LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Animal Foundation is pleading for help from the community after the shelter’s capacity reached “a critical point,” it announced Monday.

Animal shelters saw an increase in pet surrenders and arrivals over the summer, with the Animal Foundation seeing a dramatic increase in September.

“In September alone, our staff has felt the pressure that comes with taking in over 2,000 animals that have arrived at our doorstep,” a statement read. “150 of those animals have come in over the last two days.”

Anyone who can foster an animal is strongly encouraged to do so. The Animal Foundation’s adoptions building will be open on Monday, Sept. 26 and on Tuesday, Sept. 27 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for anyone who would like to take in a foster animal.

The shelter’s plea for help came after staff with the lost and found department, which is responsible for taking in new animals, released a statement announcing their resignation on Monday, citing “poor and unstable work conditions.”

“10+ hour days with no breaks, no staff, no help or acknowledgment from higher-ups, and spacing issues to which CEO Hilarie denies,” the statement read. “The amount of abuse we receive is horrendous.”

The department alleged in their statement that they repeatedly asked leadership to be transparent about capacity issues and were told no.

“We work up to 12-16 hour shifts, five days a week (often with no breaks),” the statement said. “We do all of this for a minimum of $13.50 while the CEO and her friends she hired get paid up to $100K per year while they hide the horrible working conditions.”

In addition to working conditions, animals keep returning to the shelter regardless of adoption events and animal management, staff said.

TAF’s Mission Possible statement from 2020 was supposed to mean that no healthy and treatable animals get euthanized. However, this is not the case when an animal spends so much time in a kennel that they start going crazy and staff has no other options but to euthanize this animal that came in perfectly happy and healthy. Hilarie’s response to the space issue is just to do more free adoption events but we take in more animals than we place. It does not matter how many animals we adopt out, we always get around double that amount within a week. We are tired of working ourselves to the brink of mental and physical exhaustion, but do not worry because we get raffles, pizza (that we do not have time to eat), a BBQ on the 28th this month (that is why TAF will be closed that day).

Statement from admissions department staff at The Animal Foundation

The shelter’s doors were reportedly closed on Sunday due to staffing issues, according to signs seen on the front doors.

In a press conference Monday afternoon, a CEO Hilarie Grey confirmed that the organization closed following the mass resignation by the department.

“On Sunday morning, several members of our team resigned unexpectedly, forcing us to temporarily suspend accepting animals from the public,” she said. “I take responsibility for this, but understand that it’s a symptom of some of the pressure and the stress brought by working in an environment where we constantly have such a high volume of intakes.”