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July 26, 2014

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Protesters claim puppy raffle is money grab

Image

Steve Marcus

Animal advocate Cherl Prater, center, protests a raffle plan for rescued puppies outside the Regional Justice Center Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The puppies, rescued during a fire at the Prince and Princess Pet Shop on Jan. 27, will be raffled off under a plan announced Tuesday.

Animal Advocates Protest Raffle Plan

Animal advocate Cherl Prater, center, protests a raffle plan for rescued puppies outside the Regional Justice Center Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The puppies, rescued during a fire at the Prince and Princess Pet Shop on Jan. 27, will be raffled off under a plan announced Tuesday. Launch slideshow »

Rescued Puppies

Yorkshire terrier puppies look out from a kennel at the Animal Foundation Campus, 655 N. Mojave Road, Tuesday, March 4, 2014. The puppies were rescued during a fire at the Prince and Princess Pet Shop on Jan. 27. Launch slideshow »
Click to enlarge photo

Gloria Lee, accused of arson and animal cruelty in connection with a fire at her pet store, Prince and Princess Pet Boutique, appears in court Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014.

Not everyone is happy about plans announced this week to adopt out the 27 puppies rescued from a January fire at a Las Vegas pet store.

A small group of animal activists stood on the steps of the Clark County Regional Justice Center with signs saying “Release the Hounds!” and “Puppies Are Not Prizes” to announce their intentions to halt an adoption raffle for the puppies.

Activists from Nevada Voters for Animals and No Kill Las Vegas both turned out for the protest, and the activists said they would rally again at 4 p.m. Thursday at the Animal Foundation, which has cared for the puppies since they were rescued from the fire Jan. 27 at the Prince and Princess Pet Shop.

Clark County commissioners on Tuesday approved plans to adopt out the dogs through a raffle. Proceeds from the sale of tickets, which cost $250 each, would be used to help pay for operating costs and care for other animals at the nonprofit Animal Foundation.

Gina Greisen, president Nevada Voters For Animals, said her group was looking into legal options to stop the raffle, which is slated to end March 14. Greisen said the group planned to move swiftly and may file an injunction.

The Clark County District Attorney’s Office notified the owners of the pet shop last week that they had 72 hours to claim possession of the impounded dogs.

Gloria Lee, one of the pet shop’s owners, is in jail and faces an arson charge related to the fire. Her attorney said Lee would not claim the dogs. Lee’s estranged husband, Donald Thompson, who held a minority interest in the shop, failed to meet the 72-hour deadline.

Greisen said her group felt Thompson’s claim was timely and that the raffle was a money grab, not an effort to place the puppies in the best homes available. Greisen also said she believed the raffle violated county code.

The Animal Foundation notes the cost of a raffle ticket is equal to its adoption fee for each puppy.

Tickets in the raffle are scheduled to go on sale Friday.

Raffle winners must meet all requirements for a standard pet adoption, and puppies will be limited to one per household. Ticket holders who do not win one of the dogs from the pet store fire will be able to adopt another animal from the Animal Foundation.

More information about the raffle can be found on the Animal Foundation’s website.

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