Animal lovers were appalled in January when the City of Las Vegas’ animal pound erroneously euthanized a pet (Puddles the cat) after it had been identified by its owner. You can read and watch KTNV’s coverage, or read the LV Sun article, “When owners bark or bite.” Read the article to find out why the management at Lied wants improved security features for its staff. In a nutshell, people get really pissed when they find out their pets have been killed after 72 hours (three days) at the pound.
Before I go any further, let me suggest that we re-name Lied to exclude the word "shelter" from its title. (It is actually operated by the Animal Foundation.) If you look up synonyms for “shelter,” you find “protection,” “refuge,” “cover,” “haven,” “sanctuary.” How about Lied Animal Center, or Lied Animal Processing Facility (LAPF)? Lied may be a lot of things, but “shelter” is stretching it. They're doing the best they can, I know, but let's be honest.
What happened after Puddles died? Has Lied made improvements? Has an outpouring of community interest changed the conditions at our dumping ground for the four-legged unwanted? Yeah, right. I’ve been waiting to hear any kind of follow-up, but the news is too busy with our economic apocalypse to have much time for the animals. If you think this recession/depression/etc. has been hard on the humans in Vegas, what do you think these animals are going through?
Support your local animal shelters, pounds, and rescue groups. If you’re looking for a pet, bypass the pet store and adopt one instead. It costs less and can save an animal's life. The Las Vegas SPCA operates a no-kill shelter, and several other worthwhile animal groups work in Clark County. Lied takes animals for the City of Las Vegas and Clark County and obviously needs people to give homes to them. If your pet is lost, begin checking with Lied immediately; if your pet is taken there, you must act promptly. Consider micro-chipping your pets.
You can also support animals by having a good time at Pet-a-Palooza this weekend, April 4, 2009. The fesitval is at Sam Boyd Stadium and features music (Gavin Rossdale, for one), food, and loads of stuff for critter lovers--admission is only $5.00 and a portion goes to support the animal organizations who will be at Pet-a-Palooza.
Photo courtesy of Sande Hamilton at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/984684