Herro of Las Vegas takes new role

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2001.

LAS VEGAS–Mary Herro, who started the Animal Foundation in 1988, opened a $3.5 million new shelter on February 8, and retired from personally directing shelter operations to focus on running the Las Vegas pet licensing program. Herro told ANIMAL PEOPLE almost exactly one year earlier that this would be the next phase of her quest to make Las Vegas a no-kill city.

The first phase was opening the Animal Foundation high-volume neutering clinic, now the model for others around the world. The second phase was wresting the Las Vegas animal control contract away from Dewey Animal Care, a for-profit firm which still does animal control for Clark County and North Las Vegas. That was in 1995. Already the fast-growing Las Vegas human and owned pet populations are about 25% higher, and the Las Vegas and Clark County totals of animals killed have correspondingly continued to edge up.

Under Herro, however, the percentage of animals saved rose from circa 47% under Dewey to more than 67%, and has remained in that vicinity. The Dewey save rate is still around 47%.

The opening of the new Lied Animal Shelter, two-thirds funded by the Lied Foundation Trust, was marred by an incident in which a child’s dog was purportedly euthanized by accident. This brought renewed allegations of mismanagement from Dewey staff and nine former Animal Foundation employees, most of whom have bitterly attacked Herro at frequent intervals for years.

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