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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Animal Humane New Mexico

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Public & Societal Benefit

Mission: The mission of Animal Humane | New Mexico is to improve the lives of companion animals through sheltering, adoption, community education, providing quality low-cost veterinary services to families in need, and programs that reduce pet overpopulation.

Results: Remarkable 2010 Accomplishments Include: 100% Adoption Rate for all Healthy Pets in Their Care! 4,810 Homeless Pets Adopted into Loving Homes 10,000+ Spay/Neuter Surgeries at Their Campus Donor-Subsidized Veterinary Clinic 5,342 Veterinary Appointments for Low-Income Pet Owners 1,300 Homeless pets nurtured in Their Life-Saving Foster Care Program 860 Homeless Pets Transferred to Animal Humane from 25 Partner Shelters in the State

Target demographics: Animal Humane's services are available to everyone. Any one may find their new best friend at one of their three Adoption Centers. Their adoptable pets our vaccinated, sterilized and trained, making them the best pet ever! Their donor-subsidized Veterinary Clinic, a low-cost clinic offering spay/neuter services and critical and emergency care to low-income pet owners, is the only one of its kind in New Mexico. Clinic patients need only qualify financially. Please visit AnimalHumaneNM.org for qualification details. Animal Humane’s veterinary team hosts monthly vaccinations clinics open to the general public. Their Behavior Department offers rewards-based training classes at each of our three locations and operates a free Behavior Hotline (505.938.7900) available to all pet owners. They offer quality pet products at affordable prices at each of their pet stores (Animal Outfitters I at 615 Virginia St. SE and Animal Outfitters II at 9132 Montgomery Blvd. NE) and they operate a Pet Food Bank that distributes free food to needy pet owners and rescue groups statewide.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Total No. of Homeless Pets Served in 2010 = 21,529 Total No. of Pet Owners Served in 2010 = 24,596

Geographic areas served: Our services are available to everyone regardless of residency.

Programs: Adoptions offered at three locations High volume low-cost spay/neuter clinic Albuquerque's only Trap/Neuter/Return program Quality critical & emergency veterinary care Life skills & rewards-based training for canines and their owners Free Behavior Helpline 505.938.7900 Pet Food Bank for pet owners & rescue groups Monthly vaccination clinics open to the public and Foster care for young, shy and ill pets

Community Stories

39 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

we got our dog in 2011 for my childs birthday. I never saw my child so happy we still alive now in 2017, but I am getting worried she is getting old... i dont want my child to depressed what do i do. on a happy note bella has been the best thing to happen to our family for 8 years. my husband left almost a full year ago and bella has been there for my daughter and i think u should a dog or cat from the humane society. we love our little bella. thank u.

USAFdan

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted my second dog from here. We came in to visit & were asked if we minded sharing a review of our experience with AH. Happy to. We come here for family time even when we are not looking for a dog, just to show our kids how they can help others in need. It's a great place to visit, to adopt, and talk to the great staff and volunteers. They've come a long way in making the shelter awesome.

