“It was very long overdue. We’ve been dealing with this for over two years,” Terry Salyer, exasperated, said on Tuesday.
The longtime Pahrump resident watched with satisfaction as Nye County Animal Control officers and Hazmat volunteers along with sheriff’s deputies removed more than 30 dogs from attorney Nancy Lord’s property.
He was joined by about a half dozen others along the 200 block of Pechstein Street.
The action culminated from a two-year battle between Lord and families living in the neighborhood who say they cannot even go for an evening walk because packs of Lord’s dogs routinely roam the streets of the normally quiet neighborhood off Blagg Road.
Salyer said he and many of his neighbors were pleased to finally get some normalcy back into their lives.
“These dogs have been terrorizing the neighborhood for too long. Before today, we couldn’t let our dogs out and kids could not even play in their own yards. I’ve been waiting for this since eight this morning,” he said.
Though Lord’s property is entirely fenced in, Salyer initially thought the dogs may have escaped by digging underneath or somehow jumping over their enclosure.
He now says that it was Lord herself, “who let the dogs out.”
“I have three dogs and late at night, I would let my dogs out in my yard through the doggie door. I have one that’s 14 years old and it got to be where I couldn’t let them out because she would literally come out, open her gate and let her dogs run loose. I feel sorry for the dogs,” he said.
Nye County Ordinance 430 requires animal owners with more than five dogs or cats over the age of six months on any given property to obtain a residential kennel permit, while anyone with more than 10 dogs or cats over the age of six months to obtain a commercial kennel permit.
Lord has neither.
Nye County Emergency Services Director Vance Payne said a court order allowed his crews to remove enough dogs for Lord to comply with local laws and ordinances relating to the number of pets residents can legally own.
Payne said his department tried on more than one occasion to settle the issue without a court order.
“About two weeks ago we had received a tentative agreement from her because she understood that this issue with the number of animals on her property was untenable. She sat down and talked with myself and District Attorney Brian Kunzi. We had a very amiable discussion and she understood there was a problem. We were able to work out a relationship where animal control would pick up five dogs a week until she got down to the legal numbers. We planned to work with rescue groups in the valley to try and find a home for them. On Aug. 12, an animal control officer was ready to go and pick up the five dogs when Nancy called me and said in her heart, she just couldn’t give them up, so she backed out at the last minute,” he said.
The dogs, now in possession of the Nye County Animal Shelter, are doing well, according to shelter official Tonya Brum on Wednesday.
The fact that the facility constantly maintains a high number of “guests,” officials there were forced to find additional accommodations for the new arrivals.
“With their ingenuity and creativity, they were able to build enough kennels to house the dogs comfortably,” Brum said. “They are in an ongoing court case so they are maintained until the case is adjudicated. The dogs are safe and secure.
Brum also said the shelter always welcomes donations.
“In all reality, the best donation is of course money, first and foremost and leashes. Towels and doggie beds are something else we can always use, especially for the older dogs because a concrete floor is really uncomfortable,” she said.
Payne, meanwhile, said Tuesday’s action required summoning additional resources out of northern Nye County.
“Tim McCarty is the animal control supervisor and we needed some strong supervision and coordination on the scene,” he said.