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January 16, 2012

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Review from CharityNavigator
1 previous review
August 15, 2011

As a former board member and President, foster parent, adopter, donor, and volunteer since 1972, I have seen an amazing transformation of Animal Humane. The keys to Animals Humane’s great success ... more

January 16, 2012

Based on my long association with Animal Humane I felt compelled to offer an alternative perspective to the recent post by a former Animal Humane employee/volunteer.
I am an active volunteer for Animal Humane and in the past 20+ years have served in a variety of capacities for the
organization—volunteer HR consultant, board member and President, Interim ED, adopter and donor. I have witnessed positive and negative changes in that period which have impacted the care of the animals and the number of adoptions and euthanasia. The most dramatic positive changes have taken place in the last five years, subsequent to the hiring of Peggy Weigle, the Executive Director. Since her arrival she has never wavered in her efforts to improve the well-being of the animals, increase adoptions and reduce euthanasia. She challenges staff and volunteers to come up with new ideas to improve these areas and encourages departments to establish and meet goals in the best interests of the animals. Positive changes in these areas have brought about improved conditions/morale for staff and volunteers and reduced turnover of both. As a result donations and funding have increased, along with community support that further Animal Humane’s good work.
Animal Humane’s ever growing foster program is only one of many programs that address the health and behavior of animals and reduce euthanasia (others mentioned in Peggy’s post). Puppies and kittens (1,380 in 2010), too young or sick to survive in a shelter environment, were placed in foster homes, along with many adult animals recovering from injuries, surgery, medical conditions or behavioral issues. In 2012 the new Foster2Home program will address the needs of more adult animals with longer term medical, stress related or behavioral issues through off site adoptions. The result will hopefully be less euthanasia of more problematic animals, who in the past may not have been adoptable. This program not only gives these animals more one on one care, training, and potential for adoption, but also increases the shelter’s ability to take in more animals and find them “forever” homes. During times when we may get too many animals all at once, e-mails and phone calls go out to foster and volunteer networks, calling for temporary fosters so that euthanasia does not become the solution to the problem.
Under the guidance of Peggy Weigle, Animal Humane has become a role model for all shelters in New Mexico. In addition to the many improvements at Animal Humane, she encourages collaboration among various animal organizations that reduces over population through spaying and neutering and education, all of which address the issue of reducing the need to euthanize. Read Animal Humane’s Annual Report and learn about all their wonderful programs and progress and come visit the main campus and satellites anytime. A picture is worth a thousand words. Talk to Peggy and hear her vision for improving the lives of homeless dogs and cats. You will have no doubts as to her commitment, sincerity, integrity and passion for quality work on behalf of homeless companion animals and Animal Humane.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

August 15, 2011

As a former board member and President, foster parent, adopter, donor, and volunteer since 1972, I have seen an amazing transformation of Animal Humane. The keys to Animals Humane’s great success are the wonderful staff, board and volunteers who team together for the benefit of the animals and our community. They are kind, caring, and knowledgeable and receive the necessary ongoing training to do their jobs well. The main campus and satellite adoption sites are first class—innovative, cheerful, clean, and well maintained. The focus is on the animals’ well-being from the time they may enter foster care, to where they are housed, to where they play, to their health care; to the activities and training they are offered to enhance their behavior so their next stop is a “Forever Home”. You can’t help be impressed with the full service veterinary clinic that serves the shelter’s animals, other animal rescue groups and provides low cost services to folks with lower incomes. Spaying & neutering and reducing the overpopulation of animals is a #1 goal, with 10,000 spays & neuters in 2010. Animal Humane is also the state coordinator for SPAYNM, a statewide clearing house for low-cost spay/neuter resources. Animal Humane is “one stop shopping” for all your animal needs before and after adoption—education on breeds & who meets your needs through our Meet Your Match” and “Meet & Greet” programs; real life day to day photos and stories about the animals on the web site and kennel cards to help you get acquainted; resources for caring for your new pets; counseling on behavior issues; behavior training classes; products, advice and resources that address the nutritional, exercise, physical and emotional needs of you & your pet. I am proud to be associated with this well-organized, financially sound, business with heart! It is a great place to make a positive difference for animals and people.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have 5 wonderful pets from AH who bring me much joy & companionship. One of my dogs is a graduate of the Civilized Canine training course and recipient of a behavorist's advice, all of which have made him a better pooch. I purchase food and toys from a satelite location which is conveniently located near my home, which helps me & Animal Humane. On occasion I have turned in animals I have found wandering the city and they have subsequently been returned to their owners or adopted out to new owners.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Continue to explore offering other related services that could generate income to fund organizational goals. Continue to develop staff/volunteer training programs that enhance focus on client service & everyone's role in marketing our animals, products and services.

