October 27, 2011
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).
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
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MY ROLE:Volunteer & Volunteer/Staff Member. Review from CharityNavigator