After beginning their ASPCA Partnership in 2014, Animal Humane New Mexico, the largest private agency in the area, and City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department, an open-admission municipal agency, are already well on their way to helping more at-risk and homeless animals.
2013 Total Intake
2013 Targeted Spay/Neuter
What They Accomplished Together
During 2014, the partners achieved the following:
- 87.0% live release rate—an increase of 2.5 percentage points over 2013
- 14% decrease in intake
- 503 spay/neuter surgeries targeted to pit bulls (and other bully-type dogs) and Chihuahuas in zip codes identified as having high intake, exceeding their 2014 goal of 260
- 490 canines from high intake neighborhoods received vaccinations, microchips and ID tags at partner-sponsored Pet Health Fairs
The agencies say their biggest challenge is finding good homes for the large numbers of pit bull-type dogs and Chihuahuas coming into the shelters. This is especially difficult for pit bulls, who are affected by housing restrictions in Albuquerque.
Additionally, the partners are working on refining their spay/neuter message in order to engage those pet owners in the targeted zip codes who choose to breed their dogs.
So far, the Albuquerque partners consider the targeted S/N component of their collaboration to be one of the most successful aspects of their work together. Peggy Weigle, executive director of Animal Humane New Mexico, explains that both agencies are “engaging pets owners in our target areas about the benefit and need to fix their pets—and we look forward to seeing the results of this effort in reduced intakes of these breeds.” The partners are thrilled to have almost doubled their S/N goal for Chihuahua and pit bull-type dogs in their focus area.
Along with door-to-door outreach efforts, the Albuquerque partners have hosted multiple pet health fairs in hot spot areas. Behavior advice, vaccines, collars/tags and microchips are provided during these events. “One of our strategies to reduce intake is to have identification—collar and tag—on all pets so they never have to enter the shelter to be reclaimed,” says Weigle. They surpassed their goal of providing 400 collars & ID tags, which they hope will assist with helping the community reunite animals with their families. Additionally, Bruin says, “We think the pet health fairs are wonderful for the community, and hopefully they will result in fewer animals and less disease coming into our shelter.”
The partners’ newest collaboration is the Intake Intervention program at Albuquerque Animal Welfare’s Westside Shelter. Two ASPCA-funded staff members are counseling pet owners on options to surrendering their pets. They use knowledge gained from other communities that have been highly successful in reducing intakes through intervention, including Los Angeles and Cleveland.
The agencies also plan to develop a campaign around pit bull-type dogs. “We are optimistic that our new marketing program will get more of our pitties adopted by highlighting what great family pets they make,” says Bruin.