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Dozens of animals from hoarding cases recently rescued

Over 103 cats and 37 dogs were captured between two animal hoarding cases in the Las Vegas Valley this month, and Animal Foundation is asking the public for help with the huge influx of pets.

Animal Foundation CEO Hilarie Grey said that about 900 animals were brought to the shelter within two weeks this month, with 140 of those animals coming from two animal hoarding cases.

Documents obtained from Clark County Animal Protection Services outline how a normal eviction on Feb. 12 snowballed into the massive animal hoarding operation where over a hundred cats were captured over several days.

Officers wrote that they found many cats across the property in several rooms and in holes in the walls and cabinets, and said many appeared “unsocialized, scared, and very dirty.” One cat was found dead behind a refrigerator.

The documents stated the owner surrendered all cats to animal protection services. The case is still active.

Another animal hoarding case in North Las Vegas brought 37 dogs to the foundation from one home on Feb. 2, according to the city. The case began when an elderly man called for medical personnel, and told them he had too many dogs that he wanted to turn over to animal control.

The owner is potentially facing misdemeanor criminal charges of animal hoarding, a North Las Vegas spokesperson said.

The Animal Foundation could not give specific figures for how many animals from the hoarding cases are available for adoption but said the shelter has over 60 cats available for adoption and fostering when it would usually have only five or 10 this time of year, and over 200 dogs.

Jim Andersen, chief of Clark County’s Public Response Office that oversees Animal Protection Services, said it is important for people to be aware of what’s going on in their neighborhoods, because animal hoarding is not always obvious from outside of people’s homes.

“We’re usually made aware of these things when they get very severe, or a family member might see something and finally call us, but folks do need to call us when they believe that there’s a hoarding situation happening in their neighborhood,” he said.

People who suspect someone may be animal hoarding should call the Animal Protection Services at 702-455-7710. Signs of animal hoarding can be excessive animal noise, or seeing many different cats through someone’s window, Andersen said.

Grey said people can help the shelter during times of influx by trying to reunite lost animals with their owners on their own before taking the animal to the foundation to help keep its population under control. About 30 to 60 percent of animals taken in by the shelter are lost pets and strays.

With a lower population, the shelter can better focus their efforts on helping animals who need it the most, like the ones found in severe animal hoarding cases.

“We want to make sure that we have the space and the capacity to care for the animals that really need this … so that if we do all of a sudden get 100 animals in that we have the ability to care for them.”

Contact Taylor Lane at tlane@reviewjournal.com.

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