New Mexico's Pet Resource FALL 2003


Q. What is your group’s mission?

R. The mission of the San Juan Animal League (SJAL) is to promote the health and welfare of companion animals in San Juan County, to prevent cruelty to animals, and to extend humane education. Our goals include improving companion animal health by providing low-cost vaccinations, reducing the number of unwanted pets through public education and increased spay/neuter opportunities, and eliminating euthanasia of healthy, adoptable pets through decreased unwanted births and increased successful adoptions.

Q. What is your group’s history?

R. SJAL is a non-profit, all-volunteer humane society located in Farmington. SJAL is a 501 (c) (3) organization that has been in continuous operation since 1974. Our activities have changed over the years to reflect the changing needs of the local animal population. For many years we concentrated on fostering and adopting pets. SJAL also was instrumental in building the Farmington Animal Shelter, the city shelter from which Animal Control operates.

Due to the high euthanasia rate – between 74% and 77 % of the animals were euthanized in the years 2000-2002 – SJAL has decided to concentrate on spay/neuter this year.

Q. What programs does SJAL currently run?

R. Our goal for 2003 was to dedicate all the funds we could to spay/neuter – the actual sterilizations and education. We need to increase community awareness. We have committed more than $20,000 to low-cost spay/neuter projects in San Juan County.

SJAL works toward the prevention of disease in animals by providing low-cost vaccination clinics eight times a year. This enables people who can’t afford preventative treatment for their animals to inoculate them against the most common and deadly pet diseases. The Rabies Clinic Program is extremely successful. In 2002, we vaccinated more than 3,200 dogs and cats.

The education program stresses the requirements of responsible pet ownership. SJAL sponsors affordable or free dog obedience classes and public service announcements. We hand out information at vaccination clinics, maintain a telephone support system of pet information, and work with elementary schools to provide humane education. SJAL supports and assists pets and owners through our website and special programs, such as “Pet of the Week” and “Happy Holidays for Needy Pets” at Christmas.

Highlights for 2002:
* More than 3,200 rabies vaccinations given at League sponsored events.
* More than 200 animals spayed/neutered through low-cost and rebate programs.
* More than 6 tons of pet food distributed to senior citizens, rescue groups, and needy individuals.
* More than $1,700 in emergency medical assistance for sick and injured pets.
* More than $2,400 spent on foster care for surrendered and abandoned dogs and cats in San Juan County.

Q. Does SJAL still do actual rescue work?

R. When we dropped the foster program this year, we were concerned about contributing to the growing lack of animal humane services here. Fewer foster homes are available each year. Most of the people who do rescue in San Juan County either do it on their own or as part of a national breed rescue. We have decided to help those groups by offering space on our website for photos and descriptions of animals available for adoption. We also work with the local paper to present a “Pet of the Week,” featuring animals available at the Farmington Animal Shelter.

Q. What educational programs does your group provide in schools?

R. We cover the following topics: pets and pet health (physical needs, emotional needs, other needs), careers with pets and pets with careers, and children, pets and safety.

Q. How is the group financed?

R. About 75% of the money used to run our programs and support our infrastructure comes from the proceeds of vaccination clinics. About 12% is from donations and memberships. Another 7% comes from fundraisers and the remaining 6% from merchandise and ID tags sold at our vaccination clinics.

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

R. We need a large pool of volunteers, grant writers, more low-cost sterilization options, access to animal behaviorists, and dog obedience trainers.

PETroglyphs thanks Kristin Lagenfeld for providing this information. You may contact SJAL at: San Juan Animal League, P.O. Box 142, Farmington, NM 87401, (505) 325-3366 or (505) 325-9565. Website:

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