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Las Vegas animal shelters see spike in pets surrendered amid pandemic

Posted at 7:42 PM, Jan 23, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The COVID-19 pandemic has not only affected many families here in Las Vegas but also their pets.

Many dogs are now looking for new homes after their families are no longer able to take care of them and surrender them to local animal organizations like the Heaven Can Wait Animal Society.

The organization says this could be either for medical reasons or financial problems, but regardless of why, several dogs now need your help.

RELATED: Las Vegas dog fighting for her life after losing owner to COVID-19

Heaven Can Wait Executive Director Francesca Fulciniti says they get dozens of calls each day from families asking for help.

"It can be really hard for people to afford the care and food, veterinary services that animals need when they’re worried about their jobs or having lost their primary source of income. So we try to refer people out as often as we can to low-cost services, we want to keep animals in homes with families as much as possible, “ said Fulciniti.

One of the dogs who needs a new home is Bella, a very sweet 8-year-old small schnauzer mix, who has had a very rough time.

Just this week, her human died of COVID-19 and what used to be her home no longer is.

Now she lives in a small crate, is a member of the Heaven Can Wait Animal Society’s Pups on Parole program, and just had major surgery to remove three bladder stones that were threatening her life.

So far, she’s recovering well, thanks to the excellent care of Kiley Esprecion, Heaven Can Wait dog coordinator.

But soon, she will need a new family.

In the meantime, some dogs are able to be partnered with foster parents, but more are needed.

The organization says financial support at any level would make a huge impact as it takes on necessary – and costly – veterinary treatment. You can also donate food and other needed pet items.

If you’re interested in adopting one of these dogs or in supporting Heaven Can Wait, even as a foster parent, go to hcws.org.