As the last few days of the year 2019 approached, Desert Haven Animal Society was snarled in an overcrowding issue, with too many animals in too little space.
Not willing to allow this problem to spiral out of control, the staff at Desert Haven, the contracted operators of Pahrump’s only public animal shelter, turned to social media to find a solution and the response they received has been described as something quite amazing.
A total of seven animal rescues stepped up and offered to assist the local animal shelter by taking some of the pets off its hands, helping bring the shelter back into balance and ease the stress of overcrowding, not just for the staff but for the animals themselves as well.
Attending the Nye County Commission’s Jan. 7 meeting, Jane Carbone and Barbara Gordon of Desert Haven provided the commission and public with an update on the situation.
“We had some rescues come and pull some animals, which helped us dramatically,” Carbone stated before turning the microphone over to Gordon, whom Carbone said had taken the lead on the problem and was a key person in bringing about the positive solution seen at the shelter.
“We were getting very, very, very full at the shelter,” Gordon detailed. “We were having to move around animals and we never want to do that and we never want to put dogs in crates that don’t belong there. So we put out a Facebook shout-out to all rescues, you may have seen it. We said we were busting at the seams, can you please help? We ended up with seven rescues coming to the shelter over a three-day period.”
All in all, 20 dogs, 13 cats and a farm pig were removed from the animal shelter and taken to various rescues in Las Vegas and Pahrump.
Rescues credited with providing assistance to Desert Haven included All Friends Animal Sanctuary, Forgotten Friends Dog Rescue, Hearts Alive Village Rescue Group, Las Vegas Rescue Center, Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Southern Nevada Animal Rescue League and Home for Spot, a rescue focused on small canines.
While the assistance with Desert Haven’s immediate overcrowding issue was obviously a source of enormous happiness, that was not the only benefit seen by the call for help. Desert Haven has also been able to establish highly valuable contacts in the animal rescue community and it will be more equipped to locate assistance in the future if needed.
“We met a lot of really nice people, we made a lot of really good connections. They are still in contact, they are sending us pictures, they are wanting to work with us and we are so happy to have met them all,” Gordon enthused. “So we made a lot of good friends, we made a lot of good connections.”
During the same meeting on Jan. 7, Nye County Commission Chairman John Koenig also noted that the county is still working toward developing a new, larger animal shelter but plans are not yet solidified. Once they are, details will be announced to the community.
Though the overcrowding has been reined in, the amount of animals in the shelter is always in flux as strays, owner surrenders and more make their way into the shelter. There are still many dogs, puppies, cats and kittens in need of forever homes. Desert Haven is continuing to encourage residents to head out to the shelter and adopt a new family member.
Desert Haven Animal Society is at 1511 Siri Lane. Business hours are noon to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, with the shelter closed on Monday and Tuesday. The shelter can be reached at 775-751-7020.
Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at firstname.lastname@example.org