Our Humane Equation
Since 2006, we have committed ourselves to ending the euthanasia of adoptable shelter animals. In 2011 & 2012, Animal Humane, an open admission shelter, had a total Save Rate (Live Release Rate) of 90% for pets in our care. Animal Humane utilizes every opportunity available to further our mission of re-homing pets in our care. To illustrate these efforts and the investment of human and financial resources we continue to make, we have outlined the steps we have taken to reach this goal:
Animal Humane New Mexico’s
- Feral Cat Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) – Our TNR program began in 2008. As of December 2012, over 6,800 cats have been sterilized leading to a 15% drop in kitten intakes at Animal Humane in 2012. This program has been funded by PetSmart Charities, New Mexico Animal Friends (NMAF), the City of Albuquerque’s Kennel Kompadres, and anonymous Animal Humane donors.
- High Volume, Low-Cost Spay Neuter – In addition to sterilizing every shelter pet, Animal Humane has operated a high-volume Spay/Neuter program for pets belonging to low-income owners since 2007. Over 47,705 pets have been sterilized including over 13,820 pets owned by low-income clients. We also operate spaynm.org, a statewide online database of low-cost spay/neuter options.
- Rescue Groups – Animal Humane works to save more lives by transferring pets in fromo ver 20 NM shelters. In 2012, close to 900 lives were saved through Project Fetch. Animal Humane also transfers pets out to various rescue groups as well.
- Foster Care – Our foster parent program has grown from 25 in 2008 to over 140 fosters today. In 2012, more than 1,100 pets were fostered. Animal Humane’s new “Foster 2 Home” volunteer-driven program is moving pets into foster homes. The foster is responsible for re-homing the pet, with Animal Humane providing marketing and support services.
- Comprehensive Adoption Programs – We have many adoption programs in addition to our satellite adoption centers on Montgomery Blvd. and in Corrales, including senior pet discounts, adoptable pet flyers distributed to over 60 business, adoption incentives such as zero cost adoptions for cats over 2 years of age, Cats Around Town and over 100 Mobile adoption events annually. Our Meet Your Match® program combined with our adoption qualification and counseling have led to a consistently low return rate of 6% or less.
- Pet Retention – Programs include a Free Behavior Helpline, Train Humane manners classes, a free Pet Food Bank, affordable veterinary care for qualified low-income pet owners and the PetSave fund providing financial assistance to owners to prevent the need for pet surrenders or euthanasia due to high medical costs.
- Medical and Behavior Rehabilitation –Started in 2007, the Animal Humane Behavior Team performs behavior assessments on every dog that enters the shelter, supervise doggie play groups, train volunteers, and oversees our Cat and Dog Behavior modification programs. Our “Petables” volunteers work with animals needing extra attention to prepare them for adoption. All dog walkers teach dogs life skills (settle, sit, down, wait) to increase their adoptability as many dogs that reach our doors have received little or no training.
- Public Relations, Community Involvement – Promoting adoptable pets is a daily effort, with featured “Pet of the Week” media placements at over nine TV and radio stations. Regular feature articles local print media such as Local IQ, ABQ Journal and Albuquerque The Magazine. The annual “Buy a Cookie, Save a Pet” campaign presented by Flying Star Café and Satellite Coffee each April raises community awareness about the needs of homeless pets. A portion of the proceeds go to Animal Humane’s shelter operations. Animal Humane also receives and seeks regular news coverage in all local media on animal welfare issues. Our Executive Director sits on the state’s Animal Sheltering Board and is currently Chair of the Shelter Standards Committee. Our volunteer-staffed Humane Education Outreach Team provides many presentations annually to schools and community groups. We are working to end dog fighting by teaching agility and humane treatment of all pets through our 505 Pit Crew program. All of these efforts generate on-going involvement and understanding about solutions for homeless pets.
- Volunteers – Animal Humane’s volunteer force has grown from 70 active members in 2007 to over 400 in 2012. We provide a comprehensive training program for all volunteers. Volunteers assist with adoptions, photographing and profiling pets, dog walking, socialization and training, cat grooming and socialization, fostering, spay/neuter and surgical recovery, and many more tasks to increase adoptions.
- Proactive Redemptions – We offer a $50 reward to any Animal Humane employee who reconnects a lost pet with their owner. Every pet is scanned for a microchip at intake. Volunteers review Lost and Found ads and postings several times a week to reunite lost pets at our shelter with their owners; efforts that led to 230 pet reunions in 2012. In addition, we proactively work to increase the number of microchipped pets in our community by microchipping every adopted pet and offering, monthly low-cost vaccination and microchip clinics to the public.
- Compassionate Director – Through leadership, goal setting and program development, Animal Humane’s euthanasia is down 65% since beginning of the Executive Director’s tenure. The current rate is 10% of intakes (a total live release rate of 90%) – all for medical or behavioral reasons. No healthy pets have been euthanized at Animal Humane since December 2009. Together with the City Animal Welfare Department, PACA, NMAF and EnchantMutts, we are working to adopt into loving homes all healthy and treatable pets in our community.