LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Weeks after an outbreak of dog flu began, local shelters are taking in surrenders again, but operations are delayed.

As of Monday, the NSPCA says it still has two dogs in quarantine, and it’s shelter is half full. It is accepting surrenders, but it is working with a wait list, so there will be a two week wait.

The Animal Foundation says it has six symptomatic dogs out of 347 in the shelter. That shelter is accepting surrenders by appointment only.

Henderson Animal Control says it has 47 dogs quarantined. They are accepting surrenders with no wait list, but the shelter is 90 to 95 percent full.

The outbreak of canine flu throughout the Vegas Valley has not only been a challenge for local animal shelters for months now, but one rescue group says that it has lead to more unwanted dogs being dumped on the streets or out in the desert than ever before. They contend many owners who no longer want their dogs are simply turning them loose instead of turning them in, leading to an explosion of stray and abandoned dogs.

Volunteers from Paws Patrol LV, a non-profit animal search and rescue group, come together at a moment’s notice constantly on standby to deploy to help animals in need. “This year has been like no other,” argued Kelly Wider, Field Manager of Paws Patrol LV.

Animal shelters throughout the Las Vegas valley are recovering after an outbreak of canine influenza.

The volunteers were called out at night to a neighborhood in the northwest valley where neighbors say two dogs were dumped and had been living on the streets for days.

“Even though the dogs have been laying down and have been very immobile and calm for hours now… They have the advantage,” Winder explained as the rescue was underway. The volunteers have a process in place to safely capture dogs using large plastic netting carried by several people at once to surround them. Once captured, the dogs turned friendly, even letting the volunteers hold them.

“What we are doing right now is allowing both pups to decompress… We have two females here and shortly we will scan both dogs for microchips,” Winder reported after the successful rescue operation. The dogs, named Thelma and Louise, are now in a loving foster home awaiting a forever home.

Paws Patrol LV says they’ve been getting calls non-stop from dogs dumped out in the desert to cats laying along the side of the road.

“It was like the perfect storm that happened this year,” Winder reported. Not only did the canine flu outbreak stop shelters from taking animals in, but also a massive windstorm led to many animals getting out.

“That really hurt us bad. We haven’t been able to catch up,” Winder shared.

Winder added the worst thing to do with a dog you don’t want is to dump it. Winder suggests reaching out to rescue groups and conveying your situation. Some rescues and shelters can even provide food or medical care to help you keep your animal.

Volunteer groups like Paws Patrol LV depend on donations to keep going. Learn more on their Facebook page:


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