APNM 2008 Accomplishments
Programs That Benefit All Animals
Animal Cruelty Case Management, Outreach and Rewards
• APNM’s Animal Cruelty Case Manager handled and tracked about 2,000 cruelty calls in 2008. In many cases, APNM offered rewards of up to $10,000 for information leading to the perpetrator, and in some cases coordinated with local Crime Stoppers organizations. One such collaboration with Grant County Crime Stoppers in Silver City led to the August arrest of a man who allegedly had severely abused his dog Trinity, but had eluded law enforcement for almost two years.
• APNM helped put the spotlight on the plight of animals by tirelessly working with those in print, radio and television media. Stories about New Mexico animal cruelty cases could be found almost weekly in 2008. Starving horses, hoarded dogs and cats, and abandoned livestock were given a voice, thanks to coverage in various media outlets.
• APNM publicized its rewards and the importance of reporting animal cruelty on a hard-hitting billboard in Valencia County, where animal cruelty cases seem epidemic. Grace, the horse featured on this billboard, was rescued within days of her starving to death in the county, thanks to a relentless good Samaritan who reported the mare. In 2009, APNM plans to launch a billboard advertisement on Interstate 40 in Torrance County, where cruelty and neglect cases are also prevalent. Billboard space in both counties has been generously donated by Clear Channel Outdoor.
• Rewards were offered, but there are still no solid leads for, prosecution in the cases of a Valencia County yearling killed and the body unceremoniously dumped on a back road, and a 20-year-old champion Arabian horse shot and killed in his stable in Albuquerque’s south valley. However, a reward offered in the case of kittens being tortured and killed by boys in Lincoln County resulted in the teens being sentenced and counseled earlier this year.
Attorney General’s Animal Cruelty Task Force and Hotline, Law Enforcement Training
• Since APNM's sister organization, Animal Protection Voters’ 2007 passage of a ban on cockfighting in New Mexico, APNM has worked with Attorney General Gary King in launching his Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACT). APNM staffed the AG’s ACT cruelty hotline in addition to the APNM hotline. The ACT helped coordinate unprecedented law enforcement raids on numerous cockfighting and dog fighting operations, as well as enormous hoarding cases.
• The first cockfighting conviction under New Mexico’s new ban on cockfighting came in March, after the ACT worked with the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department and Animal Control in serving a search warrant on a property in Anthony, N.M., in December 2007. The raid, in response to an anonymous tip, resulted in four individuals receiving citations for cockfighting and the seizure of 75 roosters. One of those arrested pleaded guilty, paid fines, served four days in jail and is now on probation.
• Doña Ana County prosecutors secured a 53-count indictment on suspected dog fighters in that county in February 2008.
• Law enforcement officers across the state responded to numerous animal hoarding cases, with the assistance of APNM and the AG’s ACT. Cases in Mora, Taos and Doña Ana Counties were successfully handled, bringing relief to hundreds of animals caught up in the complicated web of animal hoarding that results in misery and unsafe living conditions for both the animals and the people involved.
• APNM’s strategy of “helping communities make kind choices” involves ongoing training of law enforcement officials in effective animal cruelty investigations. Toward that end, APNM collaborated with both the AG and the New Mexico Sheriffs and Police Association (NMSPA) to conduct training on animal fighting investigations at the NMSPA’s March 2008 conference. Experts from the Humane Society of the United States delivered this unique training to over 100 officers.
• APNM paid tuition and travel stipends to over a dozen law enforcement officials to attend the National Animal Control Academy training in New Mexico this year. This training is a sound investment in having capable and compassionate officers on the ground, responding to cruelty complaints.
Companion Animal Rescue Effort (CARE)
• To better protect the victims of domestic abuse, their families and their animals, APNM updated and expanded the Companion Animal Rescue Effort (CARE) network: it now offers temporary housing for the animals of domestic abuse victims through 29 confidential safe havens located in 22 New Mexico counties. APNM distributed the confidential 2008 CARE network listings to domestic violence service providers throughout the state. APNM produced informative CARE brochures, printed in English and Spanish, and provided them to shelters, sheriffs’ offices, police chiefs and emergency rooms throughout New Mexico. APNM’s CARE Network Manager, Sherry Mangold, educated trainees of the New Mexico Domestic Violence Coalition on the link between domestic violence and animal abuse, and how to procure safe havens for victims' companion animals.
Exposing Puppy Mill Cruelty
• APNM exposed the cruel reality of puppy mills through media outlets, and highlighted the impact on dog and cat overpopulation from the sale of puppy mill animals in pet shops. APNM’s sister organization, Animal Protection Voters (APV), made it a central part of local ordinance improvements to work for bans on the sale of puppy mill animals in communities already overrun with homeless animals. In 2008, Bernalillo County banned the sale of puppy mill puppies, and Edgewood banned the sale of dogs and cats in pet shops altogether.
