Since its beginnings in 1999, the City of Mesquite Animal Shelter has been providing shelter and, in many cases, forever families to area pets that have been abandoned, turned in or found as strays.

The shelter is funded by the City of Mesquite and private donations. It is run by city employees and volunteers. While the city adequately funds the shelter and the paid staff do exceptional jobs, it’s the private donations and the volunteers that make all the difference in the world when it comes to the care of both the facility and its furry residents.

One donation recently utilized by the shelter staff (volunteers and paid) was the addition of a brand-new Meet-n-Greet room. More than 200 Mesquite residents showed up at the shelter on Saturday, Aug. 20, when the staff invited the public to take a peek.

Robert Heck once adopted a cat from the shelter and he loved that cat so fiercely that he created a trust fund to be used for improvements to the shelter. It was that trust that enabled staff to remodel a once underused garage and create a calm and comfortable space where folks can hang out and get to know their potential roommate.

The days of bonding with your new friend under the sweltering desert sun is over. You and your new buddy can sit indoors and enjoy a peaceful chat in a comfortable climate controlled room. If you both ask nicely the staff may even have a kibble or two hidden behind one wall where they were lucky enough to have a little space left over to create some extra food storage; a little bribe goes a long way in making a new fur friend.

If you or your potential pal are afraid of the dark, never fear; the family of Fern Cyphert donated lovely glass block to create windows that let in plenty of natural sunlight. The volunteer staff took up their own donation to furnish the area with lightweight, colorful furniture and accessories; you’d never know it was once a dark garage.

Everyone, including the City of Mesquite Facilities Services who did the construction and Baird Painting who did the paint and flooring, created a comfortable, fun and welcoming new space; the perfect place to fall in love.

The days of trying to bond with your potential roommate in the sweltering desert heat is over. You and your new buddy can now sit indoors and enjoy a peaceful chat in a comfortable climate controlled room. This yard was once the only place that the residents could show off to their potential humans. The addition of the new Meet-n-Greet room gives everyone optimal conditions for falling in love. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

They certainly needed the space due to the volume of adoptions they handle for such a small town.

Animal Control Officer Joe Macias is as dedicated as anyone when it comes to the welfare of the animals, as are the other animal control officers. Macias is also the shelter’s manager but they don’t “run the building”, said Macias jokingly, we do  have limited staff and daily care of the animals is constant, volunteers help considerably; the officers do great but they are the ones busy answering the calls on the streets.

Macias said, “The actual facility and the animals all “belong to the volunteers”, I could never do this without them. Every single day they feed, walk, play, socialize and get to know the animals. They also keep everything so clean, they clean all day long. The other officers and myself are out most of the day with the calls we receive. Sometimes locating a stray and capturing it safely can be a time-consuming process. We rely heavily on volunteers to help us take care of the place and they do an outstanding job.”

It’s true, you can walk in the shelter anytime and see that the floors are polished, everything in in order and there isn’t even a hint of the aroma of animals in the air.  Kennels are cleaned and sanitized; bedding, carpets and towels are washed and the place is basically spit-shined daily. The staff and volunteers take their animal care responsibilities very seriously and one of their responsibilities is handling the public adoptions. First impressions matter and everyone wants to give the animals and their potential humans every advantage they can to get to know one another which means everything, every fur baby and their environment, must be in tip top shape. The volunteers also added a new wash and grooming station so the animals can look their best.

The shelter staff and volunteers would like to urge you not to breed or buy, adopt a loving animal in need of a forever home; it may be the best thing you do today.

Adoption fees include vet check, spayed/neuter, one-year rabies vaccine and license (Mesquite license only).

The Mesquite Animal Shelter is located at 795 Hardy Way and is open for adoptions from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Sunday adoptions are 1 pm to 3 pm.

Please call 702-346-7415 during those hours to speak to the front desk. Animal control officers may be reached by phone from 6 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at 702-346-5268.