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Animal Welfare Department Daily Operations

Animal Admissions Adoptions Reclaims Foster Additional Information

Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department to Provide Free Spay/Neuter Sign up for Cats
On Tuesday, March 14, the City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department (AWD) will be taking reservations for 150 free spay/neuter surgeries for cats. Animal shelters commonly refer to spring time as “kitten season” because that is when shelters receive the largest influx of unwanted litters. With warmer weather on the way, AWD is hoping to help residents prevent unwanted feline pregnancies.

The free spay/neuter surgeries will be offered to residents of Albuquerque only. Reservations will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Cats must weigh at least two pounds, and pet owners may make reservations for no more than two cats to undergo the free service. Albuquerque cat parents who wish to take advantage of this services should visit AWD’s website AWD Preventative Care Clinic to make an appointment.

Who: City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department

What: Free spay/neuter services for cats

When: Tuesday, March 14, first-come, first-serve reservations

Where: Click here for Information and reservations

Time: 10:00 a.m., until Animal Welfare reaches 150 reservations.

 Albuquerque residents only, proof of residency required


Animal Admissions

Animal Welfare admission services are for City of Albuquerque residents. City residents may bring in stray animals despite where the animal was found. If you are not a City Resident, please take the animal you found to the shelter in your jurisdiction.

Currently our shelters are full leaving no space for incoming animals.  Because of this, the Animal Welfare Department has made changes to its daily admissions operations.

Found Stray Animals:

Beginning Monday, July 25th Animal Welfare is only accepting in person emergency admissions of stray pets from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. No appointment is necessary for emergency admissions.

Emergencies are:

  • Domestic animals that are injured or suffering, having trouble breathing, bleeding, in pain or in danger of death
  • Kittens or puppies without a mom who are under 7 weeks of age or unable to eat on their own
  • Trapped stray cats
  • A circumstance that interferes with your ability to provide proper care for the found pet
  • Behavior that puts humans or other animals at risk

Animal Welfare will accept non-emergency stray pets at each shelter location seven days a week from by appointment only. Use the link below to schedule an appointment. Finders of healthy stray pets are being asked to maintain custody of the pet until their appointment and look for its owner, as allowed per the HEART Ordinance.


  • Stray finders should have the pet scanned for a microchip at either a veterinary clinic or an AWD location (no appointment is necessary)
  • Stray finders must report the found pet to Animal Welfare by calling 311
  • Stray finders can ask neighbors and post flyers where the pet was found
  • Stray finders should visit Pawboost to post information about the pet they have found
  • Finders are also encouraged to post information on other social media outlets such as Facebook. NextDoor, CraigsList etc
  • Looking for a Lost Pet?? Please visit our website, Pawboost, Facebook, and other social media outlets for found pets
  • For feral cat information, please contact Street Cat Hub for assistance at (505) 247-9357

Schedule an Eastside Animal Stray animal Appointment Schedule a Westside Animal Stray animal Appointment


Stray animal hold times for animals over 12 weeks of age:

Stray animals that are turned into AWD are held for owners to reclaim according to the following schedule:

Stray animals without any identification (microchip or tags) are held for 3 days and then are available for adoption on the 4th day.

Stray animals that do have identification are held for 6 days and then are available for adoption on the 7th day.

As we are closed for adoptions on Mondays, pets that are listed as available for adoption on Mondays may be adopted on Tuesday.

Stray animals under 12 weeks of age may be held shorter or longer periods depending on age and condition.


