An Update From The Animal Foundation

Update 11/15/2022

The Animal Foundation is happy to announce that all dogs in our care have been cleared of Canine Pneumovirus.

Due to the swift response of our team, we were able to manage the spread of the virus both in the shelter and our community. It took dedicated teamwork and coordination among our staff, community partners and national veterinary experts on disease in animal shelters.

“This effort was successful because of prompt identification and response, and having support internally and externally with animal protection services and our partners, who tailored their protocols to assist in what we were dealing with. That’s why we were able to keep the other animals in our care safe and ultimately healthy,” Dr. Casey Miller, Chief Veterinarian at The Animal Foundation said.

With strict protocols in place, all infected and exposed dogs were isolated and quarantined respectively. Specific team members worked in isolation rooms apart from healthy animals. Our team disinfected every walkway and play yard, and we created separate pathways to reduce potential exposure to the virus in the shelter.

Every animal in the shelter received daily enrichment, and our team came up with new ways to help pets who can become stressed and bored from kennel life. Once dogs were no longer an infectious risk to other dogs they were moved from isolation to adoptions.

We are grateful to our team who is committed to keeping the animals in our care safe, and the national experts on infectious diseases in animal shelters who guided us through this situation.

“The great teamwork by medical and animal care staff at The Animal Foundation maximized lifesaving while achieving the quickest resolution possible. The UF Shelter Medicine Program is very proud of their accomplishment,” said Dr. Cynda Crawford, a Fredrica Saltzman Endowed Professorship Chair in Shelter Medicine and a Clinical Associate Professor in Shelter Medicine at the University of Florida's Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program.

The most important thing that our community can do right now is adopt a pet from The Animal Foundation or a local rescue group that supports our shelter. There are currently hundreds of animals available for adoption. If you can’t make room in your home for another furry friend, then please encourage your friends, coworkers and relatives to adopt.

Update 11/3/2022

105 dogs at The Animal Foundation have been cleared of Canine Pneumovirus, and only eight symptomatic or exposed dogs remain under treatment. These pets are currently isolated from all other dogs until they are cleared by a veterinarian.

We plan to resume taking in lost dogs by appointment on Thursday, November 10, in a limited capacity. Appointments will be scheduled online at animalfoundation.com.

The Animal Foundation will implement a managed intake strategy based on a nationally-recognized animal sheltering model that aligns with the needs and resources of the community. There are several evidence-based reasons why shelters transition to managed intakes:

Appointments reduce stressful wait times for both people and lost animals.

  • Our staff can manage and better prepare for the flow of animals into the shelter.
  • We can serve more pets and people, rather than fewer, over time.
  • We can stay within our capacity to provide humane care and better respond to critical situations and emergencies.
  • In addition to improving efficiency, managed intakes will help us control the spread of disease in the shelter.

“We are implementing proven strategies to isolate cases of disease rather than bring new dogs into a crowded shelter population where viruses can spread easily and rapidly. Keeping the shelter population at a manageable level is the first step to stopping disease and transmission,” said Dr. Casey Miller, Chief Veterinarian at The Animal Foundation.

Managed intakes are most effective with community support. Managed intake encourages people who find lost pets to keep them temporarily to increase the chance that they can be reunited with their families. Studies show that 92% of lost pets have families, and most are found within a mile of their homes. Lost pets usually reunite with their owners within a few hours if they stay in their neighborhoods.

Unfortunately, bringing a lost pet to a shelter decreases their chance of being found and creates crowding in kennels. Most lost pets who come to The Animal Foundation never find their way home. In addition, a shelter can be a stressful environment where animals can get sick and wait weeks or even months to find a new home.

We can provide those who find lost pets with food and kennels and also offer leashes and collars when available.

We recommend those who find a lost pet take these steps before bringing that animal to the shelter:

  • Take the pet around your neighborhood and ask your neighbors if they recognize the animal. Post flyers of the animal throughout your community.
  • Check to see if the pet has a tag or other contact information. There may be owner or veterinarian contact information on the animal’s collar. Take the pet to an animal hospital to scan for a microchip.
  • Social media platforms such as Nextdoor and Facebook are all extremely effective at reuniting lost pets with their owners.

