Las Vegas, NV — A bill in the legislature could require animal shelters to hold pets for five days before putting them up for adoption or euthanizing them.
Senate bill 243 would bump the time a shelter is required to hold an animal before it’s eligible for adoption, transfer to a rescue group, or euthanasia. Right now shelters are only required to hold animals for 72 hours.
“Right now it’s 72 hours for the large amount of animals coming in. We’re one of the largest shelters in North America and when you look at the statistics for other shelters, they’re not having the intake that we do,” said Delia Prol of The Animal Foundation.
If the bill passes, shelters would hold animals for no less than five consecutive business days.
As it is, Lied Animal Shelter at The Animal Foundation is struggling to house the thousands of animals that come through it’s doors every day. Last year nearly 40,000 pets were taken in; only about 5,000 were ever reclaimed by their owners.
Employees say sometimes it comes down to people not knowing how to go about finding a lost pet. “Especially for the cats, they go. ‘Oh, I figure I’ll give it a week and then I’ll go to the shelter. That’s far too much time,” Prol said.
Other pet owners get their animals microchipped, but fail to register or update the chip with current address and contact information. It causes many chipped animals to never make it home.
“If no rescue is available or if the animal’s not recommended for rescue yes, there’s a chance they could be euthanized. That’s why I tell families please, don’t wait to come in and look for your pet at the shelter, come in immediately,” Prol said.
The bill does state that the change would have a fiscal impact on local governments but does not suggest where the funding should come from.