ST. GEORGE – After operating unofficially as a no-kill facility for many months, the animal shelter in Mesquite, Nevada, was officially designated as a no-kill shelter Thursday.
“It has always been our goal to save the lives of healthy and treatable animals,” Mesquite Police Capt. MaQuade Chesley said as he addressed media, shelter employees and volunteers at a press conference.
The animal shelter, which is overseen by the Mesquite Police Department, takes in an average of 500 animals per year. It was operating under no-kill procedures for around seven months before receiving the official designation.
“What is a no-kill shelter? A no-kill shelter is a shelter that doesn’t kill healthy or treatable animals and reserves euthanasia for terminally ill animals or those considered to be dangerous to the public,” Chesley said.
Becoming a no-kill shelter was made possible through support from the Mesquite City Council, community members and shelter volunteers.
“It is a milestone that could not be reached without the efforts of our animal control officers, our beloved volunteers, as well as the support of our city administrators and council,” Chesley said.
Animal shelter volunteers donated nearly 4,800 hours of service, Chesley said, which equates to a value of around $105,500.
In addition to receiving its no-kill designation, the animal shelter will be hiring a third animal control officer to work the front desk.
Mesquite City Councilman David Ballweg announced the city is creating a trust for the animal shelter that the public can donate to. Donations will be used to enhance services and expand the facility.
One enhancement Ballweg said he’d like to see is an onsite facility dedicated to rehabilitating animals that are not ready for adoption for various reasons.
An onsite expansion would also include a medical facility where local veterinarians could examine and spay and neuter animals as needed in-house, Ballweg said, rather than having to take animals to other facilities for such treatments.
Ballweg also thanked the work of shelter volunteers and employees.
Beyond private donations to the new trust, members of the public still wondered where additional money for facilities additions may come from. Of primary concern, securing the kind of funding needed to expand the size and infrastructure of the shelter to allow room for more animals.
Ballweg said the trust, which will be overseen by a board, may be able to borrow from the city on occasion. He also mentioned the possibility of holding fundraisers.
Chesley, Ballweg and Mesquite Police Chief Troy Tanner reiterated how supportive the community has been toward the animal shelter and said they believed support would continue.
“There are many people in this community that love animals as much as kids,” Tanner joked, noting that as a police chief he’s sometimes received more calls of concern regarding an animal involved in a police action over those of a suspect.
Chesley said a lot of time and effort went into getting the shelter to the point it is at now. He said becoming a no-kill shelter wasn’t something “just created last week,” noting that some aspects of the transition are still in progress.
“We already feel like the city of Mesquite, the public, the majority really love and will do anything they can to help animals – to save animals,” Chesley said. “And that’s our goal – to save any treatable animal.”
As part of becoming a no-kill facility, shelter officials also mentioned working with the area’s trap-neuter-release program for feral cats as a means of keeping the population in check.
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