Nye County Animal Control took custody of 67 Whippet dogs and two cats from a home in Tonopah on Tuesday, forcing overcrowding at the Tails End Animal Shelter in Pahrump.
Animal control, Nye County Hazmat and Emergency Management seized the animals from “inadequate conditions” at 24 Cody St. The animal were rescued from a duplex, three vehicles, a travel trailer and the front yard.
One person has been arrested by Nye County Sheriff’s deputies and is being charged with animal cruelty. Animal Control issued a charge of “failure to provide humane care.”
The animals were evaluated by a veterinarian, and are expected to “rebound quickly with proper nutrition and a clean living environment,” according to a statement from Emergency Management.
All of the animals were transported to Pahrump. According to shelter Director Susan Cronin, their arrival has strained the resources of the shelter, which was designed to house 31 animals.
“Animal Control notified us and we originally thought we were getting 20-to-25 dogs, but 67 of them showed up,” Cronin said. “They all came from one house and it’s very sad because they are not in very good shape healthwise. We had our veterinarian come in very early this morning to examine all of them. We all have a lot of extra work to do and we just built another kennel today.”
Cronin said none of the dogs were spayed or neutered.
“It appears somebody was trying to breed Whippets and it got out of control somehow,” she said. “There appears to be some inbreeding. With inbreeding problems can develop when the dogs are mature. Inbreeding really changes a dog’s temperament. It’s really horrible because they are not used to people but they are very sweet, especially the baby puppies.”
Cronin also said the shelter will accept any supplies and donations the community can provide to help with the situation.
“Right now we need $ 6,000 to buy the specialty equipment we need for these animals in the long term,” she said. “We need portable kennels because we are getting bad weather this weekend which we were discussing at a meeting. We don’t ask where the animals come from because that’s not our job. Our part is the cost of maintaining the facility and to take care of the animals here.”
Dog carriers, holding cages and everyday supplies are also needed at Tails End.
Cronin said a request on social media appears to be getting the community’s attention.
“We put it on Facebook and the public has been so very good,” she said. “They brought in huge cases of laundry detergent, hand towels and cat litter which are all the supplies that we need each day. We need get these animals ready for the weekend weather if it turns bad.”
Prior to Tuesday’s seizure, the shelter had 11 animals in protective custody along with 25 animals ready for adoption.
Any seized animal in protective custody cannot be adopted out until the owner’s case is taken care of in court.
Cronin said she is now renewing her focus to find a larger facility because the shelter has never taken in so many animals at one time in its 35-year history.
“It just goes to show the need for a new shelter so badly,” she said. “Animal control is going out every day and night answering every call and complaint.” This is the most amount of dogs we’ve ever taken in in a single day.”
The shelter director located an isolated piece of property on the far north end of town, which she said, would be more than adequate for the shelter’s needs.
The 2,400 square-foot facility sits on more than four acres with a 25-by-37 foot metal building at the site, but she said it’s still too early to say whether she can occupy the site.
“I love that property, there is a big building in the back plus a separate mobile home,” she said. “There’s also two-plus acres with nothing on it when we have an influx like this we will be able to better accommodate them.”
Cronin said the future of the 67 dogs and two cats remains unknown.
“As far as what we can do with the animals we received this week, it’s a wait-and-see situation,” she said. “We still have 11 dogs here from a case going back to last August. We have to hold them until the case is settled.”
On Sunday, Tails End is holding an adoption fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hubb bar on 3720 W. Bell Vista Ave.
The Animal Foundation, a non-profit shelter in Las Vegas, has agreed to help Tails End by collecting donations and supplies through Monday.
For more information on Tails End Animal Shelter, visit their Facebook page or call 775-751-7020.