APNM’s 2007 Substantial Accomplishments
Domestic Animal Initiatives
• Following Animal Protection Voter’s (APV) successful passage of a ban on cockfighting, APNM worked with New Mexico Attorney General Gary King to launch the New Mexico Animal Cruelty Taskforce (ACT), to ensure animal cruelty and animal fighting laws are properly enforced. This unprecedented coalition of law enforcement and public officials includes Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez, Governor Richardson’s office, Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White and former State Lands commissioner and veterinarian, Ray Powell. The task force planned and executed first-ever raids on both cock fighting and dog fighting rings in New Mexico. The ACT plans to improve inter-agency communication, educate the public about animal abuse and if necessary, strengthen current laws. The task force plans to conduct training on animal fighting investigations in spring 2008. APV secured almost $78,000 from legislators for costs associated with the ACT, and county law enforcement officials have provided significant operating funds as well.
• A State District judge in Lovington delivered a blow to New Mexico cockfighters, declining their request for an injunction against the newly enacted ban on cockfighting. APNM and the Humane Society of the United States submitted “friend of the court” briefs to support the New Mexico Attorney General’s case against the requested injunction.
• On the heels of APV’s success at creating and securing funding for the Animal Sheltering Services Board (ASSB), APNM submitted comprehensive recommendations for its regulations to the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department. The ASSB will establish standards for animal shelters and the practice of euthanasia in New Mexico. APNM also submitted recommendations for members of the new board. APV secured funds from legislators to operate the new board and implement its regulations.
• APNM gathered comprehensive data on New Mexico’s animal shelters, including euthanasia methods, intake and euthanasia statistics, budgets and facility capacities. This data will be used to help APNM assess those areas of the state most in need of assistance with overpopulation and euthanasia issues, and will help APV establish its capital outlay priorities for the 2009 legislative session.
• Pursuant to APV’s successful passage of a legislative memorial in 2007, APNM assisted the N.M. Department of Public Safety in studying the humane and public safety implications of permanently chaining dogs and issuing a report to the legislature. The report can guide communities who wish to restrict or eliminate the practice of chaining, and the findings will provide support and momentum for APNM’s “New Mexico Dogs Deserve Better” campaign.
• APNM’s Cruelty Case Manager handled over 800 cases of animal neglect and abuse in 2007. This focal point helps APNM ensure that cases of extreme cruelty to animals are investigated and prosecuted.
• APNM sent dozens of animal control and other law enforcement officers to National Animal Control Association training in Albuquerque. Two of APNM’s staff also attended the training.
• As part of APNM’s ongoing efforts to help communities establish spay-neuter services and infrastructure, APNM secured funding for a one-day spay-neuter clinic in Tucumcari. The event, orchestrated and organized by a highly engaged volunteer, was a huge success, resulting in the spay-neuter of 30 dogs and cats. It galvanized the community around the issue of companion animal overpopulation, and citizens are already working on long-term solutions to their local problem. The community also wants to plan a spring 2008 spay-neuter event.
• APNM hosted its most successful Milagro Awards celebration ever–almost 300 people attended the event to honor those who do extraordinary things for animals!
• APNM continued to provide technical support to communities throughout New Mexico who have had no assistance within state government for guidelines on shelter management and animal control standards.
• APNM hosted a very successful and well-attended three-day workshop to teach state and federal agency employees how to respond to beaver complaints with solutions that are non-lethal, long-term and effective. About forty representatives from New Mexico Game and Fish, New Mexico State Parks, two Native nations, New Mexico Environment Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service learned how to evaluate field sites where beavers live, and how to build and install devices that allow beavers to remain in an area without threatening property, roads and structures.
• APNM continued to participate in the Tijeras Canyon Safe Passage Coalition. APNM also evaluated U.S. 285 north of Santa Fe and made formal recommendations to the N.M. Department of Transportation to make the highway corridor safer for wild and domestic animals.
• APNM secured petitions to the New Mexico Supreme Court from prominent New Mexicans who support District Attorney Scot Key’s prosecution of Charles River Laboratories, which is responsible for the death of two chimpanzees and near death of another chimpanzee in their care at the Alamogordo Primate Facility located on Holloman Air Force Base.