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Feb 12, 2007


Las Vegas Shelter Closes..Animals Need Help

February 12, 2007 : 12:00 AM
By Cathy Scott, Best Friends Animal Society

LAS VEGAS -- The Lied Animal Shelter, a regional facility in Las Vegas, has closed its doors in an unprecedented move after a deadly outbreak of epidemic proportions of parvo, distemper and feline panleukopenia.

The shelter needs help in the way of donated blankets and towels. Officials are regrouping to see what other needs they have, including a foster program and the possible need for volunteer veterinary technicians. To volunteer to foster dogs and cats still arriving daily at the shelter that have not been exposed to disease, contact information is at the bottom of this story.

Because Lied is contracted by Clark County and the cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, animal control officers are continuing to drop off strays, but no owner turn-ins are being accepted.

Before it shut down, more than 200 animals a day were received at the shelter, which is privately run. Its clinic provides low-cost vaccinations and spays and neuters to the public, all of which have temporarily halted. Adoptions are on hold as well, as is pet licensing, which the shelter also handles.

Because of the rampant spread of disease, hundreds of dogs and cats in the lost-and-found areas of the shelter at North Mojave Road have in recent days been put down. To make room for the continuing daily intake of dogs and cats, adoptable animals could also be put down, according to Diane Orgill, executive director of the shelter.

Incoming dogs are temporarily being housed in bungalows not attached to the shelter, and cats are being housed inside shelter rooms not contaminated.

The shelter, which originally opened in 1978 to serve the cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, has been overcrowded since it began in July 2005 taking in dogs and cats from the unincorporated area of Clark County.

Breed specific rescue groups were contacted the evening before the shelter closed, advising them of dogs to pick up.

One rescuer, Oli Lewis, the southern Nevada representative for the St. Bernard Rescue Foundation, arrived the next day to rescue three St. Bernards.

“To walk past all those dogs on the way to getting my Saints out of there killed me,” she said. “I wish I could have taken more.”

Because some dogs and cats were dying inside the shelter, officials called the Humane Society of the United States for evaluation.

The move to shut down and also do mass euthanasias was a last resort, Diane said. That decision was made after a team put together by HSUS made the recommendations to shelter officials three days ago. Veterinarians from the University of California, Davis, accompanied by HSUS inspectors to the shelter.

“(The euthanizations) are being done to stop the spread of disease,” Diane said in a telephone interview. It’s a difficult time and not something employees wanted to happen, she noted.

A three-day plan of action, put together by HSUS, was immediately put into effect, which meant the euthanasia of any dogs and cats showing symptoms, she said. Employees, since the shelter shut down, have been assigned rooms where they are bleaching, cleaning, drying, re-cleaning and sealing the concrete floors.

A short-term plan includes, in part, ensuring kennels are kept clean to prevent the spread of disease in the future.

To offer to foster a dog or cat not exposed to the diseases, contact the facility at 702-384-3333, Ext. 4. To volunteer your time or services, contact the shelter’s volunteer coordinator, Terri Magnani, at 702-384-333, Ext. 6. To donate to the shelter, go online to

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February 12, 2007 at 2:44 PM
posted by: cathyscott
Gloria: My understanding is Lied has a minimum of 35 percent euthanasia rate, which goes up as the population increases. There's a foster program in place, but the numbers are fairly low. Rescue groups take dogs and cats out on a regular basis, but that, too, is not a large number (Best Friends has been one of those groups, rescuing small dogs from there over the last couple of years).

The shelter, on any given day, houses a total of 3,000 animals. It's been reported that as many as 1,800 dogs and cats have been euthanized since late last week. --CS
February 12, 2007 at 1:57 PM
posted by: Gloria
Cathy ~ Thank you for your professional reporting of such a painful story. My heart goes out to the animals and the staff.

Do you know if there are any statistics available about the number of animals who were being placed into homes or sent to other rescues out of the 200+ animals who were being brought into the shelter each day (before this tragedy happened)?

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Posted: Monday February 12, 2007, 6:41 pm
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Kathryn G. (146)
Monday February 12, 2007, 11:40 pm

Big changes coming to Lied Animal Shelter

Also on the web

Disease outbreak at Lied; shelter needs blankets and towels
Heaven Can Wait animal sanctuary

It's been three days since we learned about an outbreak spreading through the valley's biggest animal shelter. Over the weekend, several animals had to be euthanized and some big changes are being made there.

The Animal Foundation, which runs the shelter, couldn't say how many animals exactly were euthanized over the weekend. A spokesperson says they should have a number for us Tuesday.