Getting Dogs Off Chains
• At the request of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety (DPS), and pursuant to a legislative memorial spearheaded and passed by Animal Protection Voters in 2007, APNM worked with DPS to publish a report about the humane and public safety implications of permanently chaining dogs. The DPS report is providing support and momentum for APNM’s campaign to convince New Mexicans that by bringing dogs into their homes and into their lives, rather than subjecting them to life on the end of a chain, communities are safer and dogs and people enjoy far richer lives. APNM’s campaign focuses on informing the public about humane alternatives to permanently chaining dogs.
Promoting Humane Shelters and Euthanasia
• Since APV successfully passed the Animal Sheltering Services Act (ASSA) in 2007, APNM has provided comprehensive input to the new Animal Sheltering Services Board (ASSB). APNM made recommendations for board members, delivered a complete statewide data matrix on all New Mexico shelters covered by the ASSA, provided sample rules on euthanasia and shelter standards, and is now a member of the ASSB’s rules committee, which plans to have draft rules for public comment and input by January 2009.
Promoting Spay-Neuter Efforts
• The eastern New Mexico town of Tucumcari expanded its efforts to combat dog and cat overpopulation, thanks to the determination of an APNM volunteer, the assistance of an entire community, and the use of the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society’s spay-neuter van. The two-day, low-cost clinic was underwritten by $4,000 requested by local advocate Robert Ciolli and approved by the Tucumcari city commission. This was the first time the community invested in this kind of project.
Humane Youth Education
• APNM dramatically expanded its outreach to New Mexico’s children by increasing the number of Kind News subscriptions it distributed from 23 to 253 classrooms. Kind News is an award-winning publication, published by the Humane Society of the United States at three reading levels. It is designed for children in kindergarten through sixth grade, and focuses on humane values such as fairness, compassion, and responsibility, as it teaches children respect for animals and the environment. APNM will continue this outreach into 2009, since both the children and the teachers who benefit from it tell us what an outstanding resource it is for them.
• Three human and two canine educators presented lessons on humane animal care to the K-third grade classes of Algodones Elementary School this past summer. Greeted enthusiastically by the children, the presentations were prompted by a school employee who noticed incidences of neglect and cruelty to animals in the vicinity.
Chimpanzees to Sanctuary
• APNM continued to work toward the day when the more than 220 chimpanzees held at the Alamogordo Primate Facility can be moved to a bona fide sanctuary. APNM has been working with New Mexico’s Congressional delegation and advocates across the country to ensure these research veterans can live out the balance of their lives in safe and natural surroundings.
Collaborative Efforts with Animal Protection Voters
• Many of you who support APNM are also members of Animal Protection Voters, which focuses on passing local and state legislation in addition to being active in New Mexico elections. It is important for APNM members to appreciate how APNM’s programs are linked with and benefit from APV’s initiatives. The fact is that when you support APNM, you are supporting an organization that has unusual capacity and leverage because of the work of APV. Simply put, APNM ensures the on-the-ground implementation of the local and state laws that APV passes.
Programs That Benefit Wildlife
Beaver Advocacy Program
• APNM conducted two more successful beaver education and mitigation workshops for wildlife and natural resource agency personnel as well as for the general public. APNM aims to institutionalize “beaver coexistence” approaches within the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (Department) and other wildlife agencies that address human-beaver conflicts. Every workshop has generated intense interest in conserving beavers and maximizing the opportunities they offer for improving entire ecosystems. APNM created a Beaver Flow Device Installation Training video, which is now available online and in DVD format. APNM distributed its beaver advocacy brochure–published in conjunction with the Department–throughout New Mexico.
Safe Passages/Wildlife Corridors Program
• APNM continued to work with other organizations to ensure wildlife corridor planning is incorporated into highway construction projects. APNM remains involved in the Tijeras Canyon Safe Passage Coalition, specifically to secure conservation easements for properties along Interstate 40, and to coordinate volunteers for tree planting and remote camera placement.
• APNM continued to work with other organizations in preparation for a “Critical Mass 2 Workshop,” in order to re-examine the state’s safe passages project priorities. Toward that end, APNM paid for the comprehensive GIS mapping of road kill data from numerous sources, to establish the baseline of this information that is critical to wildlife corridor evaluations.
Cougar Management Policy Improvements
• APNM continued its efforts since 1996 to improve New Mexico’s cougar management policies by working with WildEarth Guardians (WEG) to protect this important species. APNM and WEG traveled to five New Mexico communities to promote common sense precautions and co-existence with New Mexico’s big cats. The New Mexico Game Commission passed regulations that provide more protection for female cougars and their kittens and they discontinued a wasteful program in southeastern New Mexico in which more than $1 million has been paid to a private trapper to preemptively kill cougars on a handful of ranches since the 1980s. APNM and WEG have formally requested that the money saved on the cougar contract be used to benefit all New Mexicans through a “safety in cougar country” outreach effort.