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I started giving to Animal Humane New Mexico in 2016 after visiting the shelter. We were blown away by the growth of their footprint and the serenity & joy of meeting the cats and dogs. The cats have their own luxury quarters - so private and serene from all the dog activity. You will definitely not walk away feeling sad or stressed in finding your perfect new animal.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a dog owner as I have four dogs(3 Cocker Spaniels & 1 Basset mix) and I consider them to be my four legged children. I have used Animal Humanes health Clinic to get one of my Cockers fixed as well as operated on for a hernia on her stomach. Not only did I get exceptional service but the dedication of the medical staff on taking care of my Baby Girl made me believe in Animal Humane. I recently donated a SUV to Animal Humane for their Fund raising. I wish I could donate working there at Animal Humane but my health does not allow me to do this. The facility at Animal Humane is for the well being of the animals which are cared for there. People who are looking for a new adoption can be assured the animals are very well taken care of and will be ready to be adopted. THIS ANIMAL RESCUE IS A NO KILL FACILITY AND I WISH PEOPLE WHO GIVE UP THEIR ANIMALS WOULD TAKE THEM TO ANIMAL HUMANE(pay the fee) SO THEIR DOGS OR CATS WOULD HAVE THE BEST CHANCE TO BE ADOPTED. THATS THE LEAST YOU CAN DO FOR THE ANIMAL YOU ARE JUST ACTUALLY DUMPING BECAUSE CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW SCARED THEY ARE WHEN YOU LEAVE THEM. IF YOU HAVE ANY FEELINGS YOU NEED TO DO WHATS BEST FOR THEM AS THEY ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. ANIMAL HUMANE IS A GODS SEND AS THEY ARE DEDICATED ORGANIZATION TO SEE UNWANTED ANIMALS ARE TAKEN CARE OF IN WAYS. PLEASE DONATE TO THIS FACILITY BECAUSE THEY REALLY DO AN EXCEPTIONAL JOB IN THE CARE OF THE ANIMALS THEY ARE TRUSTED WITH. I BELIEVE IN THEM 100%!
THANK YOU JOE CARRASCO

4 Tammy50

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I need to comment on Linda Lou Funky Finds comment. I volunteer at the Animal Humane center and Retail Store. I can't believe she thinks the prices on the furniture and clothing are high. Hello!!!!!! The money raised at this store goes to save animals, provide low cost vet medical care to low income families, get loving animals adopted to new homes etc.... not a 'profit' in the same sense as her store. I feel her comments were simply to get people to come to her store instead. Why else would she make such a comment.

3

Donor

Rating: 1

I am a small business owner of a re-sale shop in Alb., and I use to shop at the Animal Humane Thrift store on Menaul.
I would get such a good deal on everything there.
I then would donate 5% of my monthly profits to the Animal Humane Center.

The store recently changed its policies. The prices on their furniture are now double what they should be,
the clothes are three times the price. They are now just another over priced junk store.

I was told they have a new manager, and she has decided to make more profit.

Unfortunately I can no longer shop there,and my donations are few.

1 vegan-man

Donor

Rating: 5

Great work with helping animals. A kind and professional organization.

Previous Stories
2

Donor

Rating: 5

I was anticipating just to meet Donna Stumpf but instead was given the royal tour of the entire facility and wow, and what a facility the AHANM is! The facility supports animals lives in ways that I did not even imagine a facility could. For example, the facilty has a walking area that trains dogs to be obedient so that their chances of adoption are improved. On the day of my tour, this area was staffed with volunteers! Additionally, I was duly impressed with the cathouse where felines could climb onto different stairs and look out of windows, while staring at trees that contain birds! The AHANM has too many beautiful components to list, many of which are staffed by volunteers. The AHANM facility in Abq. is truly a wonderful place for its clients, the animals that have been placed in its care.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Animal Humane-New Mexico has become a leader in the sheltering field in New Mexico and the region. Recent important initiatives include Meet Your Match adoption approaches to ensure animals and their guardians are well suited for one another, humane dog training, impressive upgrades to the physical shelter, agility training for high-energy dogs, an ambitious "street cat" program, a desperately needed veterinary care program for the animals of indigent individuals, an off-site adoption facility, and increased foster capacity. AH-NM, its talented staff and ambitious programs that are making a difference for New Mexico's animals should serve as a model for other shelters throughout the state.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

My experience with Animal Humane New Mexico (AHNM) spans back five years. During that time, it is impressive to review the positive evolution of this organization. Lead by a dynamic Executive Director, it seems as no task is too monumental. What strikes me the most is the multi-faceted approach that AHNM takes to accomplish their lofty goals; innovative tactics to achieve record-breaking adoptions, low cost spay/neuter programs, microchipping and vaccinating pre-owned pets, foster care for special needs animals, responsible pet parenting classes for students, cat adoptions via local businesses, humane dog training and agility classes, state conferences that address all aspects shelter operations and large-scale public events like Doggie Dash & Dawdle. The list goes on. These remarkable accomplishments are made possible by the dedicated management, staff and amazingly tireless volunteers. And just who benefits from these endeavors? All of us, but especially those animals in the shelter still looking for their forever home.

