2010 APNM Accomplishments
Challenging Animal Cruelty & Making Sure
Animals Matter in Every Community
APNM’s Cruelty Case Managers answer two different animal cruelty hotlines and have been seeing a dramatic increase in the calls reported to them. APNM now handles about 170 issues every month, and the number of calls associated with those issues is even higher (multiple calls come in for the same issue). APNM receives no government funding for this essential service that it provides New Mexico’s communities. We rely on the generosity of our donors to continue making sure animals who are suffering are not ignored. While New Mexicans are extremely appreciative of this service, APNM also hears from interstate truck drivers who tell us they wish every state had a service like APNM provides. One truck driver, who frequently reports cruelty he sees in New Mexico, received help from APNM to locate officers in another state where he saw loose dogs on a highway!
APNM has offered and publicized rewards for information about animal cruelty cases in Torrance, Socorro, Valencia and Grant counties. Rewards have been useful in obtaining crucial information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of animal cruelty.
In mid March, APNM worked with law enforcement from Hidalgo county, Doña Ana county, the state Children, Youth & Families department and a forensics veterinarian to coordinate the rescue of 48 animals and three children from a horrific hoarding situation in the remote town of Animas. Deputies who found emaciated animals without shelter, food or water said they would not have known what to do without APNM’s assistance and resource coordination.
After two years of trying to intervene in the unscrupulous activity of a puppy-mill type dog breeder, APNM helped coordinate the animal control and county sheriff response that finally thwarted this person. The breeder had eluded animal control in four different counties – Torrance, Santa Fe, Bernalillo and Valencia – moving from place to place and even changing her last name to escape detection. She kept sick dogs in unventilated sheds and permanently housed large dogs in tiny crates.
APNM’s staff has been serving as the coordinator for the Attorney General’s Animal Cruelty Task Force, and in that capacity assisted Bernalillo county authorities in organizing a raid on a dog fighting operation in April. One dog named Spiderman, who deputies suspect was being used for dogfighting “bait” and who was too injured to treat, had to be euthanized. He was called Spiderman because he would climb a chain-link fence every day after school to enthusiastically greet the children with whom he lived. Deputies conducted the investigation that began with suspected animal cruelty and ended with two individuals with felony probation violations, dogfighting, illegal and stolen firearms, drugs and gang activity.
Members of the Attorney General’s Animal Cruelty Task Force–including APNM’s Heather Ferguson–made a presentation to a class of 30 law enforcement cadets from all over New Mexico at the New Mexico Department of Public Safety Law Enforcement Academy in Santa Fe. Participants were given some useful tools needed to conduct thorough investigations of animal fighting and animal cruelty.
APNM worked with Attorney General (AG) Gary King in creating two new pamphlets now being distributed by the AG’s office: one addressing puppy mills and unscrupulous breeders entitled Animal Sales-Where Will Your Pet Come From? and another on animal cruelty entitled Animal Cruelty: Observe, Document, Report. Both publications are available on the Attorney General’s website (www.nmag.gov).
APNM published a comprehensive resource guide of every spay-neuter program we could find in the state, organized by county. This valuable tool will allow people to find the spay-neuter resources they need in their communities, and will help advocates identify where spay-neuter resources are lacking. The online publication is available from APNM’s website here.
APNM published an updated version of its popular Caring for Your Companion Animal brochure (shown below) in both English and Spanish–this useful resource is also available on APNM’s website here.
APNM created bilingual brochures and posters for the Companion Animal Rescue Effort (CARE) network, which provides a temporary safe haven for the animals of domestic violence victims. Without a place for their animals to go, many domestic violence victims won’t leave their violent home, for fear their animals will be tortured or killed by the abuser in their absence. This eye-catching poster (shown below), along with updated brochures about the CARE Network, were distributed to law enforcement, hospitals, community centers, educational institutions, and domestic violence resource providers across the state.
The Equine Protection Fund (Fund), created by APNM and residing in the New Mexico Community Foundation, has gained great momentum over the last year. Numerous articles highlighting the Fund and its work to address the crisis with New Mexico’s horses have been published in newspapers, magazines and horse industry publications. The successful Emergency Feed Assistance Program, launched this year, is designed to help people feed their horses if they are experiencing short-term difficulties doing so. Those who want to keep their equines but are in a tight financial spot temporarily can receive immediate relief.
The Program has helped the equivalent of an average New Mexican horse shelter’s capacity of horses: 44 equines have been fed since May.
In one case, a single mother broke her leg and can’t work but she wants to keep her horses who she and her 7-year old daughter consider family. In another case a man lost his job and needs assistance while he looks for other work.
“Your organization’s commitment to protecting New Mexico’s equines is to be commended. Hay assistance would come as a huge relief for me, both financially and psychologically. In the future I would be happy to volunteer for your organization to reciprocate for assistance you’ve given. I cherish my horses, and promise to care for them with gratitude and affection.”
