News Flash


Posted on: March 22, 2017

Statement from the City Manager on the Mesquite Animal Shelter

On behalf of the entire City of Mesquite, I wish to share my empathy for those who have showed great compassion on the news that our Mesquite Animal Shelter experienced the death of a dog in our care over the weekend. In addition to my role as the City Manager, I am also a dog owner, so I am deeply affected by this situation. I would like to share accurate and updated information on this situation so the City is fully transparent.

On Friday, the dog was adopted after just five days in our shelter. As with all adoptions, the dog remained at the shelter for all pre-adoption procedures, including neuter surgery.

On Saturday afternoon, our shelter staff began to monitor the dog. After a rescue partner captured video and photos of the dog being lethargic and having just vomited, the dog showed signs of recovery. The dog walked outside, wagged his tail, drank water, urinated and did not vomit anymore. Our staff updated the owner of the dog’s condition. The owner declined our offer to take the dog to a veterinarian for medical treatment and asked that we further monitor the dog.

On Sunday, our shelter staff continued to monitor the dog. More than 24 hours after those images of the dog were captured, the dog’s condition seemed to stabilize. The dog continued to drink water and was active. However, our staff notified the owner a second time to recommend the dog receive medical attention. On Monday morning, the dog had passed away.

Our shelter staff continuously monitored the dog, assessed its condition, consulted with the owner multiple times and provided their professional judgment on the care of the dog. It is for those reasons that I support the actions of the shelter staff. I can probably imagine this is not what some want to read. They are making daily decisions on animal health, major surgeries, broken bones and open wounds. They constantly address cases of animal cruelty and neglect. I have seen their genuine passion for all animals. I have full confidence in the shelter staff. I trust their decisions.

In this situation, a dog died in our care. We made the best possible decisions at the time. We will review our procedures and our processes, and will continue to seek ways to improve. The shelter continues to make great strides with the aid of our volunteers and rescue partners. Our collective focus is accepting all animals into the shelter and getting all animals adopted out of the shelter. The shelter’s save rate for all animals was 94% in February - the highest ever in one month.

I would ask the public to consider not forming their opinion of our shelter staff on one 22-second video and some photos captured on one Saturday afternoon, of one dog after it had just vomited. Instead, I would ask the public to consider all the actions taken by our staff in regards to the care for this specific dog and all the wonderful success stories of pet adoptions. Thousands of animals in Mesquite have made their way to a loving home due to the dedication and determination of the Mesquite Animal Shelter employees.

-Cliff Keheley

City of Mesquite

City Manager

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