Saving more than 21,000 pets every year, The Animal Foundation, located in Las Vegas, Nevada, is one of the highest volume single-site animal shelters in the U.S. The private, nonprofit organization’s campus is eight acres in size and supported by a current staff of approximately 180 who work with more than 700 active volunteers. To increase their ability to save lives, The Animal Foundation recently renovated their existing shelter and constructed a new building on its campus. As part of this improvement project, the shelter installed PetAirapy to kill germs and microorganisms to help keep the air clean and help stop the spread of airborne illnesses and disease. The Animal Foundation also has in place Mission: Possible 2020, a strategic initiative to save all healthy and treatable animals who come into their care by the end of 2020. By helping reduce URI transmission to create a cleaner and healthier shelter, PetAirapy is proud to play a role in this mission.
We had the opportunity to speak with Carly Scholten, The Animal Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer, to learn more about this remarkable organization dedicated to making a difference for animals in the Las Vegas Valley.
Can you share a bit about what The Animal Foundation is?
We were founded in 1978 as a small, low-cost spay and neuter clinic. In 1995, the organization accepted a sheltering and care contract with the City of Las Vegas and grew to take in approximately 18,000 animals per year. Ten years later in 2005, the shelter expanded its local government services to include Clark County and the City of North Las Vegas and intakes increased to over 52,000 animals per year. In 2015, a new mission was implemented to save the lives of all healthy and treatable animals in the Las Vegas Valley. To support the mission, the shelter developed an aggressive five-year plan to achieve this goal for all animals entering its care by 2020.
In addition to adoptions and lost and found pets, we manage a range of animal lifesaving programs that are designed to address the root causes of pet overpopulation and homelessness. These include: low-cost spay/neuter, microchipping and vaccination services; owner-surrender intervention; trap-neuter-release of free-roaming community cats; door-to-door outreach in underserved neighborhoods; and more.
As one of the highest-volume single site shelters in the U.S., how many animals are typically under your care? What types of animals do you care for?
Much like a public hospital, The Animal Foundation is an open-admission animal shelter, taking in every animal who comes to us in need, no matter how sick or injured. We take in all lost and unwanted animals through our jurisdictional contracts with the City of Las Vegas, the City of North Las Vegas, and Clark County. In 2018, we received a total of 26,088 lost and unwanted animals.
On any given day, you’ll find hundreds of dogs, cats and exotics – including birds, ferrets, rabbits, even snakes – at The Animal Foundation. Our onsite animal population typically fluctuates between 600 and 1,000 animals depending on the time of year.
Can you speak a bit to Mission: Possible 2020 and what role PetAirapy plays in that mission?
Our Mission: Possible 2020 strategic initiative was announced in 2015 and is our commitment to saving all healthy and treatable animals who come into our care by the end of 2020. Through the introduction of new lifesaving programs, expanding existing lifesaving programs, and improving facilities at our campus, we are significantly lowering our euthanasia rate and saving many more lives in a humane and healthy way.
To increase our ability to save lives, The Animal Foundation recently undertook a complete renovation of our existing shelter facility and construction of a brand-new building to house adoption areas for cats and other small animals. Although this project has not increased our capacity to house animals, it has increased our capacity to save lives. As part of this campus completion project, we utilized PetAirapy to provide specialized UV lights for our HVAC systems. These state-of-the-art lights kill germs and microorganisms to help keep the air clean and help stop the spread of airborne illnesses and disease.
Reducing URI transmission to create a cleaner and healthier shelter is one important step that we can take to make sure that the animals brought to our campus get the best care possible. We are excited to track and experience the benefits of the PetAirapy system as we’ve just completed construction and renovations.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about The Animal Foundation and what you’re accomplishing?
The establishment of a modern, efficient home base for our lifesaving work is just one of several meaningful milestones on our journey toward Mission: Possible 2020. It is on this solid ground that we’ll take our boldest, most pronounced step toward the day when we can save every healthy, treatable animal in the Las Vegas Valley.
We always welcome visitors to our campus should they find themselves in Las Vegas! If you visit our campus, you can see our brand-new adoption facility that we moved into earlier this year. The new Engelstad Family Adoption Center was designed to promote, encourage and increase adoptions. Through carefully planned housing structures designed in concert with best practices in animal shelter care, as well as numerous meet-and-greet areas, our animals are provided with safe and comfortable housing, and our visitors can get to know their potential companions in a more intimate and interactive environment. The new play areas also allow our animals to interact with each other and with their potential new families in a more natural setting.
This summer we also completed an extensive veterinary clinic renovation, another key milestone in saving all healthy and treatable animals who enter our care by the end of the year 2020. The newly expanded clinic now offers broader veterinary care for the shelter’s sick and injured animals with significantly upgraded exam suites, new diagnostic tools such as digital and dental x-rays and expanded surgical capabilities.
Our website can be found at animalfoundation.com. Our address is 655 North Mojave Road, Las Vegas, Nevada 89101 and our main phone number is 702-384-3333.
In addition to checking our website, a great way to engage with The Animal Foundation is to follow our social media channels at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.