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Animal Control Officers Recognized During Appreciation Week

Animal Welfare Department draws awareness to this important role, April 14-20
April 16, 2024

This week is National Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week, a time to heighten awareness of the services the City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department Animal Protection Services Division provides the community of Albuquerque. 

There can be misconceptions regarding the role of an Animal Protection Services Officer (APSO).  Some view the job of an APSO as “dog catcher”, but it’s far from it. 

APSOs are critical to both public and animal safety. They enforce City’s Humane and Ethical Animal Rules and Treatment (HEART) ordinance. APSOs educate pet owners about responsible pet care. They provide resources, impound, handle and quarantine domestic animals and investigate animal cruelty, abandonment and nuisances.

For more information on the HEART ordinance, visit:

In 2023, the Animal Protection Division received more than 25,000 calls, rescues and other activities in the community.

“Each day that an Animal Protection Officer puts on their uniform they never know what they will face. It takes dedication and a real love of animals to do the job of an APSO,” said Captain of Animal Welfare Department, David Rose. “I would like to thank our Animal Protection Services personnel for their dedication and their immense effort in serving this community.”

“AWD’s mission is to protect and serve the pets and people of Albuquerque,” said Director of Animal Welfare Department, Carolyn Ortega. “AWD’s Animal Protection Services officers are in our communities doing this everyday. They are an arm of public safety, that has been overlooked and underappreciated; although, they play a crucial role in keeping our city safe by enforcing our HEART ordinance. They are a talented group of professionals and I’m so proud they are part of AWD’s team.”

Please join us in expressing our gratitude to AWD’s Animal Protection Services Division. The next time you see an Animal Protection Services Officer, be sure to thank them for their hard work, and dedication to saving the lives of animals and serving the public to make Albuquerque safe.