Owner Surrendered Pets:

Only residents of the City of Albuquerque can surrender pets. We are currently accepting healthy owner surrendered pets by appointment only. If you reside outside of the City of Albuquerque contact the animal shelter that services your jurisdiction. Adopted pets that need to be returned within 30 days of adoption are not considered owner surrenders and do not need an appointment. These pets can be brought to the shelter 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Appointments are limited to no more than two pets or one litter. If you need to surrender more than two pets or one litter, please call 311 to request to speak to a surrender counselor. We appreciate your cooperation as our shelter is currently quite full. Otherwise, please use the link below to schedule an appointment. If you need to surrender your pet due to an emergency, you can do so without an appointment 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Emergencies are:


  • Domestic animals that are injured or suffering, having trouble breathing, bleeding, in pain or in danger of death
  • Kittens or puppies without a mom who are unable to eat on their own
  • Behavior that puts humans or other animals at risk
  • A situation that puts an animal at risk of not being provided proper care.

Other resources available are Animal Humane New Mexico. To schedule an Admission Appointment with their shelter, please call 505.938.7861.

Schedule an Eastside Owner Surrender Appointment Schedule a Westside Owner Surrender Appointment

Animal Welfare Locations and schedules


Locations Admissions Adoptions Reclaims
East Animal Shelter  8am - 6 pm 7 days a week 10:30am-5:30pm Closed Mondays 8am - 6pm 7 days a week
West Animal Shelter 8am - 6 pm 7 days a week 10:30am-5:30pm Closed Mondays 8am - 6pm 7 days a week
Every Day Adoption Center Not at this location 10:30am-5:30pm Closed Mondays Not at this location
Lucky Paws Adoption Center Not at this location

Thursday Thru Sunday: 11:00 am -5:30 pm

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: Closed

Not at this location

Click Here for Holiday Hours

Adoptions (click to view full adoption guidelines)

All shelter locations are conducting animal viewing and adoptions on a first come, first serve basis. We are not able to move a pet from one location to another for your viewing 

We are accepting priority holds on pets during their stray holding period with a non-refundable $20 deposit. The priority hold deposit allows you to be first in line to meet the pet on its available date. If you do end up adopting the pet, this fee will not be refunded. If you do not adopt the pet, this fee will not be refunded, however, the fee is transferrable if the pet is reclaimed by its owner or deemed unadoptable. Only one priority hold per pet is accepted, however, a second name can be taken should the priority hold fall through.

             Click here to view animals available for adoption

 Qualified Adopter Requirements

  • Person who is 18 years of age or older with valid photo ID, who has never been convicted of any form of Cruelty under the law and has never been convicted two or more times for any violation of the City of Albuquerque Animal Ordinance (or predecessor ordinance)
  • Fill out adoption application. Many factors contribute to each adoption placement and we will work hard to ensure that your needs and our animal's needs are met
  • Never had any animal-related permit revoked or suspended
  • Never failed to reclaim an animal from the Animal Welfare Department
  • Has not owner surrendered an animal within one year of time of adoption
  • Has never been convicted of child or domestic abuse
  • No more than six animals per household are permitted in the city, of which no more than four can be dogs


AWD will continue to allow pet reclaims of lost pet(s) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at both the Eastside and Westside intake.

  • Appointments are NOT required to reclaim a pet
  • Proof of pet ownership will be required at the time of reclaim
  • Fees may apply
  • As per the HEART Ordinance, all pets must be sterilized prior to release
  • Must have valid identification

Lost Pets (Click here for Lost Pet Page)

Once received, Animal Welfare staff carefully research your request to see if we have your record in our database. If we find your record, we research the animals that you have registered with the City. If your registered animal matches the description of the animal requested on the Internet, we will place an official "Hold For Owner" on the animal and you will be contacted by one of our Animal Services staff. An official "Hold For Owner" indicates that the animal will be held at our facility and you will be the only individual that can reclaim your animal.


If you are interested in fostering a shelter pet, Please Click here

  • At this time, AWD has received tremendous support from the community for our foster program. Please be patient as we work through our emergency foster list

Other Services

Appointments are not needed for other services such as microchipping, permit processing, and ownership changes. These services are offered from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. Simply come to one of the shelter locations.

Field Operations

Field Service Calls to remain unchanged – emergency response 24 hours per day.

Finders of stray pets should NOT call 311 to request Officer pick up. Please make an appointment to bring the pet into the shelter.