Interview with Kim Hess from Animal Network

Interview with Kim Hess from Animal Network

Dog Lounge at Market in the Alley to Raise Funds for At Risk Animals

As an arts-focused collective, we strive to create a safe space for women-identified artists to share their voice. Animals, however, can’t speak up for themselves – so we must do it for them.

June 15th will be the first night time Market in the Alley of the Summer and also the debut of Animal Network to the DTLV community. Animal Network, Fergusons Downtown, Preferred Events and Raw Femme will sponsor a Dog Lounge from 6pm – 10pm where Market attendees can chillax with their pups, win prizes, donate to Animal Network, adopt  and / or foster an animal.

It’s not all doggie bowls and belly rubs though, the incredible Kim Hess from Animal Network spoke to us about the mission of the 501c3 and the dangerous and gross situations they rescue the Valley’s most at risk animals from.

[WARNING: The answer to question #3 has descriptive language may be emotionally disturbing to some.]

What’s Animal Network all about?

Our mission is dedicated to rescuing homeless and abandoned animals in Las Vegas. Our motto is saving any breed in need. By that we mean we take on dogs and cats that other rescues may not want to because of behavioral problems, cost of medical, and specific breeds such as pit bulls. We also help by having an Owner Assist program, which helps families in need get the proper pet care, so they don’t have to surrender their pet.

What happens to the animals when a non-profit like yours doesn’t get the funding they need to care for them?

When we don’t have enough funding, we are unable to take in more pets in need. More pets end up going to shelters where they have a greater risk of being put down if they are seniors or have behavioral problems, or have medical issues. Or in some cases people will just dump their dogs out in the dessert if help isn’t there for them.

What are some of the situations The Animal Network has rescued animals from?

We are currently working with a hoarding situation that has up to about 80 dogs on property.

We have also rescued animals from cages where they were not able to stand and had never seen the outside. We have had handfuls of dogs that were rescued from out in the desert, one even being hogged tied and left out there to die.

How much would you say it costs per day to care for an animal before you are able to get them adopted?

The average dog or cat that we take in costs us $261. That includes vetting costs and boarding fees for the first day. Last year we spent $87,000 just on boarding  from January to October.

How does Animal Network prepare their animals for adoption?

We vet each animal that comes in. When adopted they are up to date on shots, microchipped, and spayed or neutered. We also enroll our dogs that are in boarding into the Pawtastic Friends training program, to help them with obedience and socialization. We are always looking for foster homes, as nothing compares to a dog being fostered to being stuck in boarding, their overall energy and happiness are greater.

How many dogs and cats did Animal Network adopt in 2018?

We adopted 411. Which would not have been possible without the help of our dedicated volunteers which consist of transporting, fostering, bringing them to adoption events and dog walking.

Tell us about your Owner Assist Program?

People in need can contact Animal Network for assistance with their veterinary needs. In the essence of time, Animal Network pays for all veterinary care, and works with the owner on a payment plan. A great example recently is we were contacted by a lady with all four of her dogs who tested positive for Parvo. Since she did not have the means to get the vet care needed, and to avoid being euthanized, Animal Network stepped in and is assisting her with veterinary care by our vet, Dr. Bullard at Ann Road Animal Hospital. He’s been a great advocate for Animal Network. We love him.

What’s a key to success that Animal Network prides themselves on to find forever homes?

First, we really aim to get to know each dog and cat individually. Once we understand their traits and behaviors, our goal is to pair them up with the best potential adopter. Within that process, we have partnered up with Pawtastic Friends, a training program that allows our dogs to get out of boarding and work on social skills, obedience and agility. Some dogs also go to swim class at Canine Bodywork & Aquatics with Kathy Carr.  Since its low impact and high resistance, swim provides enrichment and great exercise for our older dogs. We have some great videos on our Instagram and Facebook featuring both programs. Check them out.

Social Handles:
Animal Network: @animalnetworkrescue
Kim Hess: @khess84
Preferred Events: @preferred_events