If your pet goes missing or you find a lost pet, The Animal Foundation has a list of helpful steps to take: https://animalfoundation.com/get-pet-help/lost-found-pets

Update 10/20/22

As of Thursday, October 20, 73 dogs at The Animal Foundation are showing signs of Canine Pneumovirus. An additional 28 dogs have recovered from the virus and have been cleared for adoption.

Because dogs continue to recover at the anticipated rate, limited dog adoptions are now taking place at The Animal Foundation. 

Dogs available for adoption were either not exposed to or have been cleared by the veterinary team from Canine Pneumovirus. As more dogs recover or complete their isolation period, they will be available for adoption and will be relisted on the adoption page on our website. All dogs are still listed on our lost and found page even if they are currently exposed or isolated. 

Update 10/12/22

The Animal Foundation plans to open limited dog adoptions on Friday, October 14. These dogs will have been deemed healthy by our veterinary team. These dogs were not exposed to a respiratory illness at the shelter, or they have been cleared from Canine Pneumovirus. All adoptable, healthy dogs will be listed as available on our website. 

The Animal Foundation has removed dogs who are not available from the adoptions page on our website. These dogs haven’t been cleared yet and we will continue to monitor them and follow quarantine protocols. They can still be found on our lost and found page in case their families are looking for them.

As of Wednesday, October 12, 77 dogs at The Animal Foundation are showing signs of Canine Pneumovirus. No additional dogs outside of one isolated case on September 30 have tested positive for the Strep Zoo. All dogs are responding well to treatment and we are closely monitoring them. No dogs at the shelter have died from Canine Pneumovirus or Strep Zoo. 

The Animal Foundation has been quarantining affected dogs, and limiting the number of dogs who enter the shelter to prevent the spread of the disease. This will protect the dogs already in our care and to halt any potential spread at the shelter and in our community. The Animal Foundation has been, and continues to, follow the advice of national veterinary experts on disease in animal shelters. 

Update 10/10/22

Here is the latest information from The Animal Foundation: 40 dogs at the shelter are showing signs of an upper respiratory illness. When they are treated and cured, we will be able to reopen our dog intake operations and dog adoptions. This step is being taken both to protect the animals already in our care and to halt any potential spread at the shelter and in our community.

So far, 11 dogs at The Animal Foundation have tested positive for the highly contagious Canine Pneumovirus. We are still waiting for other test results to come back. As of Monday, October 10, 2022, no additional dogs outside of the one isolated case on September 30 have tested positive for Strep Zoo. 

All of the dogs are responding well to treatment and our veterinary team is closely monitoring them. We will continue to post updates as they become available.

Update 10/6/2022

Several days ago, a pet was brought to The Animal Foundation which later exhibited a respiratory illness that had the potential to infect other animals in its proximity. In accordance with advice from our veterinary team and from national veterinary experts on disease in animal shelters, The Animal Foundation is taking the necessary step to stop taking in any additional stray or owner surrendered dogs while we monitor and clear the facility of the disease. 30 dogs at the shelter are showing signs of an upper respiratory illness and when they are treated and cured, we will be able to reopen our intake operations. This step is being taken both to protect the animals already in our care and to halt any potential spread.

Several other shelters across the nation have experienced increased cases of canine respiratory illnesses this year, so our priority is to ensure a safe and healthy environment for the dogs in our care and in our community.

“The Animal Foundation takes in animals of all backgrounds, but due to the open admissions policy, we don’t always know the history of the animals coming to the shelter,” says Hilarie Grey, CEO. “Everyone who works here is here because they love animals, so we try to make decisions as though each animal was our own.”

Seven dogs at The Animal Foundation have tested positive for the highly contagious Canine Pneumovirus, and test results are still in process for the remaining dogs. All dogs are responding well to treatment and we are closely monitoring them. And according to experts, the best way to prevent the spread of the disease is by quarantining affected dogs, and limiting the number of dogs who enter the shelter.

“Canine Pneumovirus causes symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and nasal discharge, and fever. Most affected animals experience mild cold-like symptoms, but some dogs can develop more serious disease that can progress to pneumonia,” said Dr. Casey Miller, Chief Veterinarian at The Animal Foundation.