We were told about 1,800 animals housed there these last few days were to be examined. On any given day, there are up to 3,000 dogs and cats at the shelter.

Officials acknowledge there is an overcrowding problem. That's why last Fall, they brought in the Humane Society. Two weeks ago, a team of visiting veterinarians discovered the outbreak of parvovirus and other diseases highly contagious to dogs and cats.

One huge change they've recommended to the Animal Foundation is to immunize animals coming in with a new, more effective vaccine different from what the shelter has been administering.

In addition to the new vaccine, the Animal Foundation has hired a 34 year veteran of the County's Animal Control Unit to specifically address this outbreak and how to prevent it in the future.

Many animal advocates say pet owners are a huge part of the solution.

A group of animal lovers is organizing a candlelight vigil Tuesday in memory of the cats and dogs which had to be euthanized over the weekend. The event is scheduled for 5:30 at Freedom Park. That's at Bonanza and Mojave.

Kathryn G. (146)
Monday February 12, 2007, 11:41 pm
Many of us in our animal loving community have struggled with our feelings about the disease outbreak at Lied Animal Shelter. To honor their memory and encourage a thorough review and remedy of the conditions at Lied, we have organized a Candlelight Vigil in memory of all the cats and dogs who lost their lives this past weekend at Lied.

WHEN: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13 beginning at 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: FREEDOM PARK at Bonanza and Mohave -- please use the Mohave entrance and gather in the southwest corner of the park kitty corner from the Lied Shelter.

WHAT: Please bring candles to light, signs express our feelings about protecting the domestic animals of our community. A donation drive will be in place too for the shelter. They need blankets, towels, food, dishes, etc. Bring some with you if you can!

We caution against bringing your pets with you. We will be close to the shelter. Distemper is a very contagious airborne disease. Please consider this when making your plans to attend.

Kathryn G. (146)
Wednesday February 14, 2007, 12:21 pm
Lied Shelter's Problems Much Worse Than Expected

Feb 14, 2007 08:02 AM PST

Featured KTNV Video

Lied Shelter's Problems Much Worse Than Expected
Animals Euthanized After Disease Outbreak At Lied
Check All | Clear All

There is startling new information about the Lied Animal Shelter. Action News confirms the problems at the shelter are much worse than first thought.

More than 1,000 animals have been killed in this outbreak of distemper and parvo. And any animals surrendered to the shelter this week will be put down immediately.

Inside sources tell Action News that the shelter was a filthy mess to begin with. There were dirty cages, too many dogs crammed together and kennels not being cleaned properly.

They say it was a shelter asking for trouble.

Lied has been closed since last week and is scheduled to be reopened this Friday.

Rescue Groups are trying to help the animals who are still alive, and that includes finding foster homes and pet supplies. Call 591-6469 if you can help.

Plus, the Desert Inn Vet Clinic is offering free exams for any animals adopted or fostered from Lied. Their number is 898-PETS.

Keep it tuned to Channel 13 Action News for the latest on Lied Animal Shelter.

Patt Reichardt (0)
Wednesday February 14, 2007, 3:40 pm

Kathryn G. (146)
Thursday February 15, 2007, 10:29 am
Admissions from Lied Animal Shelter Leaders

Feb 15, 2007 06:57 AM PST

Featured KTNV Video

Admissions from Leid Animal Shelter Officials

Also on

Lied Shelter's Problems Much Worse Than Expected

There is more information on what went wrong at the Lied Animal Shelter. It all came out at a heated meeting Wednesday night.

Janie Greenspun-Gale is the head of the group that runs the shelter. She said that more than 1,000 pets had to die because of bad decisions.

Lied finally called in outside experts when things started getting out of control. The shelter is now working to implement all the National Humane Society Policies.

Keep it tuned to Channel 13 Action News for the latest on Lied's improvements.

Keith Whitlock (0)
Monday February 16, 2009, 8:17 pm
Only 150 animals showed symptoms of URI. They also killed all animals who were at the shelter over 120 days. They (UC Davis) did necropsies on only 9 animals. They claimed that they had to put down healthy animals because of lack of resources to properly test the animals. HSUS has an operating budget of over 100,000,000.00 per year. Kate Hurley DVM (and HSUS) are always chomping at the bit to discredit no kill shelters. They refused to give documentation to authorities investigating the crisis. That week over 600 Vets and pver 400 Vet Techs plus other associated vet personel were in Las Vegas for the annual Western Vet Conference. Why were'nt they contacted to help? They conveniently destroyed all those animals right BEFORE the conference. I SMELL A RAT!!!


Kathryn G.
female , single, 2 children
Las Vegas, NV, USA
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