December 30, 2011

My relationship with Animal Humane New Mexico extends back to mid-nineties, when we adopted two dogs and became donors. I have served on the board for the past five years, and as board president in 2011. There was a negative review written on this site a few months ago, and I write partially in response to that, but also feel compelled to write simply out of support for the organization. The factual errors in the negative review were addressed by our Executive Director, Peggy Weigle, and I further extend her offer to visit the facility at any time to learn more about the operation. As a board member, with an ethical and fiscal duty to the companion animals, the organization itself, and the communities we serve, I am very proud of our practices and our transparency. I can say with great confidence that the public face of Animal Humane is in complete alignment with its mission and its day-to-day operations. I believe a very real testament to this consistency is continued and increasing donor and volunteer support. Our volunteer numbers have grown to something in the neighborhood of 400 people with more than 50 new applicants being reviewed each month. Another indicator of the soundness and humaneness of the organization is this very large number of dog and cat lovers who routinely observe and participate in the day to day activity of the organization.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

December 19, 2011

Having spent many years volunteering in various animal welfare capacities, I can say with confidence that Animal Humane New Mexico is a standout private non-profit shelter. This is not easy work by any means. It is emotionally fraught, and tough decisions always have to be made. But I know of no other organization in the state whose staff and volunteers are as knowledgeable and dedicated to animal welfare as those who work at Animal Humane New Mexico. The organization has no doubt blossomed under Peggy Weigle's executive directorship. Thanks to her leadership, a progressive board, and the excellence of her staff, the organization has attracted a cadre of volunteers who help with animal exercise and socialization, implemented a cutting edge behavioral department, and regularly sponsors innovative and fun off-site adoption events that successfully rally the community. It's also the only shelter I know of that utilizes Meet Your Match in the adoption process and offers post adoption puppy and adult training classes. All in all, a model shelter and a model adoption program.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

November 5, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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November 5, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

From Peggy Weigle, Executive Director, Animal Humane | New Mexico

There are too many erroneous statements regarding our operations to let the post below stand without a response. Since 2007, under my leadership as Executive Director of Animal Humane | New Mexico, we have demonstrated a
consistent progression towards reducing euthanasia, so I take strong exception to the claims made in this posting. I invite all readers to review these numbers and our progress in saving companion animals lives and let you decide for yourself how we are conducting our services for homeless animals.

In 2006, Animal Humane euthanized 1,424, or 27% of the animals sheltered that year. This included many healthy animals, euthanized for age, color, or length of stay. This was the state of affairs when I arrived as Executive Director in September 2006. Starting in 2007, we began setting goals to both increase adoptions while at the same time reducing euthanasia. In just one year, euthanasia was down to 935 animals or 17% of intakes, a reduction of 34%. We invested in a mobile adoption vehicle to further increase adoptions, thereby saving more lives. By the end of 2009, euthanasias were down by 55% to 644 or 13% of intakes. Of those 644, only 72 were healthy pets, so we realized the goal of adopting 100% of healthy pets was within reach.

To achieve this goal, Animal Humane’s Board of Directors authorized more investments to save lives. We opened a new adoption center at 9032 Montgomery Blvd. NE and later that year, opened a third adoption center in Corrales. These two centers accounted for an additional 1,300 adoptions in 2010. Thanks to those investments, and other programs which I will describe shortly, as of this writing, we have achieved 100% adoption of healthy pets and have maintained that achievement for 22 consecutive months. In fact, so far this year, our euthanasia rate is running 45% below 2010 numbers and is at only 10% of total intakes. We feel this is quite an accomplishment from our 27% rate in 2007. With that said, we will not be satisfied until 100% of all healthy and behaviorally/medically treatable pets are adopted at our facility.

