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Animal Welfare Department Improves Response Times

Putting a focus on field operations to improve animal and public safety

May 14, 2019

Today, Mayor Tim Keller joined Animal Service Officers from the Animal Welfare Department for a ride-along. When Mayor Keller took office the Animal Welfare Department Field Operations Division was plagued with a nearly 40 percent vacancy rate, response times of one hour and a two-year backlog of public calls for service.

Mayor Tim Keller appointed Danny Nevarez as Director and Adam Ricci as the Chief of Field Operations to turn around the department and that is exactly what they are doing. With support from Mayor Keller and the Albuquerque City Council, pay for Animal Service Officers was increased.

Director Nevarez and Mr. Ricci hosted three job fairs to boost recruitment of animal control officers while reviewing division processes, scheduling and organizational issues to improve response times and better meet the needs of the community.

“Under new leadership, our Animal Welfare Department has made significant improvements in response times and staffing throughout the department. They are building a more humane Albuquerque by putting animal safety first and encouraging responsible pet ownership,” Mayor Keller said.

In the past last year, AWD has eliminated the officer shortage and is now 100% full.

  • The 2,300 call backlog has been eliminated.
  • Priority one response times have gone from an hour down to 22 minutes. 
  • The field division has been restructured to maximize efficiency for responding to calls for service.
  • Save rate is up 90 percent this fiscal year.
  • Calls from the field have declined from the previous year.
  • Euthanasia is down 12 percent.

“We have made a focused effort to change the culture at Animal Welfare and that focus has paid off, not only in field operations, but across the department,” said Animal Welfare Department Director Danny Nevarez.

The Field Division at the Animal Welfare Departments enforces city ordinances pertaining to the care, treatment, impound, handling and quarantine of wild and domestic animals; and investigate reports of animal cruelty, abandonment and nuisances.

During his tenure as State Senator and State Auditor, Mayor Keller championed animal welfare issues by supporting spay and neuter programs and helping to defeat breed-specific legislation. As part of Mayor Keller’s commitment to building a safe, innovative, and inclusive City, the Animal Welfare Department will continue working on bringing new approaches to keep animals in Albuquerque safe.