Changes At Regional Animal Services: "Astronomical"

RENO, NV - More than 10 thousand dogs, 6 thousand cats, and various other critters find their way to the Regional Animal Services Center in east Reno each year.

Many like a sheepdog straining at his lease in an examination room today are strays.

He was placed in the night box by someone who found him wandering around downtown Renowearing identification and will likely be going home as soon as his owner can be located. In the meantime he's getting a quick checkup.

Just outside another small black lab mix is arriving in an animal services van for what will hopefully be a short stay.

In another room a litter of young pups are getting examined. and out in the barn, a goat is waiting to go home.

The goal here is reunite animal and owner. If that doesn't happen, typically after 5 days the animal is put up for adoption at the Nevada Humane Society next door.

This center is now under the management of the Sheriff's office, but that's only the latest change here. The whole regional approach to animal welfare, the partnership with the Humane Society, the combined facility and a voter approved tax funding source have all played a part in changing what years ago was a troubled facility.

"I'm impessed," says Jim Johns, the former deputy police chief chairing a task force named by the city council to recommend other further changes. "The changes in the last six years have been astronomical, not just 100 percent better, but astronomical."

Johns and other members of the task force were touring the Animal Services Center Thursday on a fact finding mission.
One question was already answered today. The funding will remain in place.

It was the voting public's commitment.

"That's what I understood when I voted for that tax override myself." says Johns. "That dollars were going to go to this system and that these animals were going to be treated not just as we could afford but the best we could afford."

The task force is due to report back to the city council April 25.

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