While it is true that sometimes dogs are euthanized for kennel cough and cats for upper respiratory infections (URI), it is because the animal is not responding to treatment. Often these pets have been in treatment more than once, twice, even three times before we make the painful decision to euthanize. It is never done for “space.” These are the animals whose immune systems are compromised. We continue to improve our sanitation and handling protocols to reduce the spread of disease. A case in point; at the beginning of 2011, we began a concerted effort to reduce stress in our cat population, stress being the major contributing factor to cats becoming ill with URI. The incidence of URI in our cat population is down from 50% to only 10% of total cat intakes. The even better news is only 6% of those with URI have had to be euthanized this year compared to 34% the previous year. So I challenge the notion we are euthanizing cats and dogs with URI and kennel cough for space.

The post also cites our May 2011 intake numbers being greater than our adoption numbers as proof we are euthanizing for space. Yes, we took in 482 animals and adopted only 355 in May. However, our animal holding capacity far exceeds the intake number. At any given time, we have the capacity to house at least 400 animals. We have 195 cages/kennels at our Main campus, plus 40 additional spaces at our two adoption centers totaling 235. In many cases, kennels had litters of puppies so the capacity was closer to 255. In addition, last May we had 146 animals in foster care for a total capacity on a given day of 400. With that much capacity and our goal to save every healthy pet, why would we euthanize for space? Further, since the creation of our behavior department on my watch, we have rehabilitated countless behaviorally challenged dogs and cats that have gone to successful new lives. And, thanks to our free Behavior Helpline and Meet-Your-Match programs, our return rate in contrast to the number stated in the post is a mere 6%, well below the national average of 10%. We have been tracking all these numbers in detail since 2007 and will happily make them available to anyone who wishes to review them.

Our policy and practice regarding surgeries is that animals must remain on campus at least 24 hours after their surgery. From time to time, incisions can open up if an animal licks the surgery site or becomes too active. With over 8,500 surgeries performed each year, some animals will suffer post surgical complications. We track fatalities and our results are comparable to the best private veterinary practices. That said, we strive to have no post-surgical complications and routinely examine and modify our protocols to achieve that goal.

And finally, yes we are planning to renovate the campus. Why? To improve the housing for the homeless pets we serve. The goal of this project is to create housing that is equally excellent for every dog and cat on campus, regardless of whether they are available for adoption , in treatment, quarantine, or in stray holding. The reality is our current facility, which includes buildings that are 30 years old, does not provide a supportive, stress-free environment for every pet. That is why we plan to upgrade our facilities. Our model is to provide housing that is equal to the quality of our Robbie Jones Memorial Cat House. Better housing means happier, healthier animals and a more welcoming campus for the adopting public. This investment is indeed an investment in animal care.

I thank anyone who has read this far and invite you to come visit our campus, unannounced, to see the care and quality of our work and our commitment to saving animals.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the number of lives saved and pets and people served by our 20 programs.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Continue to upgrade our animal living quarters so they are in less stress free environment while awaiting their forever homes.

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What is unique about this organization?

Animal Humane | New Mexico has the highest save and adoption rate in New Mexico. We have adopted out 100% of all the healthy pets while continuing to be an open admission shelter. We operate the state's only donor-subsidized veterinary clinic for low-income pet owners, serving over 7,000 clients annually.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

October 27, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
October 27, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

