by Donna Eads
Our Mesquite Animal Shelter, which opened in 1999, has a new story with some new ‘tails.’ Over the last year, the Mesquite Police Department and the City Council have worked to meet the requirements for the shelter to become a NO-KILL shelter. Happily, those requirements have been achieved.
As the Mesquite Animal Shelter has done for years, no animal will be euthanized unless that animal is terminally ill or is a threat to the public. Now, the shelter will include the feral population to this equation. The goal is to have less than a 10% loss of life and has been reached within this past year.
Many of the people that assisted with making this possible for the city of Mesquite were present at the announcement on Thursday, September 20, 2018. City council member Dave Ballweg, Police Chief Troy Tanner, Captain MaQuade Chesley, and Animal Control Supervisor, Joe Marcias spoke during the presentation. Noted during their discussions was that the current 40-plus volunteers contribute approximately $100,000 worth of hours per year. Their continued assistance is needed to ensure the Shelter’s success. Additionally, they recognized the use of our rescue partners, such as We Care for Animals (WCFA), BAMA, Best Friends, and many more who will assist in finding forever homes for our shelter animals.
After the presentation, two important questions were asked:
First, how will the shelter adjust to an increased population considering the current limited available space in our facility? Chief Tanner responded that the shelter will have the full support of the Police Department and city. Any possible adjustment of the shelter’s population would be quickly handled with additional kennels and assistance.
Second, what are the plans and procedures to handle the feral population? The shelter has a new program this year to capture and release feral animals after being altered and marked. This will assist to control and observe that population.
As noted Dave Ballweg, who has two rescue dogs, a new goal for the shelter is an additional building which would have a behavioral/rehab area and a medical facility to improve adoption success. The city council approved a new position in addition to our Animal Control Officers. This person will be at the shelter during normal operating hours from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to assist with adoptions and socialization. The change will provide more public time for our citizens to visit and adopt.
An outdoor playground called a “catio” will be added to the cat area to allow for more space and socialization. In the last few years, the shelter has added a meet-and-greet room, a cover over the outdoor play area for dogs. That area has been divided so two dogs may be out at one time. Some of these items were donated to the shelter from an endowment trust.
The city has made the necessary legal moves to create a shelter trust/charity institution for the future. With this designation, the Mesquite Animal Shelter can accept 501(c)3 contributions/endowments. Changing to a charitable organization allows for the shelter to file for additional grants available from ASPCA and others.
The Mesquite Animal Shelter stands as a shining oasis for all animals in our area, and will continue to improve and bring important new avenues for care and forever homes for our furry friends. Visit the Mesquite Animal Shelter at 795 Hardy Way Mesquite, NV, or call 702-346-7415.