Officials upbeat about Carson City’s animal services
December 5, 2014
City Manager Nick Marano and the Nevada Humane Society, which now runs Carson City's animal services and shelter, are upbeat about animal services operations despite some challenges.
A big challenge, according to the woman running those operations, is an old shelter facility that's still being used and where on Wednesday afternoon there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark bringing in the humane society to take over last Oct. 1. Beata Liebetruth, who oversees both the shelter and field services, cited two months of improvements.
"We're making progress every single day," she said only hours before the ribbon-cutting ceremony. "Obviously there are challenges."
She focused on the shelter itself, which the city intends to replace. A design pact for a new shelter goes to the Board of Supervisors for action today, but it won't be built for awhile and the current one must go on until then.
"It is basically an old facility, a sub-standard facility," said Liebetruth. She said, however, she concentrated immediately on upgrading it as much as possible to make it pleasant and workable for animals even as she emphasized keeping them out of the shelter when possible. The society's focus is on returning animals to owners immediately if they have microchips, or as soon as possible if not.
Other focuses include adoptions when strays aren't claimed and holding microchip opportunities for pets and their owners. One microchip event on Nov. 22 reached more than 90 animals so they can be identified and returned to owners immediately if picked up by animal services personnel.
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To date, both the city manager and the man heading the Reno-based society are pleased with positive inroads Liebetruth and her staff have made.
"I've been impressed with the level of service and focus on saving lives that the Nevada Humane Society has brought to town," said Marano. "I've been particularly satisfied to see them run the enforcement operations as effectively as they do the shelter operations." The city should be proud, he said, "especially as we look to break ground on a new building next year."
Kevin Ryan, society chief executive officer, said things are going well in Carson City and he knows Liebetruth has "been really gratified" with the community's reception. "We're just tickled with how it's going," he said.
Ryan provided data covering the first two months of operations in the state's capital city under his society's oversight.
He said the Carson City release rate for both dogs and cats has been 97 percent, with 56 percent of animals returned to owners directly from the field or over the shelter's counter at 3770 Butti Way. He said the difference between the return rate and the release rate involves adoptions or releases to rescue operations or other methods of seeing the society's "no kill" policy exceeds the goal.
The "no kill" policy aims for as few animal euthanasia solutions as possible. Ryan has said the minimum goal is 90 percent but the society has a record in Northern Nevada of 93 percent. The first two months appear to exceed even that with just 10 animals euthanized of the 427 recorded as intakes in the first two months and the 75 or so the society inherited from the days when the city controlled operations.
Ryan said the society plans an adoption event, with reduced adoption fees, at Carson City's Hohl Subaru on Dec. 13 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. It's part of an overall NHS "Home for the Holidays" promotion to find animals new homes. He said the society also intends to sponsor a series of free microchip clinics going forward.
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