I volunteered at AHNM for over 3 years, and I was an employee for several months. The animals do receive excellent care, and the volunteers are absolutely wonderful. The staff that actually work with the animals and care for them are all fantastic and they truly care for and love these animals. That being said, the higher ups (which includes the director, Peggy Weigle) aren't being completely honest in what they tell the media and the public. AHNM recently proclaimed that they adopted out "100% of their healthy animals", which is true...to a point. Many times animals were euthanized for space, and were listed in the computer system and on file as being euthanized for a common illness (kennel cough for dogs, upper respiratory infections for cats). When confronted about the falsifying of the records, Peggy denied the allegations and said that those animals were euthanized for health reasons. When the employees who actually euthanized the animals were asked about it, they were confused as to why Peggy was saying that, as the animals who were euthanized and listed as being unhealthy did not show any signs of illness and were in fact euthanized for space. Again, when Peggy was confronted with the allegations, she denied it and several employees (including myself) ended up leaving because she refused to tell the truth in order to maintain AHNM's "good image". I still keep in contact with several employees and volunteers there, and the news isn't good. Peggy is still telling the media and the public lies, and is spending more money on "upgrades" to the facility than for the care of the animals. In the veterinary clinic, we had several issues with Peggy and Diane Day (the adoptions adviser at the time) wanting spay and neuter surgeries rushed because they wanted litters of puppies at adoption events. Puppies were spayed/neutered the day of the event, and on transport to the event, their sutures opened and several of the puppies intestines fell out. We ended up having to euthanize most of the puppies. There have also been several cases of dogs or cats being euthanized by "mistake", and healthy, adoptable animals being euthanized in order to make room for transfers from other shelters in order to improve AHNM's "good name". When looking closely at AHNM's adoption/intake records, more animals may have been adopted out, but over half of those animals ended up being returned and euthanized for various reasons. In May 2010 the intake/return rate was higher than the adoption rate, but later on that year it was publicly stated that AHNM had adopted out 100% of its healthy animals. In the end, while I completely support the volunteers and lower-level staff of AHNM who truly love and take care of these wonderful animals, I will no longer support Animal Humane New Mexico with donations, advertisements, etc. until Peggy Weigle is gone or the truth comes out (which according to several current staff members and volunteers, may be happening very soon).

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the outreach programs to schools and low-income neighborhoods about the spay/neuter programs.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Fire Peggy Weigle

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

No

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

August 29, 2011

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August 29, 2011

My name is Sarah and I used to work for Animal Humane. While I do not work there any longer, I still serve as a volunteer on the Doggie Dash and Dawdle committee. I've been volunteering with Doggie Dash for three years now and I an honestly say that there is no other event in Albuquerque that I look forward to more.
Yes, a lot of hard work is put forth every year to make this incredible event happen; but no matter how tired, cold, or worn-out I am, watching people with their dogs flood the entrance becomes a more gratifying experience every year. To know that there are people out there who care as much for animals I do makes me feel like a part of this great community. Knowing that the staff and volunteers at Animal Humane strive to do everything they can to find the perfect forever home for each pets helps me sleep easier at night. I always tell people who feel sad or sorry for the pets at Animal Humane, that they are receiving some of the best care and love.
I'm in charge of Dash Bash, the carnival for people and their pets. I love when people stop and tell me what they participated in the year before, and how excited they are to try bobbing for hot dogs and to receive a professional pet portrait.
My most favorite memory was running into an Animal Humane graduate at Doggie Dash. Her name is Gila and I did her in-take when I was a part of the Adoption Staff. She came to the shelter on a sweltering day in the summer. To make matters worse, she had ridden in the trunk of an old sedan and came to us overheated and filthy. She was under socialized and the product of some horrible backyard breeding. Not sure if she could handle the stress of a kennel, we said a small prayer and hoped for the best.
She was still at the shelter when Doggie Dash came around and we included her in the rent-a-dog program. Still a little shy, the staff at Animal Humane put their faith in Gila's little spirit and sent her off.
She met her forever parents that day and a couple from Santa Fe ending up falling in love with her and eventually adopting her. A year later, I ran into Gila and witnessed the sweet and out-going dog she had become. No longer shy, she shined and wagged her tail.
Without the care, dedication, and the little faith each employee and volunteer has at Animal Humane, Gila could have easily fallen into a darker hole than from where she came.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

by volunteering and working at Animal Humane. I frequently run into people who tell me the story of their pet and about the wonderful care they've received from Animal Humane where they adopted their new family member.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

want to make their presence throughout the animal welfare community in New Mexico more known. Animal Humane is a model shelter that every community in New Mexico could learn from. I wish that more shelters throughout the state could adopt more practices similar to Animal Humane. i would also want the general public to be more of Animal Humane and the great lengths they go to to achieve humane treatment of all animals in New Mexico.

