Clark Co. Animal Shelter uses mistaken pet abandonment to teach the right way to surrender

A dog was dropped over the shelter fence on Sunday when its owner had to go to the hospital


8/22/22, 8:55 p.m.

A supposedly abandoned dog has been reclaimed from the Clark County Animal Shelter after the shelter says the owner had a ‘medical event’ that required him to go to the hospital. The shelter says a case like this is rare, but it’s happy the one-year-old pitbull mix is home safely.

“Everybody just wants to make sure that the animals are safe and that they’re able to go back home with their owner when the time is right, especially if there’s a medical event,” says shelter director Adreanna Wills.

According to the Clark County Animal Shelter, a 62-year-old man dropped his one-year-old pitbull mix over the fence of the facility Sunday afternoon without contacting the shelter first. Surveillance video from the animal shelter shows the man dropping his dog over, then doing the sign of the cross and saying a prayer before starting to drive off. The video shows the man stopping and leaving the dog’s harness hanging on the gate before leaving.

The shelter says there is a right way to surrender a pet and abandoning one altogether is illegal and can lead to jail time. Even in situations like this, where there is a medical emergency and no one can watch your pet, the shelter says to call, email or Facebook message to communicate what’s going on.

“We deal with medical events, incarcerations, things like that all the time where we take temporary custody of an animal and then it’s returned to the person once they’re able to take care of it again,” says Wills. “But as far as an animal being abandoned with unknown circumstances and then somebody coming forward like that again, this is a first for me.”

The shelter says the man was embarrassed and didn’t realize what he did was wrong and asked the shelter to keep him anonymous. The Clark County Animal Shelter says it has gotten some hate since sending the pittie home but says he was in good condition and had a clear bond with his owner.

“We make all of our decisions with the best interest of the animals at heart and in this particular situation, we felt like that was what was best,” says Wills.

According to Clark County Animal Shelter, the pitbull mix is scheduled to be neutered in September so it will continue to be in touch with the man and his dog.

8/22/22, 3:17 p.m.

The dog thought to be abandoned at the Clark County Animal Shelter over the weekend actually wasn’t, according to an update from the shelter.

The man who tossed his dog over the shelter’s fence came forward and said he suffered a medical event and went to the hospital but didn’t know what to do with his dog — so he left it at the shelter thinking it would be safe.

The shelter has since verified his story, and the dog is now back in the man’s possession.

The shelter added the man was shocked to learn about the news coverage and that he had “committed a criminal act.”

“We feel confident he learned a lot from his mistake and hope the coverage will help others learn and keep it from happening again,” the shelter told ABC 36.

8/22/22, 1:22 p.m.

The Clark County Animal Shelter says a dog was tossed over its fence and abandoned over the weekend.

Staff arrived at the shelter at 9:45 p.m. Sunday to tend to a sick puppy being surrendered from the community when they discovered a dog that had been abandoned, according to a Facebook post. After watching security footage, staff saw a person toss the dog over their fence.

“This person made no attempt to contact us as they pulled up, dumped the dog and were gone within about 90 seconds. We have checked all emails, Facebook messages and answering machines to be sure no one left a message and this was a misunderstanding,” the shelter’s post read.

The shelter added that staff can be reached by any of these methods, even after hours, and they make themselves available because they care about the animals. Staff are now asking this person to contact them immediately to complete proper surrender procedures and give them information so they can find this dog a new home.

The shelter said they have a clear image of the license plate and the face of the person who tossed the dog over the fence and will proceed with criminal charges if required.

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