Being a local pet supply business owner, we started as a partner with AHNM on a variety of events and occasionally via monetary contributions. Over time, we observed the tremendous value AHNM brings to the New Mexico community and thus augmented our support to the point of becoming a sponsor for their outdoor training area/agility field. As part of this collaboration, we offer free scholarships to select new pet parents who wish to enroll in a free six-week positive training class at AHNM. For the AHNM shelter dogs, some on our favorite activities include the daily enrichment programs. These programs should be a model for the rest of our shelter operations here in New Mexico.

Recently, I began serving as a board member with Animal Humane New Mexico. I am excited to participate in one of our state’s leading shelters, both in standards and by the numbers. It is an honor to be involved with an organization that gets things done by knowing how to walk the walk.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a board member with Animal Humane New Mexico for about the last 2 years. During that time, I have been impressed time and time again with the quality of the volunteers and staff, the knowledge and passion exhibited by the executive director, and the care and thoughtfulness with which all decisions are approached by the officers and the rest of the board. As a veterinarian, I have worked with many rescue groups over the years, and AHNM is unquestionably the most well-run I have come across. I am proud to be associated with this organization, and to be a small part of all of the good it does in our state.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been a volunteer at Animal Humane NM since 2007. I have volunteered in adoptions, the clinic, marketing, mobiles and dogwalker. There has been great growth and improvements since I began. I have found all staff to be professional, dedicated and motivated to provide the best care and best "forever" homes as humanily possible. I read the negative review below and I have to say I am unaware of what this individual is saying. While there is always room for improvements, I believe that Animal Humane NM strives to be the best shelter. The staff are always looking at other shelters and how they have made changes and improvements for the animals they care for and the community they serve. Keep up the great work.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We volunteer for a non-profit, New Mexico Animal Friends, that works in collaboration with Animal Humane and The City of Albuquerque to spay & neuter feral cats for the trap, neuter return program. Animal Humane has led the way for this program to grow by securing funding and providing surgeries for this program. They have been receptive to our needs for daily surgeries and provided our organization, without charge, the space to hold it's own monthly clinic. Animal Humane is truly a leader in both the Trap, Neuter & Return program and the spay & neuter of owned cats to help humanely reduce the over-population of cats in New Mexico.

Jeff N.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The culture of Animal Humane New Mexico fosters collaboration for the betterment of the pets it serves. I have found an openness to the sharing of research-based behavior management. This is critically important not only to the lives of pets and those who love them but in keeping adopted pets with their families. I have been delighted with my experience with the staff at all levels of Animal Humane. Jeff Nichol, DVM

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Animal Humane New Mexico is undoubtedly a wonderful organization. I have been volunteering with them for the past three and a half years and have always had a wonderful experience in every department I worked with. They have dedicated staffs who work tirelessly to improve the lives of the shelter pets.

I am glad to see the improvements they have made to the facility in the past few years. The dog parks and the cat house are a few of the improvements that I love and it has a very inviting environment. I work with high energy dogs and they seem to love the park and also the agility equipment. It gives the dogs an opportunity to learn new things and learn to work with you. The cat house is a great addition to the facility because it gives the public a chance to spend some quality time with the cat before they decide to adopt him/her.

As a foster parent, I would like to say that they have a great foster care program that provides help for orphaned puppies and kittens, recuperating pets, and dogs and cats that need socializing.

I am humbled to be a part of this organization and will continue to support them in anyway possible.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from CharityNavigator

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Review from CharityNavigator

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 1

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).

Review from CharityNavigator

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.