Looking forward to Carson City’s new animal shelter

Carson City’s new animal shelter later this year will provide more than shelter, Kevin Ryan, head of the Nevada Humane Society, explained at a luncheon Wednesday.

“I hear it’s going to be (done) in December of 2015,” said Ryan, the society’s chief executive officer, speaking at a Chamber of Commerce Soup’s On lunch gathering attended by Mayor Robert Crowell, City Manager Nick Marano and other city officials.

No one contradicted that projection, which was followed by Ryan saying in addition there would be clinical services to enhance the society mission of saving animals’ lives and avoiding euthanasia. That’s done via adoptions, clinical options to keep dogs and cats alive, as well as reuniting them with owners. A pact between city government and the society last year put the Washoe County-based organization in charge of animal services and the shelter.

“We don’t want to be a law enforcement body, and we’re not,” Ryan said. He said field services personnel picking up dogs or cats make repeated efforts to reunite them with their owners, which lessens pressure on the shelter and is among results he bragged about via statistics.

For example, he said the “no kill” mission and policy is 97 percent successful in Carson City, if you measure it by the “live release rate,” which exceeds the 93 percent level over a longer period in Washoe County.

He said in Northern Nevada since 2007 there have been 75,000 pet adoptions through the organization’s work. He said in 2014 the society did 15,000 spay/neuter operations, which helps keep the area pet population in check and takes pressure off the situation regarding strays.

Ryan called “no kill” a problematic term, but said it referred to the goal at least nine of 10 animals dealt with get returned to owners, adopted or otherwise placed. He said the percentage can vary up or down some over time, but pledged it won’t ever go below 90 percent in Carson City as long as the local government-humane society pact continued. City government basically turned over the operation without increasing the animal services budget.

Ryan said society efforts to reunite owners and pets goes above and beyond what you might think, including repeatedly knocking on doors in a neighborhood where a pet was picked up until the right home is found and taking additional steps if necessary. For example, he said, field personnel have helped repair fence gate latches to make sure animals won’t get loose again.

He also cited the society’s statistics regarding animals returned directly to owners, which included 68 percent returned overall and 26 percent when it came to cats. “These numbers are better than anybody else’s,” he said.

Prior to his talk, Chamber Director Ronni Hannaman also discussed the new shelter slated for Airport Road at city government’s corporate yard not far from the wastewater treatment plant. She said the $3.9 million structure is financed mostly by the city, but the Carson Animal Services Initiative has raised $130,000 of a $200,000 goal to help build the facility. She said CASI’s next event is Woof, Wine & Whiskers on March 7 at the Carson Nugget.


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