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Heaven Can Wait Helps Nye County Nonprofit with Spay/Neuter Services

PAHRUMP, NV — By Robin Hebrock Pahrump Valley Times

Pet overpopulation is an issue faced in Nye County, with hundreds of lost, abandoned or homeless animals roaming the county at any given time. These strays and feral animals can rapidly reproduce, exacerbating an already tenuous problem.

Animal experts agree: The first line of defense against pet overpopulation is ensuring felines and caninesare no longer able to breed.

In an effort to curb the local pet population, Tails of Nye County has been operating a spay and neuter program for over a decade and in the first four months of 2023 alone, the nonprofit organization has managed to spay or neuter more than 500 animals.

Helping to fund Tails of Nye County’s programming this year is money from a Nye County American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, grant. Lead volunteers for the group recently went before the Nye County Commission to provide an update on how those dollars have been used.

Nancy Guin headed the presentation, starting off by highlighting the heart of Tails of Nye County’s activities, the number of animals sterilized thus far.

“Between January and April of this year, we have spayed or neutered 455 cats and of that amount, 282 were TNR (trap, neuter, return). We’ve also spayed or neutered 64 dogs,” Guin told the board during its June 27 meeting.

Guin emphasized that the grant that Tails of Nye County had received, totaling $87,000, was not given over in a lump sum, as many in the community have thought. “It doesn’t work that way,” Guin explained for the public. “We send our receipts with our proof of payment to the county, then we are reimbursed. So far, we have submitted $34,437.13 in expenses.”

When calculated against the number of cats and dogs fixed using ARPA money, this comes out to an average of just $66 per animal for not only sterilization but any necessary vaccinations and the traditional “ear-tip” too.

As detailed in the presentation, Tails of Nye County is currently utilizing three partners for its spay and neutering program, including two Las Vegas-based clinics, Heaven Can Wait Animal Society and the Spay and Neuter Center of Southern Nevada, as well as All Creatures Animal Hospital in Pahrump.

“In the past, I believe commissioner (Donna) Cox has mentioned that she would like to see more of our grant money spent here in Pahrump, and I agree with her, I’d love to have it spent here… I would like to know when the shelter will be up for spay and neuter. We will be really excited. If you can get that spay and neuter clinic at the shelter up and running, we’ll be more than happy to use it,” Guin stated.

Commissioner Frank Carbone, who was a key contributor in the effort to see a new shelter built in the valley, thanked Tails of Nye County for all of the hard work it has put in over the years, remarking that he is all too aware how trying it can be to have to transport animals back and forth to Las Vegas just to get them these necessary procedures. He said he would be very pleased to see the space earmarked in the Nye County Animal Shelter for veterinarian services utilized, but there are legalities that have to be taken into account first.

Commissioner Debra Strickland added that as of yet, the county has not been able to find a vet willing to conduct a spay and neuter clinic at the site. “We need your help to help us find someone who would like to do that,” Strickland told Guin and her fellow Tails of Nye County representatives. “And then we’ll run that by our district attorney to see what that looks like and how we can make it happen.”

Before the presentation came to a close, Guin also noted that Tails of Nye County would like to reestablish a formal meeting between all of the area rescues, shelters, animal control and county officials so the various groups can collectively address animal issues.

“We need to all work together to handle the pet problem… it’s just kind of out of control. People are just dumping animals!” Guin asserted. “And we’d like to all work together to see what we can do to combat this problem.”

Denise Scherer with Tails of Nye County has already contacted Nye County Animal Shelter Manager Tasha Crabtree, who has agreed to allow the group to use a meeting room at the facility. Tails will be working to contact all relevant stakeholders for those meetings in the near future.

For those who wish to support Tails of Nye County in its mission to end pet overpopulation, the nonprofit also operates a thrift store to bring in additional funding. Dubbed Twisted Tails, the store is located at 520 East Street. It’s open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and patrons can find all sorts of unique and interesting treasurers to purchase.

Tails of Nye County is in desperate need of volunteers as well. Anyone willing to donate their time to the cause is encouraged to call 702-306-3245.

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