LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – This week, FOX5 has reported on the critical overcrowding crisis at the Animal Foundation.

The shelter is over capacity with cages set up in hallways with staff trying to find space anywhere to house dogs. It then got 39 French Bulldogs after Henderson police discovered what it called a puppy mill during an investigation in the East Las Vegas Valley.

Friday, the Animal Foundation hosted an emergency foster event and the response was overwhelming. In eight hours, 77 animals left the overcrowded shelter, one about every 6 minutes, going to a temporary and possibly permanent home.

What makes the Animal Foundation different than other shelters throughout the Las Vegas Valley is that any animals involved in any law enforcement case, like the puppy mill, will end up at the shelter unless that case is within Henderson. That means animals must be taken in, even if they don’t have any room.

In the last two weeks, they’ve taken in 1,100 animals. While the City of Henderson runs its own shelter, animals picked up in Clark County, the City of Las Vegas or North Las Vegas as strays by animal control or seized by law enforcement all go to the Animal Foundation. To help make room, the Animal Foundation held the special emergency foster event.

“We’re asking people to come down and take home a dog, a medium or large dog, for two to four weeks. It helps us free up space in the shelter for other dogs that are coming in, and we learn so much about the dog when they’re in a foster home because they’re more relaxed,” explained Kelsey Pizzi, Communications manager of the Animal Foundation.

Families lined up well before doors opened.

After announcing that it has taken in over 1,000 animals this month, the Animal Foundation received 39 more dogs from one home late Wednesday night.

“I have never seen it this busy here at the Animal Foundation. When I saw the line of people, I just had goosebumps because you can see that people are excited and people want to help, and they want to help our shelter animals and that’s what matters at the end of the day.”

Anyone who brings home a medium or large dog to foster for the next few weeks will have all fees waived if they decide to adopt.

“I have a little Maltese, and he’s very lonely, and I thought, ‘I’ll just go see what’s going on down there,’ and I saw her. Her name is Cinderella, and she’s got a little health issue right now but I’m going to foster her and if it all works out, then I’ll be adopting her as well,” shared Elaine Vukovich alongside her new foster dog.

“I hope they all get homes. I hope they all get fed well. They all look happy and sad at the same time,” said Alicia Lambert, who was at the event looking to adopt. So many people showed up waiting to take a dog home that not everyone could get in. The Animal Foundation says as of 5 p.m., they had dozens of people still in line and reached capacity for the day.

“They said we could come back tomorrow but we can’t take another day off of work, and possibly the dog we wanted may not be here. Granted, we can choose another animal, but we have already bonded with this little dog that we wanted,” Debra Coates told FOX5 after waiting in line for a dog for hours.

“Towards the end of the day we did have more customers than we were able to help. We have never seen this many people in one day before and we were able to send a lot of animals home,” said Shea Tanner, a volunteer with the Animal Foundation.

The foundation is open for fosters and adoptions Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and no appointment is necessary.

As for the dozens of French bulldogs from the puppy mill now staying at the Animal Foundation, they’re not available for adoption just yet. They are on a 10-day legal hold.


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