ANIMAL NEWS AND VIEWS
MAKE A HOMELESS CAT A WINNER THIS SUMMER!!
NOT ONLY WILL THE CAT WIN, BUT YOU, TOO, COULD WIN A FABULOUS PRIZE! (WE HAVE OVER $2,600 IN PRIZES TO AWARD)!
GRAND PRIZES: TWO ROUND TRIP TICKETS ON SOUTHWEST AIRLINES, TWO PRIVATE HOT AIR BALLOON RIDES, AND TWO BEAUTIFUL CAT TREES.
Your support will help the Albuquerque Cat Action Team (A.C.A.T.) provide medical care to our foster and feral cats. A complete list of prizes is available at www.albcat.com or you may view the list of prizes and purchase tickets from A.C.A.T. at PETCO on San Mateo/Academy any Saturday between11-4.
Tickets are $2 each or 7 for $10. Drawing is on July 26, 2003. For more information call A.C.A.T. at 323-2228.
An Animal Control Officer on Laguna Pueblo recently requested donations of blankets to help keep shelter puppies warm and cozy. If you can help, please mail directly to: Richard Day, C/O Laguna Pueblo PO Box 194 Pueblo of Laguna, NM 87026, or, call Animal Protection of New Mexico's Michele Rokke at 505-989-1442 to arrange to drop off at APNM’s Santa Fe office.
Many animal shelters have needs that can be filled by donated goods or services. To help the animals in your area, please contact the animal shelter nearest you and ask what you can do for the animals!
MAKE A DIFFERENCE! - Volunteer at the City of Albuquerque, Animal Services Division
Be a volunteer at Albuquerque Animal Services. We have monthly orientation sessions for new volunteers. You must be over 16 years of age and able to volunteer a minimum of 6 hours per month. Please call 505-764-1137 to register for orientation. Orientation dates: June 19, July 17 and August 21.
RABIES VACCINE REGULATION REVISED
by Don Marshall
The New Mexico State Health Department has changed the requirement for annual rabies vaccinations for cats and dogs to every three years beginning May 30, 2003. Pets are now required to receive their first vaccination after three months of age, with a booster within a year and then every three years. State Health Secretary Patricia Montoya is encouraging cities and counties in New Mexico to amend their ordinances to comply with this new protocol. Most other states already have a three-year rabies vaccine requirement, and a poll conducted across New Mexico resulted in 90% approval among veterinarians for the change.
THE ESPAÑOLA SHELTER NEEDS YOUR HELP
A fire has destroyed the inventory at the St. Francis De Paws Thrift Store in Española, and they are in need of merchandise in order to restock and reopen.
IT’S SPRING! Are you cleaning out closets or garages? Please consider donating your unwanted clothing, household goods, furniture, etc. In good condition, of course!
Items can be brought to the Española Animal Shelter at 108 Hamm Parkway, Española, NM 87532, 753-8662, or The Barkin’ Boutique, 1107 Pen Road (behind Wild Oats), Santa Fe, 505-986-0699. Please do not leave items after hours.
Please call the shelter for more information or directions to their facility. Monetary donations are gratefully accepted and can be sent directly to the shelter.
SAN JUAN ANIMAL LEAGUE
This billboard, encouraging people to spay and neuter their pets, is located along the highway east of Farmington. The billboard is part of the San Juan Animal League’s 2003 SNYP (Spay/Neuter Your Pet) campaign, which is dedicated to reducing pet overpopulation.
NAVAJO SPAY/NEUTER SCHEDULE
ROUNDHOUSE ROUNDUP: Introducing Animal Protection Voters
by Danielle Bays
Animal Protection Voters was founded in October 2002 in order to build an effective political voice for animal advocacy in New Mexico. The need to further lobbying efforts and begin engaging in political activity on behalf of animals had become apparent. Existing non-profit animal advocacy organizations could not legally accomplish this mission, so a new organization was formed.
APV is structured as a 501c4 non-profit, social welfare organization so that there are no limitations on the amount of lobbying that can be undertaken and the organization can participate, with some restrictions, in election activities. The purpose of creating APV was to ensure pro-animal laws by electing pro-animal lawmakers—and then to hold those lawmakers accountable for getting those laws enacted.
Diving right into the political pool, APV took up legislative campaigns started by Animal Protection of New Mexico. This included the perennial effort to ban cockfighting and a measure to address mass animal suffering caused by the phenomenon of companion animal hoarding.
