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Commissioner wants better accounting of animal facilities

Nye County Commissioner Frank Carbone is concerned about the growing number of animal shelters, sanctuaries and other animal welfare facilities proliferating in Pahrump.

A list from Nye County Animal Control names 34 animal kennels, sanctuaries and rescue facilities in Pahrump, but Nye County Animal Control Officer Vance Payne said that’s just the ones they know about.

“On top of that, basically anybody who wants to have a lot of dogs or cats or whatever calls themselves a rescue,” Payne said. “There’s probably four or five for every one that we know about.”

Carbone spoke under commissioner’s comments about the issue at the last Nye County Commission meeting. He wants the animal advisory committee to look at the issue and the county planning department to study how many the county wants to permit.

“Over the years people have been just buying property or buying a house and then throwing up a kennel,” Carbone told the Pahrump Valley Times. “We don’t know about it until they get a bunch of dogs.”

A case in point Carbone said was attorney Nancy Lord, who was brought to court recently over her large number of animals.

“Do you want someone around your house that has 10, 20, 30 dogs?” Carbone asked.

The animal list doesn’t include people with special conditions animals, like tigers or lions. That includes Big Cat Encounters on North Woodchips Road, Marianne Slama on Kellogg Road, Rexano run by Zuzana Kukol at Arnold Court, Abby Hedengran on Blackrock Road and Brian Turner’s Running Wild on Cordova Street.

Carbone recalled a recent case where the owner of Great Ape Experience tried to move into a house in a residential neighborhood with chimpanzees.

“How many of these things do we want in our community and this is not just here, this is throughout the whole county,” Carbone said. “Everything you do becomes a cost to the county and we don’t have any money. I mean taxes aren’t going up, the property taxes are down, we’re laying off people.”

He said one resident moved into a neighborhood with 30-some Pomeranian dogs and bought the property without checking out ordinances, the Realtors apparently didn’t either.

“A couple dogs turned out to be 38,” Carbone said. “It’s in an area that you can’t have a kennel, you can have a maximum of five dogs, that’s it. So now what do you do? Now it’s up to the county to figure out what to do. It’s county time, county dollars. We may have to tell this lady she can’t stay there.”

Others have a conditional use permit but aren’t following the rules of the permit, he said.

A list of the facilities showed some were closed down, like Animal House, which was issued a citation and closed June 6, 2013. Dream Chaser Ranch, a horse rescue operated by Diane Davis, closed in July 2013.

The list of animal welfare facilities runs the gamut of breeds and animals. It includes German Shepherd Rescue of Las Vegas operated by Belinda Hendrickson, Lake Ridge Wire Fox Terriers licensed to Dorothy Newell, Awesome Athletic Aussies operated by Debra Samson, Ashes Mystic Poodles operated by Marie Hedman, Tiny Star Yorkies owned by Leon and Angie Turner, Marlene Johnson of Zaltana Anatolians. Others have cute names like Doggie Love, Purrr Rescue Inc., Kamp K-9 and Kitties Too, All the Same Wild and Tame, Furgotten Friends and Howl-A-Day Inn and Spa.

The latest request was by Mary Miller for a conditional use permit before the Pahrump Regional Planning Commission on Oct. 15, which voted to grant the conditional use permit at 6091 and 6121 E. Gills Way for a dog and cat rescue at a location that had been used twice before for animal rescues. The applicant also wants to house a wolf and a coyote hybrid, in the future they hope to obtain small exotic cats like servals or bobcats.

It illustrates the cat fights that erupt sometimes over animal issues.

Eileen Hart, who formerly owned K-9 Kastle Bed and Bone, at 6091 Gills Way, asked the RPC to inquire if Miller’s operation was a valid 501c3, non-profit animal rescue, stating her non-profit status in California expired five years ago. She threatened to sue Miller for using her name for her current facility. Hart asked whether Miller was current on her taxes and licenses.

“What about the 41-plus charges of animal cruelty, abuse, neglect, starvation and throwing dead animals in the dumpster or trash cans?” Hart wrote. She claimed Miller saved python snakes and possibly has a few in Las Vegas or California.

“I believe in saving animals but first do it in your own town first, then your own state and stop bringing in hundreds of out of state animals when our animal shelter right there in Pahrump needs so much help,” Hart wrote.

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