Animal Control/Law Enforcement Programs: APNM worked throughout the state in providing needed free resource material, training and expertise on hundreds of animal control and animal abuse issues, such as shelter management, the felony animal cruelty law, conducting effective cruelty investigations, humane euthanasia, exotic animal needs, etc. APNM also was involved in tracking over a hundred cruelty cases statewide, concentrating on those cases which were not properly pursued by law enforcement personnel. APNM’s Animal Control/Law Enforcement Programs focus on providing the needed resources and training to those most able to ensure the enforcement of laws protecting animals.
Cockfighting: APNM commissioned a poll that showed 81% of New Mexico residents favor banning cockfighting statewide. This strong support for a ban was consistent across regions of the state, age, ethnicity, and party affiliation. APNM spearheaded the creation of an updated Voices Against Violence coalition, which was united in its support for a state law banning cockfighting. The coalition included Attorney General Patricia Madrid, the New Mexico District Attorneys Association, Land Commissioner Ray Powell, Jr., the New Mexico Conference of Churches, the New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association, the New Mexico Chiefs of Police Association, the New Mexico Animal Control Association, and many other organizations. Despite ongoing and widespread media attention to the issue, and APNM’s statewide grassroots organizing and constant lobbying presence at the state Capital, the cockfighting measure failed. However, when cockfighters tried to undo a ban on cockfighting in Cibola county, APNM and local activists worked for months to ensure that cockfighting remained illegal there.
Companion Animal Rescue Effort (CARE): APNM has served as the organization spearheading efforts to ensure that New Mexico communities recognize the link between animal abuse and domestic violence (referred to as “the link”). In addition, APNM served as a clearinghouse for information and the implementation of programs that provide safety to the animal victims of domestic violence. APNM developed guidelines and appropriate in-house responses for social service agencies (sample documents, forms, Safe Haven for Pets guidebook by Dr. Frank Ascione, etc.), secured no-cost service agreements from boarding kennels in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and continued ongoing outreach and dissemination of information to domestic violence shelters, animal control, law enforcement and social services agencies (Children, Youth and Families, etc.). APNM also targeted outreach to social workers/counselors about the importance of including questions about animals during intake interviews/counseling sessions. APNM participated in the April 2001 National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, distributing “link” information. APNM summarized and outlined the confusing web of services already available for domestic violence victims, and added to those by establishing the Albuquerque Emergency Veterinary Clinic (EVC) as a housing/care service option in Albuquerque (for after hours and weekends, emergencies) to work with Resources, Inc. (trained field advocates in domestic violence cases).
Wildlife Diversity: APNM continued organizing the Alliance for New Mexico Wildlife, a broad-based coalition whose aims are to create a stable funding mechanism for wildlife conservation in New Mexico, and to broaden the mandate of New Mexico’s State Game Commission. Using a feasibility study already completed by APNM staff, APNM developed a public opinion poll for assessing the public’s support for comprehensive wildlife conservation programs.
No More Homeless Pets of New Mexico: APNM made substantial progress toward re-focusing its mission to projects that involve systemic change. Toward that end, APNM provided professional staff and over $23,000 to get No More Homeless Pets (NMHP) organized and incorporated, as well as for program development and implementation. In 2001, NMHP’s programs resulted in the spaying and neutering of almost 600 animals in towns throughout the state, such as Farmington, Socorro, Los Lunas, Chapparal, Las Cruces and Albuquerque. In addition, NMHP completed its comprehensive statewide report on pet overpopulation, as well as its New Mexico Spay-Neuter Plan, which is a roadmap to ending the euthanasia of healthy dogs and cats for lack of good homes.
The Coulston Foundation (TCF): APNM, along with California-based In Defense of Animals (IDA), has been using the courts to access documents detailing the illegal practices of this notorious Alamogordo, NM laboratory, which at one time housed the world’s largest captive chimpanzee population – more than 600 primates. Currently, almost 300 remain at the lab, which has been cited repeatedly by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for inadequate veterinary care and numerous other violations of federal animal welfare laws. Since 1993, many primates have died “unintended” deaths due to TCF’s negligence. APNM several times sued the USDA to obtain such basic public records as necropsies (animal autopsies) and reports required by a 1998 consent decree signed between the agency and TCF. Currently, APNM leads local efforts to keep the public and media aware of the lab’s status as a foreclosure lawsuit filed by First National Bank of Alamogordo last December proceeds. TCF’s dire financial position places the remaining primate population in a perilous situation. APNM advocates closing TCF and permanently retiring the chimpanzees to humane sanctuaries. At APNM’s request, the New Mexico Attorney General is investigating TCF’s alleged misappropriation of funds permanently restricted for the long term care of specific chimpanzees at the lab.
Milagro Awards Dinner and Ceremony: APNM presented its coveted Milagro Awards to a sold-out crowd at its second annual Milagro Awards ceremony in Santa Fe. Awards were given to the following individuals and entities who have been extraordinary in their promotion of the humane treatment of animals:
- Advocacy Award, for combating institutionalized animal cruelty: Representative Ray Begaye, Shiprock, for sponsorship of legislation protecting New Mexico’s reptiles and amphibians.
- Animal Award for exceptional animal courage and/or intelligence: Dusty (Albuquerque), Guinness (Los Alamos), Ronin (Chandler, AZ), and Sage (Carlsbad) – canine members, New Mexico Task Force One’s Urban Search and Rescue team, for service to their country in the wake of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon
- Board of Directors’ Award for lifelong commitment to animal rights: Florence Barclay, Albuquerque, for founding APNM’s endowment
- Direct Animal Services Award for efforts that directly improved the lives of animals: Northern New Mexico Animal Protection Society (Española Animal Shelter), for alleviating the companion animal over-population problem, animal abuse and neglect in northern New Mexico
- Executive Director’s Award for outstanding support of APNM’s mission and program: District Attorney Randall Harris, Clovis, for leadership in campaigns to ban horse tripping, make animal cruelty a felony offense, and outlawing animal fighting statewide
- Humane Education Award for innovative civic education efforts that foster humane ethics: Ali MacGraw, Tesuque, for articulating animal issues and supporting efforts to end abuse
- Media Award for spotlighting animal issues with courage, creativity, integrity: KOAT-TV Target Seven (Albuquerque) investigative team, including: Larry Barker, Dave Ruff, and Charles Wolmann, for its two-part undercover report on cockfighting in New Mexico
- Youth Award for youth activism, ethics, bravery: Highland Elementary School, Las Cruces, for fundraising to provide veterinary care for Sam, a wounded German shepherd dog