Banning Cockfighting in New Mexico
New Mexico nearly became the 49th state to ban cockfighting with efforts proceeding farther through the Legislature than ever before.
Representative Ron Godbey (R-Cedar Crest) led his year’s charge against what he calls “a knife fight between two chickens.” After a Senate bill, introduced by Sen. Steve Komadina (R-Corrales) was swiftly killed early on, Rep. Godbey stepped in, refusing to let the issue die so easily. But a political obstacle course was set with three House committee assignments. This challenge was met with a tactical and unprecedented single hearing for all three committees. The committees then voted in turn, giving the bill passing marks each time before passing the full. The bill was sent to the Senate during the final week of the session, but was unable to get a hearing before the Legislature spiraled down to a close.
· Students from Santa Fe’s Oz School staged a mock cockfight in the Capitol Rotunda to protest the cruel activity. Dressed as roosters and fight spectators, the young advocates, countered many of the worn-out arguments in favor of the blood sport.
· National egg industry lobbyists visited the state to push for restrictions on cockfighting. Their fear: cockfighting spreads the deadly exotic Newcastle’s disease (END), an avian virus that is devastating the poultry industry in Southern California and spreading through the southwest.
The roosters have gained numerous supporters in the Legislature and the stage has been set for victory when the issue returns to the Roundhouse.
ADDRESSING COMPANION ANIMAL HOARDING
Animal advocates, frustrated by the escalating number of mass cruelty cases in the state and the lack of resources to address then, sought some respite with the Legislature. However, House Bill 19, addressing the cruelty of companion animal hoarding, failed.
The goal of this bill, sponsored by Rep. Joe Thompson (R-Abq), was to relieve the suffering of animals kept in the crowded, unsanitary and neglectful conditions typical of hoarding situations while reducing the financial burden placed on our community animal shelters. Animal control agencies and community animal shelters struggle to address these cases under the existing law, due to the cost of impounding large numbers of sick, starving, and unsocialized animals. The bill required a security bond to be posted to cover the care of the animals while the case was being prosecuted. The bill did not, contrary to what some believed, set any type of limitation on pet ownership.
Unfortunately, the hoarding bill had problems from the beginning. Although it may have been able to provide some relief in some hoarding situations, when amended by various legislative committees there was strong disagreement among experts about the bill’s impact on hoarding and other animal cruelty if implemented. Based on this outcome, APV has concluded that solving the complexity of hoarding is going to require solutions well beyond those available through legislation. Yet, the very presence of a bill about animal hoarding raised the public’s level of awareness of the problem in the community through numerous news articles regarding the bill.
Animal Protection of New Mexico will continue to assist agencies and advocates in addressing hoarding cases across the state. Ensuring local laws are adequate, enforceable and consistently enforced will help prevent hoarding cases from developing. For those cases that have reached crisis point, communities should have an “Animal Hoarding Emergency Operation Plan” to effectively cope with a mass impoundment of animals who may not be healthy, social or adoptable. Several agencies will need to be involved and prepared in advance to deal with an emergency evacuation of a large number of animals. Please contact APNM for a sample template your community can use to create its own hoarding disaster plan. [APNM, attn: Michele, PO Box 1215, Santa Fe 87504; 989-1442]
It is essential that each one of us participate in the democratic process. After all, elected officials are elected to serve their constituency— that’s us. The state legislature has the ability to do a lot of good for animals of the state. For example, in the 2003 session they created a special license plate that will benefit spay-neuter programs; they funded the construction of animal shelters in Carlsbad, Grants and Chama; they authorized the Game Commission to designate areas in which bear-proof garbage containers are required on public and private lands to reduce the potential for human-bear interactions; they passed a memorial requesting state and Congressional officials to take action to reduce vehicle-wildlife collisions on New Mexico roads; and they voted to fund a study on the preservation of our wild horses.
Animal Protection Voters is establishing a network of compassionate voters across the state so that we can efficiently and effectively promote pro-animal laws and ordinances at the state and local level. We hope that you will join us. Contact APV at 1229-A St. Francis Dr. Santa Fe 87505, 954-4262, or visit our web site: www.apvnm.org.
Danielle Bays works to build political capital for animals through Animal Protection Voters, as well as serving as campaign manager for Animal Protection of New Mexico.
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