Our View: Shelter van saves lives

Published 1:40 pm Saturday, January 27, 2018

In Clark County, 97 percent of dogs that are taken into the shelter will eventually find placement. However, only 10 percent of all placements are made through local adoptions.

The Clark County Animal Shelter, in partnership with local volunteers agencies has collaborated with out-of-state rescues to facilitate 90 percent of the adoptions made from the shelter.

This partnership, which saves hundreds of animals annually from euthanasia, is only possible because volunteers obtaind a grant to purchase a van and offer their time as drivers for the long-distance transports.

Email newsletter signup

After an accident Jan. 13, the shelter is left without a vehicle to continue this valuable and life-saving work.

As shelter Director Adreanna Wills noted, shelters can quickly become overcrowded, especially in southern states where low-cost spay and neuter programs are not readily available.

If the local shelter reaches capacity and the animals cannot be transported north, where spay and neuter programs have dramatically reduced rates of homeless animals, local animals may quickly face euthanasia.

Thankfully, the Friends of the Clark County Animal Shelter, a nonprofit agency, was formed this week to help address this need.

The group is asking for the public’s help to replace the old van. It was purchased more than six years ago after A Time To Live, another local nonprofit offering support to the shelter, won a Pepsi Challenge grant.

The van had approximately 300,000 miles on it at the time of the wreck, and the insurance payout is expected to be minimal. ATTL had already saved nearly $8,000 towards the cost of replacing the van, but more is needed.

FOCCAS wants to raise $40,000 to pay for a basic new van, adding crates to the van, a year’s worth of full-coverage insurance and the cost of the first long-distance transport with the new van.

So far, about $4,000 has been raised and volunteers are working with local dealerships to secure the best possible deal on a van.

However, it is up to the community to work together to fill the tremendous void left by the loss of this vehicle.

We must consider the impact this $40,000 could make in saving thousands of animals, reducing euthanasia rates, decreasing expenses at the animal shelter and limiting the rates of homeless or stray animals in our community.

If the residents of Clark County can contribute anything toward the cause, we can help continue the mission of the shelter and its nonprofit support groups. We will certainly reap the benefits.

Any donations are welcome, volunteers said, no matter how small.

Businesses could provide incentives, like casual Friday, for donations to the cause or consider matching donations from employees. Perhaps other civic groups could collect small donations from members.

If someone is unable to give, simply sharing the story and the need could make a world of difference. The further the story reaches, the more help might come available.

We encourage our readers to consider the incredible benefit even a small donation to this cause would offer our community.