LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — If you’ve had trouble dropping off a lost dog or adopting a cat at the Animal Foundation recently, you’re not alone. It’s created a lot of frustration for animal lovers and advocates. But, the folks at the shelter say things should get a little better now because of changes that have been made in the past week.
“It’s really frustrating for people who love animals and who are involved in the rescue community not having that resources that’s supposed to be available to us.”
Resources, Angie Swayze says her volunteers have been trying to access at The Animal Foundation. She’s part of a group that helps round up stray or abandoned dogs and says the shelter was not accepting the dogs they were dropping off at lost and found.
“We’ve had a lot of complaints about stray dogs being turned away and being told that the shelter is full. We’ve had multiple complaints from people trying to reclaim their dogs,” she said.
Swayze and other animal welfare groups say the complaints include people trying to adopt dogs and having to make appointments to access services or wait hours. She believes the shelter may be full and that there’s not enough staff and wants accountability from the shelter.
“We want responsibility on behalf of the animals. We want transparency. We want accountability. We want someone to address these issues,” she said.
The Animal Foundation says it’s never at capacity.
“We’re an open admission shelter, so we take in every animal no matter how sick or injured and we’re always making room for new animals to come into the shelter,” Kelsey Pizzi, communications manager for the shelter, said.
She says it has made changes over the past few days with only the clinic requiring appointments. Lost and found does not require an appointment but is recommended. Adoptions are now only done through walk-ins with a waiting list.
“We have an adoption promotion going on right now so we’re extremely busy so the waitlist may close out for the day or a several hours wait to meet that pet,” Pizzi said.
Owners looking to reclaim their pets won’t be able to go back in the kennels and find them, as the shelter says it’s with the animal’s welfare in mind.
“It stresses the animals out and that’s something we learned in COVID, so we wanted to continue that,” Pizzi said.
The shelter acknowledges it does have a staffing shortage and is actively trying to recruit more people.
“Everything we do, we’re doing it in the best interests of the animals and team members so just be patient with us,” Pizzi said.
The Animal Foundation says it has been planning for a few weeks and will be prepared for any potential 4th of July influx these are pets who get scared of the fireworks run away from their home and are found and taken to the shelter.
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