After a series of debates, protests and legal complaints, a controversial puppy raffle has come to a close in Las Vegas. The puppies who were rescued from a pet shop fire in January successfully found new homes through an adoption lottery put on by the Animal Foundation, a local shelter that has been caring for the dogs since their rescue.
The raffle, which required entrants to pay $250 per ticket, initially drew heat from animal rights activists, who called it a money grab at the expense of animal welfare. Donald Thompson, the estranged husband of the pet shop owner who allegedly started the fire, also contested the raffle on similar grounds, prompting a last minute injunction that temporarily halted the event. But, after reaching a settlement with Thompson in court, the Animal Foundation proceeded with the raffle as planned.
Each of the puppies raffled drew a number of interested bidders; collectively, the puppies raised $55,000 for the Animal Foundation. Raffle winners will be notified today, then go on to be vetted by the foundation before any adoptions are finalized. Those who did not win will automatically have their raffle entry fees put toward future adoptions, to help the greatest possible number of homeless pets find new families.