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Big Changes at Animal Welfare

City improves the department while ensuring public safety

September 25, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE - Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry signed new legislation funding the Animal Welfare Department to add 4 more animal behavioral and adoption specialists. The Animal Welfare Department has implemented a Pet Adoption profile program to determine if potential pet adopters are capable of their duties as pet owners and that they are a good match with an animal given their individual circumstances. These new behavioral specialists will work within this program to adopt out behaviorally sound pets to appropriate adopters.

The Animal Welfare Department is currently implementing several additional improvements in the Department. At Mayor Berry’s request, many changes are underway to ensure safe adoptions so animals at our shelters can find their forever home while ensuring public safety

Other changes expected at the Department include:

  1. The establishment of new Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for determining the adoptability of animals and setting clearer standards for euthanasia decisions by the Population Management Team (PMT). The SOP determines the members of the PMT and the process by which they will ensure public safety and welfare of the dogs.  This SOP also includes specific criteria on staff and volunteer holds.
  2. The Animal Welfare Director will not be a member of the Population Management Team.
  3. At the Chief Administrative Officer’s recommendation, there will be the creation and hiring of a department deputy director to support ongoing program management within the Department. The position will require extensive experience in program management, supervision operational analysis, and internal review.

Every year, the Animal Welfare Department takes in anywhere from 18,000- 27,000 animals at the city’s shelters. Just 8 years ago, over 51% of dogs and cats that came though were euthanized annually.  Since then, under the current Animal Welfare Department leadership, only 14% of our total intake is euthanized.