LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – A crisis is ongoing at the valley’s largest animal shelter. The Animal Foundation says it is still in desperate need of foster families as more and more dogs come through its doors, some needing special care, as an outbreak of dog flu continues to plague the shelter.

This month alone, the Animal Foundation has taken in more than 1,500 animals. The majority are strays or pets surrendered by their owners, but nearly 300 were confiscated by law enforcement during animal hoarding or cruelty investigations.

Two cases brought more than 30 dogs to the shelter Tuesday night. FOX5 has learned animals seized by the North Las Vegas Police Department and turned over for care were part of 88 animals taken in by the shelter just Tuesday.

For now, the Animal Foundation is operating like a hospital, workers wearing PPE and healthy dogs being isolated from sick ones. An outbreak of dog flu forced the shelter to limit some adoptions in the last few weeks but their call for help, for people to foster animals, had a major response.

“The community has really stepped up. We have about 350 animals that we have put into foster homes, both dogs and cats,” shared Hillarie Grey, CEO of the Animal Foundation.

The shelter has been at capacity with the need for people to adopt or foster for months and they must take in animals from law enforcement seized during criminal investigations anytime they are brought in.

“We work with all three municipalities, North Las Vegas, Las Vegas, and Clark County,” Grey explained. Some of the 30 dogs just taken in from North Las Vegas also need special care.

“One of the cases involved some mama dogs still nursing their very young puppies,” Grey revealed. North Las Vegas police tell FOX5, 19 dogs were seized during a home eviction and multiple dog owners were arrested. In their other case, 11 dogs were found abandoned in a trailer.

“Unfortunately, when it is a confiscation or a cruelty case, there’s a 10 day hold, sometimes more when it becomes a legal case too, so because we’re the public shelter, that is a requirement. A lot of these animals are going to be here for a while,” Grey stated.

Overcrowding is a problem at shelters and rescues across the Vegas Valley so the dogs at the Animal Foundation have nowhere else to go. Animal Foundation continues to make an urgent plea to Southern Nevada families to open their homes to foster animals.

Rescue groups tell FOX5, they are seeing a big problem right now with unwanted dogs simply being dumped on the streets or out in the desert.

Dogs are flooding into shelters through the area at a time when canine influenza is spreading. As of Wednesday, the Animal Foundation has 164 dogs showing signs of dog flu, with 17 confirmed cases. The Nevada SPCA has 5 confirmed cases, with 14 dogs with symptoms. As of last week, the Henderson Animal Shelter paused adoptions due to the dog flu. Monday, Henderson reported three dogs had tested positive, with 31 showing symptoms.


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