A message from Sharon Jonas, APNM’s CARE Program Manager
Dear APNM Supporter,
I’ve been coordinating APNM’s Companion Animal Rescue Effort (CARE) for almost two years now, and I recently told someone that thankfully we hadn’t received many evening calls on the CARE Hotline. Of course, within about a week, a call came at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday night from a woman who was waiting for police to escort her and her cat from an abusive home; if it wasn’t for our CARE Network, she would not have been able to take her cat with her. Thankfully, we have some very dedicated individuals who were available to help. They literally may have saved this cat’s life!
CARE PROGRAM UPDATES:
Senate Bill 178 passed through the State Legislature; $50,000 was approved as part of the State Budget for the Children, Youth & Families Department’s "animal sheltering services" program, which we hope will be signed by Governor Martinez.
Almost 70 facilities and individuals have joined our CARE Network so far.
Since July 2014, CARE has assisted 48 callers with referrals and/or direct services for almost 100 animals.
CARE Outreach activities include visits to businesses and organizations throughout NM and presentations at several domestic violence victim advocate conferences and animal welfare events.
JOIN US IN DEMING AT LA FONDA RESTAURANT ON APRIL 11, 11:30 AM.
DONATION REQUEST: Crates & carriers, litter boxes, cat litter for CARE animals.
The pick-up and drop-off involved multiple phone calls to coordinate with the caller, the domestic violence shelter, law enforcement, and our CARE Service Providers, and long moments of waiting and wondering. As I sat in my car waiting for the police officer to deliver the cat, I thought of the various things that could complicate matters. How long would I need to wait? Did I get the meeting place right? What if the officer gets another call with the cat in his car?
In the past, I worked as a disaster response volunteer for the Red Cross, and while sitting in the car that night I remembered my experiences during Hurricane Katrina and other disasters. Very often disaster response involves a lot of “Hurry up… and wait.” It can be a frustrating reality when you go to your first deployment, ready to jump in and help those in need, only to be told to go fill out some forms and wait until they call on you with an assignment. But what’s important is having the resources in place and ready to respond – the timing happens when it happens.
Just a few minutes later, the officer arrived at the designated location to deliver the animal. I accepted the cat and brought her to a CARE Safe Haven destination for the night and through the weekend. Monday she would be transferred to a more long-term location.
To an individual or family in need, it doesn’t matter whether their house is literally on fire or they are afraid for their safety due to the abusive behavior of a partner or spouse, the best response is the same: Get Out! Take your children and animals and whatever important documents and other items you can grab, and leave as soon as you can. The reality in both cases is that you may not be able to get back safely into your house to save your animals.
The disaster response community, both locally and nationally, is making great strides to accommodate the needs of families with companion animals during emergency evacuations. Since Hurricane Katrina, we’ve seen more first responders, emergency managers and other community leaders, organizations, and individuals – even the National Guard and the American Red Cross – pitching in to help evacuate and shelter the animals of disaster victims.
But when the disaster is a violent relationship, support and emergency sheltering options are very limited for someone trying to escape to safety with her beloved cat or dog.
Last week, after a domestic violence survivor called APNM’s CARE Hotline, I began making calls, reaching out to our growing CARE Network of Safe Haven Providers, and asking for assistance. Within less than 30 minutes, we had four willing providers on “stand-by,” including a vet clinic, two transport volunteers, and a boarding facility, all ready to help on a moment’s notice.
That is exactly how the CARE Network is designed to work. As more local agencies, businesses, organizations and individuals sign on, we will continue to expand our capacity to respond in a timely and effective way to provide emergency response to both the people and animals fleeing an abusive home.
The CARE Network is growing – in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Chaves, Otero, Luna, and Valencia counties so far – but we still need MORE…
Boarding facilities, and
We’re reaching out to the whole community to help however you can. Whether you or your business can help out with a discounted rate, donated services, or a cash donation to CARE, every contribution is greatly appreciated and will make a vital difference for the cherished companion of a family in crisis.
Please make a commitment to CARE today. If you can donate, please consider Making it Monthly to help sustain this critical program in the months and years to come and bring confidential CARE services to more communities across the state.
“Thank you for planting hope in my heart…” – CARE Hotline caller
Thank you for your support,
CARE Program Manager
*Note for potential foster families: For the safety of all involved, we require all CARE animals to be kept separately from other animals.
Join the CARE Network – if you can provide a foster home, safe transport, veterinary care, or professional boarding for an animal in need.
APNM's CARE Hotline (844) 323-CARE (2273)
National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-SAFE (7233)
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