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Animal Welfare Department Achieves Highest Save Rate in a Fiscal Year

Shelters connected more pets with forever homes, reduced euthanasia by over 10%.

August 26, 2019

Today, the City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department open admission shelter has much to celebrate. From fiscal year 2018 to 2019, the shelter was able to find more homes for pets and reduce the number of animals who were euthanized or died in care.

A shelter’s save rate is a nationally recognized metric for measuring lifesaving. The save rate is the annual percentage of total intakes minus shelter related deaths, which include both euthanasia and pets who died in care. AWD achieved the “No-Kill” status by reducing euthanasia 10.2% and reducing animals that died in care by 15.9% compared to FY 2018. “No-Kill” status is granted to shelters who have a save rate above 90%.

“With good leadership and important changes at the Animal Welfare Department, we’ve been able to find more good homes for more pets,” Mayor Tim Keller said. “From answering animal abuse calls to reducing euthanasia, this department is playing a key role in building a more humane Albuquerque. This accomplishment is an important benchmark; it shows that we’re on the right track as we aim for even greater progress.”

Achieving the current lifesaving rate for homeless pets is attributed to the hard work and dedication of the Animal Welfare team made up of, staff, volunteers and other community partners. Animal Welfare continues to work with leading national organizations to further its lifesaving initiatives.   

Department Director Danny Nevarez stated, “While this is a great accomplishment and we should take a moment to celebrate reaching this benchmark, we are 100% focused on continued improvement. This fiscal year, Animal Welfare will focus on increasing our medical capacity, meeting behavioral and enrichment needs within the shelter, while simultaneously implementing programs that increase compliance and promote responsible pet ownership outside the shelter walls.”

To adopt a pet from the Animal Welfare Department, potential adopters fill out an adoption application and pay an adoption fee of $25. Adoption fees include routine vaccinations, spay or neuter surgery, microchip, and pet license. For more information go to