LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The spread of a contagious respiratory illness recently caused the Animal Foundation to halt many dog adoptions and intakes, putting a strain on other organizations within the valley.
Lori Heeren with the Nevada SPCA said their phones have been ringing off the hook from Animal Control officers. “I know they have their hands full, I hope the dogs that are infected are able to be treated successfully,” she said.
The SPCA usually is for owner surrenders, not strays found by Animal Control. But, for more than a week, they have welcomed in dogs that had no place to go, despite their facility not being equipped to handle large volumes of dogs. “Of course, we wanted to do what we could for the community,” said Heeren.
Meanwhile, private search and rescue groups like the Doggy Task Force, have to think twice before responding to a dog sighting. “It’s a crisis,” said Kelly Winder of Doggy Task Force. “The rescues are scrambling, they are pulling their hair out, it’s always been a case about foster space and now it’s worse.”
This is mainly due to the fact that when these organizations find a stray, they would bring them to the Animal Foundation. But now, they have no place to go unless a team member can keep the dog overnight, which means they can’t respond to every call.
“People in my network reach out to me, they know how nervous I am about this issue,” said Winder. “They know how much this is breaking my heart.”
The Animal Foundation said they are only taking in sick, vicious, injured, or confiscations.
The City of Las Vegas said their Animal Control is only responding on a case-by-case basis.