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13 Investigates: Allegations of pets in peril at The Animal Foundation

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Posted at 3:51 PM, Nov 24, 2021

If your pet goes missing in the City of Las Vegas, Clark County or North Las Vegas, odds are it will end up at The Animal Foundation.

Insider after insider is coming forward, claiming the shelter is putting pets in peril. For years, 13 chief investigator Darcy Spears has chronicled the allegations of neglect and mismanagement at the taxpayer-funded shelter.

Spears notes there are two things to keep in mind about the shelter: your tax dollars pay for it, and it is also the likely place your pet will end up if it ever gets lost.

Animal advocates sue The Animal Foundation, citing claims of neglect, mistreatment

Sept. 5, 2023: Allegations of negligence and mistreatment of animals are at the center of a new lawsuit against The Animal Foundation.

No Kill Las Vegas is now suing the organization, citing a laundry list of violations of the shelter's contract with local municipalities.
It's the latest development in a tumultuous saga for The Animal Foundation, Clark County's taxpayer-funded animal shelter.

Clark County commissioners grill Animal Foundation leaders with pointed questions about the future

April 18, 2023: Leaders of The Animal Foundation appeared before the Clark County Commission Tuesday, and they came under fire during some direct questioning about the ongoing issues that have recently plagued the nonprofit shelter.

Clark County commissioners grilled Animal Foundation leaders as they asked pointed questions about the future of the embattled organization. Bryan Horwath reports.

The Animal Foundation kills family's pet in wake of computer system outage

April 3, 2023: A local family details their repeated attempts to reclaim their lost dog from The Animal Foundation, only to find out that Luna had been put down. In a statement, The Animal Foundation called what happened to Luna a rare mistake. But it's not the first time a local pet owner has accused the shelter of mistakenly euthanizing their dog. Darcy Spears investigates.

Former Animal Foundation executive says community, animals are paying the price for poor leadership

Oct. 18, 2022: Inexperienced leadership, too many animals and too few staff. A former shelter executive says all of that has contributed to an escalating crisis at The Animal Foundation. When he tried to make problems public, he says he was fired. Darcy Spears investigates.

Secret audio recording reveals two faces of The Animal Foundation

Oct. 17, 2022: As The Animal Foundation deals with one crisis after another, former employees say the troubled shelter continues to be the victim of its own mismanagement.

13 Investigates exclusively obtained a secret audio recording that shows the two faces of The Animal Foundation: one put out to the public, and another face that staff sees behind closed doors. Darcy Spears reports.

Employees walk out on The Animal Foundation to protest 'appalling' conditions

Sept. 26, 2022: More than half-a-dozen employees quit on the spot, forcing the shelter to temporarily close to the public. In a resignation email, the eight employees expressed longtime concerns that led to their decision to leave.

"We have tried to do our best for the animals without any improvement or any change," they wrote in the email. Read the full report.

Councilwoman's surprise inspection at The Animal Foundation leads to calls for change

Sept. 12, 2022: Las Vegas City Councilwoman Victoria Seaman toured the non-profit shelter in what she called a surprise inspection after receiving reports of animals being kept in poor conditions.

Pictures Seaman took showed feces smeared on floors and walls, soiled blankets on the floor in pins with pets, and food bowls tipped over. Sean DeLancey reports.

Chief operating officer of The Animal Foundation terminated after 4 months on the job

July 27, 2022: A sign that discord may be brewing once again at The Animal Foundation after 13 Investigates learned that chief operating officer James Pumphrey was terminated after holding the position for about four months.

This comes on the heels of several other leaders at the shelter quitting or abruptly retiring last year. Darcy Spears reports.

Pet owners, employees, local leaders want accountability from The Animal Foundation

Feb. 17, 2022: Three months after we called attention to all the problems at The Animal Foundation, 13 Investigates looks to see what's changed. There's a new leader, but are the pets any safer? Darcy Spears reports.

Whistleblowers detail a shelter in crisis at The Animal Foundation

Nov. 23, 2021: Insider after insider is coming forward to Channel 13, claiming The Animal Foundation is putting pets in peril. The words we keep hearing are "overcrowded, understaffed, and unsanitary."

We spoke to 17 current and now-former Animal Foundation employees at almost every level: veterinarians and vet techs, animal care, admissions and intake — workers, managers, and supervisors. They all want to expose what they call a crisis after claiming their concerns kept falling on deaf ears. Darcy Spears investigates.

Pet owners seeking to reclaim lost pets at The Animal Foundation face heartache, frustration

Nov. 22, 2021: Employees and pet owners alike are reaching out to 13 Investigates saying the shelter is a perilous place for pets.

Darcy Spears shares the story of a local family's heartbreak after trying to reclaim a lost pet, and shows that their story is not an isolated incident.

Looking for more in-depth journalism? Find more Channel 13 investigative reports at ktnv.com/13Investigates.

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