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Are Programs Moving Cats Out of The Animal Foundation Beneficial to Our Community?

As discussed in our winter newsletter, changes to the Clark County Title 10 Ordinance on December 1, 2015 regarding the processing of stray cats have impacted the workload of the LVVHS. These changes address cats handled by The Animal Foundation (TAF) and largely focus on the option to return cats (with or without ear tips, microchip, or ID) to the location in which they were found. As calendar year 2016 was the first full year that these changes were in effect, we can compare statistics to examine the results. The number of cats entering TAF dropped by 25 percent in 2016. Animal Control picked up 41% fewer cats last year, and 48% fewer strays. In addition, there was also a 1 percent decrease in the number of cats being dropped off at TAF and only a 2 percent increase for stray cats dropped there in 2016. What these numbers would seem to suggest is that thousands of stray cats were never brought into the shelter, meaning that they were either never picked up or they were picked up by groups such as the Las Vegas Valley Humane Society. Our own data indicates that the number of cats rescued by LVVHS increased from 159 in 2015 to 424 in 2016 – an increase of just over 167 percent.

According to The Animal Foundation (TAF) statistics, 1,447 cats were either returned back to where they came because the cats were ear tipped, or they were spayed and neutered and returned back. What happened to these cats is unknown, except for those cats LVVHS has anecdotal information about because they were picked up by us after calls were received on our hotline. The outcomes of these calls had varied success; some of these animals were able to successfully be treated and adopted out, but some had severe medical issues and unfortunately had to be euthanized. TAF (and partner, Best Friends) no longer provide the LVVHS with descriptions and locations of cats released, which limits our ability to further assist as well as to definitively track the results of the changes. When addressing calls that seem related to this new policy, the only thing LVVHS has to go on is the fact that cats with tipped ears are tipped differently by TAF and BF than by the clinic we use for spay and neuter, which is Heaven Can Wait Society. LVVHS is also concerned that cats are being released at locations other than the initial places reported, as a result of people providing false address information because they no longer want the animal.

With the Return to Field program, TAF has been able to reduce its euthanasia of cats to 35% in 2016 from 55% in 2015.  While this appears to be a positive change for their organization, what is most concerning to LVVHS is the welfare of these animals once they have been released into our community, and whether some may be suffering a fate that is worse than that of a kind euthanasia when they are unable to survive on their own. 

 

 

CY2015

 CY2016

 % Change

Total cats to TAF

 11,623

8,683

-25

  Picked up by AC

7,067

4,146

-41

    Stray cats picked up

5,843

3,064

-48

  Dropped off at TAF 

4,556

4,537

<-1 

    Stray cats dropped off

3,418

3,485

2

Source: The Animal Foundation Dashboard, "Year in Review 2016"

10.06.050 - Disposition of Community Cats (From Clark County, NV Code of Ordinances)

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) below, if a cat with a tipped ear is admitted into any animal shelter, the animal shelter staff or volunteers may immediately return the cat to the location where it was trapped if the cat is otherwise healthy.

(b) If a cat that has a microchip or identification tag is admitted into any animal shelter, the cat must be held in accordance with Chapter 10.24. After the mandatory hold the cat may proceed through the regular adoption process or animal shelter staff or volunteers may return the cat to the location where it was trapped if it otherwise healthy after it has been sterilized, vaccinated for rabies, and ear tipped.

(c)If a cat that does not have a tipped ear or a microchip or identification tag is impounded into any animal shelter, the cat shall be exempt from a mandatory hold period per Chapter 10.24 and if otherwise healthy may proceed through the regular adoption process or animal shelter staff or volunteers may return the cat to the location where it was trapped after is has been sterilized, vaccinated for rabies, and ear tipped.

(d)A cat released in accordance with Chapter 10.06 shall not be considered to be abandoned per Section 10.32.010.

(Ord. 3685 § 1 (part), 2008)

(Ord. No. 4355, § 3, 11-18-2015)

 
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Pet Owners Must Have Their Dogs and Cats Spayed or Neutered!

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Don't have your dog or cat spayed/neutered yet? Call the Las Vegas Valley Humane Society (LVVHS) at 434-2009 or email us at LVVHS@cox.net. The LVVHS offers low cost spay and neuter clinics for cats and referrals for dogs...read more>

   

 

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