– Lincoln county horsewoman who lost her teaching job
It will take the generous and combined efforts of people all over New Mexico to raise the resources needed to provide relief to thousands of horses in the state. If you or anyone you know could donate to the Equine Protection Fund so it can help keep horses healthy and with their families, please visit the program’s website at EquineProtectionFund.org.
Nicole, born February 25, 1983, shown
here at just four or five years old.
APNM’s Chimpanzees to Sanctuary campaign has built tremendous local and national momentum for the plight of former research chimpanzees at the Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF). Governor Richardson, Congressmen Heinrich, Teague and Lujan, Senator Udall and Attorney General Gary King, along with area legislators like Rep. Nate Cote have been fighting hard to permanently retire the 202 government-owned chimpanzees. These intelligent and sentient individuals are relying on us to make the case that they do not deserve to face a lifelong sentence of lab testing as a “reserve colony”.
“Nicole was my best chimp buddy! She was 4 or 5 years old when we met. We had a wonderful rapport that I will NEVER forget. She was very easy to recognize because she had the most distinct, light brown eyes. She was beautiful, sensitive and gentle. Nicole tended to be very submissive. We would sit with each other every day. She had the most incredible sense of musical timing. I would sing to her and with the back of her hand she would take her nails and strum them across the chain link cage twice *Plink Plink* and then clap her hands twice *Clap Clap*. She would do this series of plinks and claps (always twice) in perfect rhythm to the song I was singing at the time. When I left APF, I promised to come back for her.”
-Holly, former maintenance worker at APF
To help landowners respond humanely to the sometimes unwelcome results of having beavers share their properties, APNM published the Landowners’ Guide to Non-lethal Beaver Solutions. This guide is chock full of valuable information about how to prevent flooding and tree damage sometimes caused by these clever and important critters. This practical and useful information is available on APNM’s website here.
The Cougar Smart New Mexico program was initiated by APNM in partnership with N.M. Department of Game and Fish, the U.S. Forest Service, N.M. State Parks and Santa Fe County. The program is making available trailhead posters, informative flyers, and waterproof safety tip tags for kids’ backpacks to help keep people safe when recreating and living in cougar country. Program information is available on APNM’s website and through partner agencies.
Last summer, Bernalillo County community centers, elementary schools and middle schools, along with the University of New Mexico’s Leisure Services “Paws and Claws” camp, were happily engaged in animal welfare activities because of partnerships formed by APNM, the Bernalillo County Department of Animal Control & Protection and Southwest Canine Corps of Volunteers. APNM staffer, Sherry Mangold, worked with animal control officers to develop and present interactive lessons which illustrate the humanitarian aspect of animal control work as well as bite safety, responsible companion animal stewardship, hot weather tips and the importance of spaying and neutering. This training will take place again next summer.
In addition, APNM, along with Valencia County Animal Control, is creating and delivering a humane education program to fifth graders. Along with becoming aware of the financial realities and time commitment involved in properly caring for animals, children will be encouraged to practice empathy for animals. They’ll also learn about local and state laws related to animals. Children will pass along their important lessons to the larger educational community by making their own presentations. APNM welcomes these invitations to help nurture positive changes for animals through our younger generations.
APNM has been getting extraordinary help with important projects from two volunteers, Mary Toponce and Kristen Balzer. Mary is helping APNM update its New Mexico Animal Resources Guide, which people statewide consider an invaluable reference for contacting animal protection organizations and animal control agencies. Kristen worked with the CEO of MVD Express, Janice Lucero, who is making sure drivers in the Albuquerque metro area and beyond know about New Mexico’s spay-neuter license plate. Kristen met with Janice, who generously offered to display APNM’s spay-neuter license plate poster in all ten MDV Express offices! Kristen also secured permission to hang the poster in four Tullivers stores (Albuquerque and Santa Fe), PetVet, Long Leash on Life, Three Dog Bakery, and three Flying Star locations. Our volunteers help us make the most of limited resources!
APNM hosted a free Planned Giving workshop and panel discussion earlier this year at the New Mexico State Bar Association in Albuquerque. The event was designed to help donors understand some of the many tools available to make an even bigger impact for animals through planned giving. Information about wills, bequests, trusts and other planned giving strategies reveals that people of even modest income and assets can make an even bigger difference for the animals than they might have thought. For more information about planned giving, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 505-265-2322, x22.
Animal Protection of New Mexico once again underwrote the cost of 13 law enforcement officers representing 13 different communities to attend the week-long National Animal Control Association academy. Officers likely will be able to immediately put their newly-acquired knowledge to use for animals. They learned how to investigate reports of cruelty to animals, including animal fighting, enforce animal cruelty laws and improve standards of care for animals in shelters. Raising professional standards through such formal training has had direct, dramatic and positive effects on New Mexico’s animals. In just six years, APNM has underwritten 162 scholarships, covering more than 50 agencies across New Mexico.
Even though APNM’s resources are stretched thin, we are making New Mexico a much better place to live for both animals and the people who care about them, thanks to you. Please help us make an even bigger mark for animals in 2011 by donating to APNM today!