August 24, 2011

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August 24, 2011

In June, I had the privilege of taking part in Animal Humane New Mexico's 24/7 Adoption Event. Campus stayed open for 60 straight hours and with the enthusiastic help of 70 staff members and more than 100 volunteers, 112 formerly homeless pets found new forever homes! It was amazing to see the happiness and dedication in EVERYONE who was involved.
An event like 24/7 is just one of the many reasons I am so proud to be a volunteer for Animal Humane New Mexico!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Watching the pets that Animal Humane's marketing department takes to radio and TV stations each week get adopted.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

n/a

August 13, 2011

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August 13, 2011

Thanks to Animal Humane we have two of our three forever pets. Rio, our red heeler, was adopted from Animal Humane in 2003. Fiona, a/k/a Baby Cakes, was adopted in 2010. Fiona was taken to Animal Humane in March, 2010 after suffering a terrible accident in her home which burned her paws, belly, and fur. Animal Humane was able to treat her injuries and care for her until she was ready to be adopted into her forever home. My family was lucky enough to be that home, and Fiona touches our lives every day with her beautiful, loving spirit. This happy ending, and many others, are made possible by Animal Humane and its supporters.

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The wonderful things they do for homeless pets.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find more supporters and donors.

August 12, 2011

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August 12, 2011

I am so pleased to serve on the Board for Animal Humane|NM! This is an organization that is truly about making the world a better place for our furry friends. AH|NM offers wonderful, diverse programs meant to help current owners keep their pets, as well as programs established to facilitate adoptions of The Best Pet Ever!
I've had the pleasure of using the Behavior Hotline in an effort to curb some aggressive behaviors that my dog was exhibiting. The counselor that helped me was very friendly and knowledgable and respectful. Never once did I feel silly because I needed help. In fact, I felt better informed and more understanding of what my dog was experiencing, which helped me change my approach. It really was very helpful!
As I'd said above, AH|NM is very effective at facilitating adoptions. I had the pleasure of working the recent 24/7 event. The motto for this event was "We won't go home until they do!" Literally, for 3 complete days, AH|NM was open for adoptions. We had people arriving at all hours of the day, and found forever homes for 112 pets. It was an amazing event and so much fun to see so many happy families leave campus with such love and joy (from both the human members and the new furry members)!
I truly love this organization and am so grateful for what it does now and what it will do in the future. We, the Board, are in Long Range Planning sessions that will establish the direction of Animal Humane|NM for the next 10 or more years. For me, it's very satisfying to see animal care progress in such a positive direction.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

receiving helped understanding and direction for addressing behaviour issues in my female. I have personally experienced the joy of educating a family on care of their newly adopted family member. I have had the pleasure of interacting with the Adoption Director and watched her work wonders to get dogs adopted. I have been thrilled to review the monthly statistics on adoptions and care and seen them exceed planned numbers. It's exciting and heartwarming.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Improve facilities. This organization works wonders with inefficient layout of buildings and lack of space. Just imagine what it could do if the campus layout were logical and effective and employees and volunteers actually had space perform their duties efficiently!

August 11, 2011

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August 11, 2011

I have been a volunteer at AHNM since 2002, and have seen the organization evolve into one of the highest quality shelters I have known. Due to the dedication of the leadership, staff (76) and volunteers (410), in 2010 we reached our goal of adopting 100% of the healty pets (4,812) in our care! AHNM has implemented a number of programs to support its mission of improving the lives of companion animals through sheltering, adopton, community education, providing quality low-cost veterinary services to families in need, and programs that reduce pet overpopulation. All of the programs are too numerous to list here, but you can see them at the Web site: www.animalhumanenm.org AHNM does not receive any government funding. It is supported by fees for services and donations. But even with these limited resouces, AHNM continues to strive and innovate to reach their goals, and the results are impressive. It is an incredible organization and I wholeheartedly support them and their mission!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As a volunteer over eight years, i have seen the quality and commitment of the organization in carrying out its mission.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would like to see Animal Humane receive more public acknowledgement for all the services they provide to the community (low cost veterinary services, free behavior helpline, foster care program, etc.) I would also like to see them develop more products that can be sold to generate more income for the oganization (e.g., shirts, caps, note cards, greeting cards, etc.)

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