation they say they have had enough when it comes to a lack of transparency and want the best care for animals.
The city is in contract with the Animal Foundation until 2025 but many former and current staff, want elected officials to step in.
James Pumphrey, former chief operating officer of the Animal Foundation, said he was hired to assess the foundation and after a lengthy report of changes and concerns to be addressed, he said he was fired in July, by Hilarie Grey the chief executive officer at the Animal Foundation.
“I was being asked to be less than transparent,” he said at Wednesday’s meeting.
The lack of transparency has been a big topic this month with eight staff members at the Animal Foundation walking out in one day, and the following week, animals getting sick due to respiratory illness.
“These compassionate warriors deserve respect and dignity,” Pumphrey added.
To be in contract with the city, animals need a clean and humane environment.
The city is allowed to make unexpected visits to inspect and give the shelter 48 hours to respond to an issue, or the shelter could be in breach of contract.
Jorge Cervantes the City of Las Vegas assistant manager described his experience when interacting with the shelter.
“We have had several instances, where inspectors go their cages are not clean,” Cervantes said. “Every time we have brought something to their attention they have corrected it in that period.”
Hilarie Grey offered a statement at Las Vegas City Hall on Wednesday.
“We are committed to being an excellent partner. To developing and training our staff, to creating the best environment for our staff as well as our animals,” she said.
8 News Now asked Grey if she thought she had what it takes to make changes under her leadership at Animal Foundation.
Grey responded and said, “We do, I’m proud of my staff and the work that we have done, we don’t face challenges that any other country in the nation doesn’t face right now.”
At the end of Wednesday’s meeting, all members of the council agreed to bring in an independent party to audit the finances of the Animal Foundation.
As for the dogs that were found to be ill at the shelter, 73 dogs are showing signs of Canine Pneumovirus, and an additional 28 dogs have recovered and have been cleared for adoption.