Summer 2004

NO MORE HOMELESS PETS
ON THE COUNTDOWN

by Kathleen Des Maisons

We have passed the 1,000 mark on animals spayed or neutered and we’re still counting! No More Homeless Pets NM is offering free spay and neuter services for residents of the city of Albuquerque. The concept is simple. People who qualify for the program are given a voucher for each pet and a referral to a participating vet— simple, easy and accessible.

In an unheard of commitment to solve the problem of pet overpopulation (and unnecessary euthanasia), the City of Albuquerque has given No More Homeless Pets a contract to spay and neuter 2,500 more animals this year.

So how does it work? Folks call our number at 345-6647 (345-NMHP) and give us some basic information about their household size and income. If they qualify, they give us the names, ages and type of pets they have. We send them a voucher and the name of a vet. They call to make an appointment, go in with their animal, give the vet clinic the voucher, leave the animal for surgery and then come back at the end of the day to pick up their animal.

The vet sends us the voucher and we pay the bill. We have worked out discounted prices with all the participating vets. Each vet agrees to a high standard of care for the animal and respect for our clients. If there is any problem solving to do, we talk with the vet staff immediately to make the process as smooth as possible for our clients.

Here are some stories that will give you a sense of our clients:

Rosa is 78. She lives alone and is on a fixed income. She has two Chihuahuas and a cat. The two Chihuahuas are girls, and the cat is a boy. She told us that he often goes out at night, but always comes back. She has wanted to get her pets spayed and neutered for a long time but she simply does not have the money to do it. We sent her vouchers and also helped her find a friend who could take them over to the vet early in the morning.

Anthony has five animals: a male Rottweiler who is two years old, a female Pit Bull who is 18 months old, and two puppies from the Rottweiler and Pit Bull combo. The puppies are eight months old and are named Roscoe and Harley. The fifth animal is a 90-pound German Shepherd male named Oso. Oso often jumps the fence and goes roaming. Anthony called because his uncle told him about us. Anthony really did not want any more puppies, because he was laid off from his job and is working part time. He just didn’t have the money to spay and neuter his animals. He was really happy all the dogs could now have their surgeries.

Marcella, a single mom, has three cats. Mitzie, Roma and Bently love her children. Roma is the kitty from the last litter. Now Mitzie is pregnant again. Marcella said she really does not want more kitties. We talked with her about choices. She decided to get the surgeries for Roma and Bentley done immediately. She will wait until the kitties are born to have Mitzie spayed. Then she will have the kitties spayed or neutered before she gives them away.

Tim is a student at UNM. He has no money and adores his Golden cross. Sometimes he uses what little money he has to buy food for the dog and he eats Ramen noodles. He saw one of our outreach signs and called right away. He took Brewster in within three days. He called the day after the surgery to tell us how happy he was.

Many people have talked to us about “irresponsible pet owners” who do not spay and neuter their animals. While there may be some cases of that, it is not at all what we have found. What we have found are sincere and caring people who want the best for their pets and who simply do not have the money to pay for the cost of spay or neuter surgery.

How can you be involved? We need lots of help in many areas. We are looking for outreach volunteers. These people would sit at information tables and talk about the program, put up posters, and pass out cards. We also need people to contact social service workers. There is lots of outreach to be done. Call us at 345-6647 to volunteer. Ask for Aly. Or go to www.nomorehomelesspetsnm.org.

If doing outreach is not your style, we can use money as well. We get many calls every day from people outside the city limits. They want and need help, too. We currently receive a small sum of money from the United Way campaign, which we combine with our own fundraising efforts to support surgeries for the animals of people outside of Albuquerque. If you would like to make a donation, you can send it to:

No More Homeless Pets of New Mexico
6703 Fourth St., NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107
505-345-6647 or 410-6647 (24 hours)


DOGFEST 2004 - THE EVENT
by Chris Dalton

OK, summer is here, and it’s time for me to talk about the big events coming to you from Three Dog Bakery. The main one, of course, is the 5th annual all dog underground film festival that we affectionately call “DogFest.” Never heard of it? Let me give you a little history.

