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Animal shelter called ‘model program’ by chief

Conditions have changed dramatically at the Boulder City Animal Shelter since 2015 when an employee called police to tell them that the person who then ran the shelter was refusing to provide care for a badly hurt 11-week-old pit bull.

That call led to a police investigation and Animal Control Supervisor Mary Jo Frazier resigned days after the investigation was complete. Eventually, in 2017, she pleaded guilty to a single count of animal cruelty and was sentenced to 90 days in jail and four years of probation and forbidden by the court to own or interact with any animals.

And the employee who made the call, Ann Inabnitt, who was then an animal control officer, has been the supervisor ever since.

In his annual report to the City Council, Police Chief Tim Shea said that the shelter was an area where he is “particularly proud of our folks.”

“You all know what it was like up there just a few years ago, and the staff up there has turned into just a model program,” he said Tuesday night, noting that, with a euthanization rate that holds steady at between 3% and 4%, the shelter is considered “no kill.” (In order to qualify as no kill, a shelter has to keep its euthanasia rate to under 10%.)

“We don’t just kill animals because they are a nuisance. We don’t kill them because we are overcrowded,” he reported. “The ones that we have to euthanize usually fall into two categories. One is they can’t be saved or they are such a vicious animal that we can’t even take them to secondary places where we would take animals that are questionable.”

In 2022, 358 domestic animals came through the shelter. Owners were located and the animals returned in 237 of those cases and another 116 animals were adopted out to new homes.

One area where the shelter in Boulder City may differ from more urban areas is the number of wild animals dealt with - 127 were captured and relocated in 2022, according to Shea.

“The number of wild animals has gone up quite a bit, according to Ann,” Shea reported. “We have lots of snakes and ring-tail cats and now we are seeing raccoons.”

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