New Mexico's Pet Resource SPRING 2004



Q. What is the groupís mission?

R. Pick of the Pound was formed to help find homes for animals at the Valencia County Animal Shelter. We also work with other area shelters and rescue groups to increase adoption rates and to improve the welfare of dogs and cats in local communities. In order to help reduce the number of unwanted animals entering shelters, we are in the process of starting ďA Stitch in Time Spay and Neuter Assistance Program.Ē

Q. What is your groupís history?

R. Our group formed in September, 2000. We were 5 friends who discovered the plight of the animals at our local shelter and decided to focus our efforts there. Shelter animals were removed and placed in foster homes, were spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and then adopted into loving homes. By the end of 2000, our efforts had increased the shelter adoption rate from less than 5% to 15%. Since then, the adoption rate has increased to 25%. Over the last 3 years, our group has grown from 5 volunteers to 30, gained non-profit status and established a Feline Division.

Q. Approximately how many animals do you take in every year?

R. In 2003, we took in about 250 dogs and puppies and 160 cats and kittens. We have increased the number of animals we take in each year since we started and plan to continue that trend.

Q. How many animals do you adopt out each year?

R. Most of our pets are placed quickly. In 2003, we found homes for 260 dogs and puppies and 170 cats and kittens. Since 2000, we have found homes for over 900 animals.

Q. What is your adoption process?

R. To help us place pets, we utilize a questionnaire and interview process to acquire information about the potential adopterís lifestyle and experience with pets. We use this information along with what we have learned about each pet from its foster home to help find the right home for each pet.

Q. Do you make follow-up visits or phone calls to adopters?

R. Adopters are given our voicemail number and the foster parentís number to call if there are any problems. The foster parent usually does a follow-up phone call within 2 weeks of the adoption to see how the adoption is going. Home visits are only done in special situations.

Q. What are your adoption fees?

R. Our current canine adoption fees are $100 for dogs and puppies, $125 for dogs 20 pounds and under, $150 for purebred dogs and $70 for senior dogs 5 years and older. Our feline adoption fees are $80 for kittens, $65 for adult and special needs cats, $50 for senior cats, and $35 for semi-feral/feral/barn cats. The fees include spaying or neutering, age appropriate vaccinations, heartworm tests for dogs one year and older and feline leukemia tests for cats and kittens. The fee includes microchipping for dogs and puppies. Cats and kittens can be microchipped for an additional $10 fee.

Q. What provisions do you have for return of the animals if they arenít compatible with their adopters?

R. Our adoption contract states that if for any reason the adoption does not work, we will take the pet back at any time. We offer a 2-week trial period during which we will give a full refund if the adoption does not work.

Q. Do you accept puppy mill or kitten mill animals? If so, what is your policy toward their probable medical expenses and toward providing spay or neuter of them?

R. . We do not have the resources at this time to deal with puppy or kitten mill animals.

Q. What is your policy toward feral cats?

R. We do not intentionally take feral cats. Our Feline Division has dealt with feral cats and has either provided them with sanctuary or tried to place them in situations where they can live out their lives. We favor the trap-neuter-release approach when possible.

Q. What is your policy concerning euthanasia?

R. To date, we have only had to euthanize a few animals and only for untreatable illness, old age or behavioral problems.

Q. Do you use a foster-based system or do you have a physical building to house animals?

R. Currently our program is strictly foster-based.

Q. How is the group financed?

R. Adoption fees only cover our basic vet bills. We do a variety of fundraisers including rummage sales, raffles, T-shirt sales and photo events. We are grateful for the support and assistance that both Albuquerque PETCO stores and the PETCO foundation have provided us as a PETCO charity.

Q. What do you need in terms of volunteers, goods, or services?

1. FOSTER HOMES - The more foster homes we have, the more lives we can save.

2. DONATIONS - Money or supplies like cat/kitten food or kitty litter are always needed. You can donate items for our rummage sales. We especially need a full-size truck or van to haul our adoption clinic trailer.

3. VOLUNTEERS - Volunteers assist in many ways - with fundraisers, grant writing and adoption clinics.

PETroglyphs thanks Michelle Jespersen for providing this information. You may contact Pick of the Pound at: PO Box 2702 Los Lunas, NM 87031 or (505) 764-5799. E-mail them at: or check out their websites: or

The love of animals, like the love of our neighbor, is not a gift to be condescendingly bestowed, but a profound and humble acceptance of their kinship. Ė Robert R. Logan

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