54°F
weather icon Clear
app-logo
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

Checking website of Animal Foundation can save lost pets’ lives

Butters was one special cat. When his owner, Jeannine Comeau, would roll on her stomach, Butters would jump up and give her a 15-minute back massage. Ever heard of a cat doing that?

On July 1, Butters was checking out his neighborhood near Alta Drive and Rainbow Boulevard and a neighbor called the city’s Animal Control to pick him up.

He was taken to the Animal Foundation’s Lied Shelter, which has a policy of keeping an animal for 72 hours and then putting it up for adoption after being assessed for health and behavior issues.

Unfortunately, after his evaluation, the 12-year-old Butters was considered unadoptable because he wasn’t using the litter box and had multiple dental issues, said Andy Bischel, the foundation’s director of development.

"These issues negatively affect his adoption status because he is being evaluated against otherwise healthy, house-trained cats for limited adoption space," Bischel said. "This time of year, space is at a premium. We’re taking in 200 animals a day."

Butters was put down after seven days.

Here’s the heartbreaker. Butters had a microchip; but for whatever reason, the information from the Idaho Humane Society didn’t reach the Las Vegas shelter until after he’d been put down.

By the time Comeau was contacted by the shelter, Butters was dead.

Comeau made one fatal mistake. She didn’t check the Animal Foundation’s website, where she could have seen a photo of Butters as a lost animal.

"That’s a mistake on my part that I’ll have to live with," she said, choking up, realizing she could have rescued him.

While nothing brings Butters back, Bischel offered some practical advice that might help someone else find a lost pet.

First, check the website, where pictures of lost animals are updated every 20 minutes.

But don’t rely entirely on the website; come to the shelter at 655 N. Mojave Road, since 12 stressed-out black cats may look similar.

Finally, make sure the microchip has your current information.

For faster response, Bischel advised the next time you take your pet to the vet, have the vet check the microchip and make sure the information is updated with your current information, which the vet can help you do. That way, the shelter can contact you directly and not have to go through another organization.

Maybe, just maybe, Butters’ death will help some other beloved pet live.

KUDOS DESERVED: On a more upbeat animal story, kudos must go to Janie Greenspun Gale for persuading Steve Wynn to donate $5 million to the Animal Foundation in December.

Bischel said Gale had been lobbying Wynn about making a donation for some time.

"Janie and Chris (Robinson, the executive director) went to see him in his villa at the Wynn Resort. Chris knew things were going good when she saw his large German shepherds sprawled on a costly couch. They sat down and he was very casual, and he pushed a personal check across the table and said: Do with that what you need to do."

Since then, the Wynns have toured the facility and his wife, Andrea, joined the board.

But Gale was the one who did the heavy lifting, persuading the casino owner that of all the worthy causes he could support, the Animal Foundation was deserving. Her passion became his passion.

Originally, Wynn sought to keep his donations private, but following the public anger locally after Wynn Resorts Inc. donated $135 million to the University of Macau, Wynn told columnist Norm Clarke in June about his Animal Foundation donation and another $2 million contribution to United Way.

He told Clarke that he gave away $20 million in 2011.

His $5 million to the Animal Foundation is demonstrating better results than Sheldon Adelson’s $21 million in political donations to Newt Gingrich’s failed presidential bid.

Jane Ann Morrison’s column appears Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Email her at Jane@reviewjournal.com or call her at 702-383-0275. She also blogs at lvrj.com/blogs/Morrison.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Cab riders experiencing no-shows urged to file complaints

If a cabbie doesn’t show, you must file a complaint. Otherwise, the authority will keep on insisting it’s just not a problem, according to columnist Jane Ann Morrison. And that’s not what she’s hearing.

Are no-shows by Las Vegas taxis usual or abnormal?

In May former Las Vegas planning commissioner Byron Goynes waited an hour for a Western Cab taxi that never came. Is this routine or an anomaly?

Columnist shares dad’s story of long-term cancer survival

Columnist Jane Ann Morrison shares her 88-year-old father’s story as a longtime cancer survivor to remind people that a cancer diagnosis doesn’t necessarily mean a hopeless end.

Las Vegas author pens a thriller, ‘Red Agenda’

If you’re looking for a good summer read, Jane Ann Morrison has a real page turner to recommend — “Red Agenda,” written by Cameron Poe, the pseudonym for Las Vegan Barry Cameron Lindemann.

Las Vegas woman fights to stop female genital mutilation

Selifa Boukari McGreevy wants to bring attention to the horrors of female genital mutilation by sharing her own experience. But it’s not easy to hear. And it won’t be easy to read.

Biases of federal court’s Judge Jones waste public funds

Nevada’s most overturned federal judge — Robert Clive Jones — was overturned yet again in one case and removed from another because of his bias against the U.S. government.

Don’t forget Jay Sarno’s contributions to Las Vegas

Steve Wynn isn’t the only casino developer who deserves credit for changing the face of Las Vegas. Jay Sarno, who opened Caesars Palace in 1966 and Circus Circus in 1968, more than earned his share of credit too.

John Momot’s death prompts memories of 1979 car fire

Las Vegas attorney John Momot Jr. was as fine a man as people said after he died April 12 at age 74. I liked and admired his legal abilities as a criminal defense attorney. But there was a mysterious moment in Momot’s past.