The Animal Foundation has been working closely with Dr. Cynda Crawford, a Fredrica Saltzman Endowed Professorship Chair in Shelter Medicine and a Clinical Associate Professor in Shelter Medicine at the University of Florida's Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program and Julie Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DABVP a Fran Marino Endowed Distinguished Professor of Shelter Medicine. They have assisted us in creating a plan of action based on recognized best practices to safeguard the health of the animals in our care and the community.

“Canine pneumovirus is a highly contagious respiratory virus that spreads easily and rapidly in populations of dogs in shelters and boarding facilities. Most dogs do not have pre-existing immunity to this virus and there is no vaccine, meaning nearly all dogs are susceptible to infection. While infected dogs from the community bring the virus into a shelter, there are very effective intervention strategies to stop virus transmission and prevent release back into the community,” said Dr. Cynda Crawford.

“The Animal Foundation is implementing an evidence-based strategy to more quickly resolve pneumovirus transmission within the shelter and prevent release into the community," she continued.

Dog adoptions at The Animal Foundation are also temporarily closed, and our goal is to fully reopen as soon as possible once we know that all of the dogs are safe and healthy. If a lost pet is currently at the shelter, owners will still be able to pick them up. An appointment is recommended.

Helpful tips for community members to reunite lost pets with their owners: There are helpful measures we can all take as a community to reunite lost pets with their owners. If you find an animal that has obviously wandered away from home in your neighborhood, please try to locate its owner rather than bring them to a shelter. That approach will almost always be the best way to ensure the animal’s quick return to safety. Make sure your pets are tagged and have a registered microchip so they can be quickly returned to you if lost. If you need to give up your pet, please try to rehome the pet first before surrendering the animal to a shelter.  Abandoning an injured or sick pet is never a good solution. 

Update 10/4/2022

On Wednesday, September 28, The Animal Foundation was informed that a dog who had gone out to foster was showing symptoms of an upper respiratory illness. Because the dog’s symptoms were so severe, the dog had to be euthanized at an off-site veterinary hospital. On Friday, September 30, diagnostic test results for the sick dog came back positive for pathogens including Strep Zoo and Canine Pneumovirus. 

Strep Zoo is an upper respiratory infection that is prevalent in even healthy animals. Symptoms of Strep Zoo usually only show up when an animal’s immune system is compromised. 

Canine Pneumovirus is a virus that is highly contagious to dogs. There is no preventative vaccine for this virus and dogs do not have natural immunity to it. Clinical signs include coughing and nasal discharge and can even progress to pneumonia.

We immediately notified anyone who had left our facility with a dog who had likely been in contact with the sick dog. Dogs at the shelter who had been exposed to the sick dog were placed in quarantine and separated from the rest of the shelter population.

The veterinary team has been closely monitoring our shelter animals and because we are seeing an increase in upper respiratory disease we have submitted more diagnostic tests to the lab.

As of right now, 17 dogs at The Animal Foundation are showing signs of an upper respiratory illness. Testing will confirm what kind of illness they have and we are awaiting results. No animals have been euthanized at the shelter because of this and all 17 dogs have been started on a series of antibiotics. 

The Animal Foundation has closed dog adoptions out of an abundance of caution. At this time, we do not know how long dog adoptions will be paused. It depends on when we get the tests back and what the results say. The Animal Foundation’s Adoption Center is currently open for cat, small mammal and exotic adoptions. 

There is no further information at this time. 

Oct 3, 2022

Based on advice from our veterinary team we have put a pause on adoptions, transfers, and fosters out of an abundance of caution while we move dogs throughout the campus that may been exposed to a respiratory illness. 16 dogs are symptomatic. No animals were euthanized at the shelter because of this and all affected dogs have been started on a series of antibiotics. There is an inherent risk in sheltering stray animals because, as an organization, we often know very little about them.

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The Animal Foundation at 655 N. Mojave Road in Las Vegas is conveniently located off US-95 and Eastern. The Animal Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax deductible in full or in part. Tax ID: 88-0144253. Contact us by phone or email using the contact information found here.

Hours of Operation

Adoptions Tuesday - Sunday 11am - 7pm
Lost & Found Tuesday - Sunday 11am - 7pm
Low-Cost Vaccine Clinic Temporarily Closed
Spay & Neuter Temporarily Closed

DCDF logo inverse small.pngThe Animal Foundation is a proud recipient of funding from Dave & Cheryl Duffield Foundation.

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