Nevada community may say no to performing cheetahs

Tom Meyer
BONANZA STAFF WRITER, tmeyer@tahoebonanza.com
May 27, 2007

The Incline Village General Improvement District Board of Trustees will play arbiter Wednesday evening may put the final kibosh on a fundraiser featuring wild animals as headlining entertainment.

IVGID staff is urging the board to deny an appeal from Pet Network to have a pair of trained cheetahs at next month’s Fur Ball.

“This isn’t about the entire ball, just about this particular event that we arranged to be there,” Pet Network Executive Director Bryan Davis said. “We’re in no way trying to make this an overly difficult process, but I just want to explore our options while there’s still a possibility.”

The annual ball is the nonprofit animal shelter’s largest fundraiser. The cheetahs are owned by Animal Ark Wildlife Sanctuary in Reno and perform regularly.

According to IVGID General Manager Bill Horn, having the cheetahs at the event was all but out of the question. Citing his memorandum to the trustees, Horn said the animals posed a liability problem and violated both district and county codes.

“The Washoe County Health Code states it very clearly,” Horn said. “They’re welcome to have their event, so long as there are no animals.”

Horn was certain the shelter had been told not to include animals in this year’s program, though no one at Pet Net recalls receiving the instruction.

“The cheetahs are a minor event in the scheme of things, but it would be disappointing not to have any fur present,” Pet Network Board Chairwoman Beverly Keil. “We look forward to a successful event, regardless of the outcome of our appeal.”

Staff writer Tom Meyer can be reached at (775) 831-4666 ext. 112 or at tmeyer@tahoebonanza.com.

http://www.tahoebonanza.com/article/20070527/News/105270058

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