Ex-volunteers to protest animal shelter's euthanization policy - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Former volunteers to protest animal shelter's euthanization policy

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The Animal Foundation said 73 percent of its cats will be euthanied in 2013. (FOX5) The Animal Foundation said 73 percent of its cats will be euthanied in 2013. (FOX5)

Former volunteers at the Animal Foundation's shelter are organizing a protest. According to them, many more dogs and cats are being euthanized than people realize.

The shelter, located near Easter Avenue and U.S. 95 in Las Vegas, used to be called Lied Animal Shelter.

In 10 days, former volunteers will hold a rally there, hoping to halt the killing of cats and dogs. However, the shelter says it has few options and that the situation at the shelter has improved recently.

Former shelter volunteer and animal advocate Bryce Henderson said he was shocked at how the shelter is run.

"What's really happening is most of the animals are getting euthanized," he said.

The shelter doesn't hide the fact that some of its animals are put down. It said that in 2013, about 33 percent of all dogs and 73 percent of cats will be euthanized.

"We strive to reduce euthanasia numbers more and more and more, and it's working," said shelter Executive Director Christine Robinson.

Robinson said there were 5 percent fewer deaths in 2011 than the year prior, 13 percent fewer the following year and that they are down 22 percent so far this year.

"Certainly the euthanasia of animals is not something that anybody chooses to do or wants to do or takes lightly," Robinson said.

Robinson said that to become a no-kill shelter at this time is not practical because the shelter is taking in 43,000 animals each year. She also said that just a few years ago, the shelter was overcrowded, on the brink of collapse.

"The shelter in 2007 was overcrowded; the animals were sick," she said. "Many times, adopted animals were being returned for being sick, and we just don't have those problems anymore."

Robinson said that no animals have been put down in the past 13 months for lack of space.

Still, Henderson is not satisfied, pointing to the low kill rate at shelters in other cities.

Both sides will meet with the shelter's board of directors on Thursday.

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