The first year we had the fest at the Bakery. It was obvious to all of us that the store was not big enough to contain future fests.

The second year we moved the event to the Harwood Art Space. This was a bigger space, but still not big enough. It was standing room only, ladies and gentlemen! We had already outgrown ourselves, and this was only our second year.

Right away we set to work on finding a space that could hold the growing numbers of film buffs. Do you know what we came up with for the third year? The Downs of Albuquerque. OK, we didn’t fill the entire place but we had our section pretty full. Using the side of a huge truck as a movie screen, we showed the films against the backdrop of the Sandias at sunset. Now we don’t like to brag, but People Magazine showed up that year and gave us a great two-page spread in their next issue.

Year four was at Balloon Fiesta Park. This was an outdoor event. We had a city of tents with every breed of dog, and the people who adore them, represented. Then, to our surprise, the late afternoon brought us a huge, freaky, soak-you-to- the-bone rain storm. We all fought together to preserve our tent site. Imagine a hurricane in the desert. After the rain stopped, we pieced our site back together, huddled under the remaining tents, and watched the films.

We rethought our options for this year. Kim Snitker, owner of Three Dog Bakery, secured a real movie theater with popcorn, fountain drinks, air conditioners, shelter from the elements, real theater seating, movie screens, and sound for this year’s Dogfest.

Now, after this wordy description on how we got to year five, are you chomping at the bit to know when this thing is going to happen? If so, here’s the scoop.

DogFest 2004 will be Sunday, September 26th, at Madstone Theater. Madstone is the independent film theater at San Mateo and Academy, next to Olive Garden and Bennigan’s. They have been kind enough to open their doors to us for the day, so we are all excited about this year’s festival. This year we are having a national call for entries through Bark Magazine and the other Three Dog Bakeries across the country.

Are you thinking, “Hey, I have a camera and a dog who likes to in front of it?” Well, dust off that camera and get to work! Here are the rules:

1. Films must be about a dog or have dogs as central characters.
2. Films can be no longer than five minutes.

That’s it. Sound easy? Show us!

The registration fee is $25.00 with all proceeds going to spay and neuter programs in New Mexico. I’ll save you from my “Animal overpopulation problem in New Mexico, thousands of animals put to death every year” speech—for now! My point is that this is a great cause, and it needs as much help as it can get. Deadline for entries is August 29, 2004.

Films can be dropped off or mailed to Three Dog Bakery, 9821 Montgomery NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111. We prefer DVD format, but we can work around VHS. Be creative, take risks (not risks that are life threatening to human or animal, though) and get those films in. Then come see all the magic that is DogFest. It’s quite an event and quite a cause.

Oh, yeah – prizes. All prize money is donated to the winner’s favorite animal organization.

First prize = $500
Second prize = $300
Third prize = $200

It’s all about the animals, people! If we stop helping, they keep dying, and you don’t want me to rant on about that. So, now that your calendars are marked and your creative juices are flowing, I will close with this. Get busy and get filming, or at least come out and support this event.

We all look forward to seeing you and your companion dogs at the Bakery this summer and for DogFest in September. If you have questions about Dogfest, the dog washes, or just general dog information, please call us at Three Dog Bakery: 505-294-2300.


WHO’S WHO AT
NO MORE HOMELESS PETS

Ever wonder who the people are behind the No More Homeless Pets spay and neuter campaign?

Here are the people you can contact if you have questions about the program or want to volunteer. You can reach them at 505-345-6647. Just leave a message and they will get back to you.

Doug Banks – Best Options, Inc.
Eric Brenner – Pfizer Animal Health Group
Ron Chapman – Ron Chapman Associates
Kathleen DesMaisons – Golden Retriever Rescue
Jennifer Knollenberg – Animal lover
Kim Snitker – Three Dog Bakery


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