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Las Vegas shelter kills 1,000 animals

February 16th, 2007, 01:12 PM
crap :sad:

LAS VEGAS - An outbreak of contagious diseases at a shelter where officials admit they kept animals for too long without destroying them has forced the killing of about 1,000 dogs and cats, officials said.

Visiting inspectors from The Humane Society of the United States discovered the outbreak of the diseases — distemper and Parvovirus in dogs and panleukopenia in cats — Lied Animal Shelter spokesman Mark Fierro said.

The mass culling, which began Feb. 9, is believed to be the largest in the city’s history and has prompted shelter officials to change their methods of caring for animals.

Animal rights activists said they were outraged by the killings.

“It’s unforgivable in light of the fact that it was absolutely preventable,” said Holly Stoberski, legal counsel for Heaven Can Wait Sanctuary, a group that has worked with Lied to find homes for impounded animals. “They were not properly vaccinating the dogs and cats in a timely manner.”

Shelter officials vowed to adopt new policies when it reopens Friday, including euthanizing animals after 72 hours at the shelter — as the Humane Society recommends — and improving conditions for the animals, including vaccinating them when they arrive.

Not all of the 1,000 animals were infected. Some were put down because they had gone unadopted for more than 120 days and were contributing to overcrowding that Humane Society officials said helped spread the diseases.

Lied officials have said they did not realize animals were infected until the Humane Society team noticed animals with intestinal and respiratory problems.

The foundation contracts with Clark County and the cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas to handle abandoned, neglected and stray animals at Lied. The shelter annually adopts more than 7,000 dogs, cats, rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs and other animals.

February 16th, 2007, 01:13 PM
I saw this earlier today. So sooo sad:sad:

February 16th, 2007, 02:32 PM
I cant believe theyonly keep them for 72 hours and if they are not adopted they get put to sleep!!!!! That is crazy..Lets keep on breeding .......

February 16th, 2007, 02:59 PM
It's sad for the animals but this story screams bloody mismanagement!

"Exact numbers were not available, but officials told the Las Vegas Review-Journal they may have to euthanize hundreds of dogs infected with parvovirus or distemper and more than a dozen cats with panleukopenia, often likened to a feline version of distemper." "The shelter's full-time veterinarian spends most work hours performing spay and neuter operations rather than evaluating the animals."

Nobody else picked up on the health issues of those dogs?

There are many shelters/SPCAs that have had the same cats for more than a year and you don't see such stories. Parvo usually hits unvaccinated dogs (though the vaccine is not always 100% effective). The story (haven't seen pictures) reminds me of the old Miaouf shelter (now a 'fine' breeding establishment, operated by one of Montreal's largest purveyor of 'great' dogs...:mad:) and illustrates when low-kill is a better option than no-kill

If you are intent on being no-kill, better have a lot of resources: money, space and people. If you are running out of any of these, you must reconsider what you are doing as you are doing a disservice to the animals that you already have and those that you still taking in. Nature started bringing some equilibrium with diseases (panleuko is one sad but effective way of reducing a cat population..) Luckily, private shelters and SPCAs without pound contracts have the ability to refuse new arrivals if they can't care for them.

There are a couple of basic ground rules when running a shelter: putting arrivals in quarantine for at least 10-15 days, isolating sick animals, not putting all 'safe' animals together to reduce the spread of disease, isolating puppies/kittens from the rest of the population, basic hygiene, vaccination of any animal past the quarantine stage if need be (when no proof of vaccination). If you can't do that, then you have to reconsider what you are doing: are you really helping out or are you just replacing death by euthanasia with death by disease and neglect?

As for the new rules: the 72-hour rule doesn't apply to all but to "animals deemed unfit for adoption, such as those that are old or sick". "The shelter will vaccinate animals when they arrive and will keep those considered adoptable alive up to 120 days." (

As for vaccination upon arrival, I'm no expert but you usually wouldn't vaccinate sick or stressed animals nor spay/neuter/vaccinate at the same time.

But then you look at their shelter (, ( and you'd think they're not too bad off. Tons of pitbulls (:sad:)