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Two Hundred Community Owned Pets Were Spayed and Neutered in Three Days

Reducing overpopulation of pets in Albuquerque is crucial goal of operation
October 31, 2023

Over the weekend, the City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department (AWD) held its second spay and neuter surgery blitz for low-income and moderate-income Albuquerque residents. The event was held at the Albuquerque Fire Rescue Training Academy.

Thanks to AWD’s community-based spay/neuter program initiative and the combined efforts of Animal Balance, Albuquerque Fire Rescue (AFR), AWD staff, volunteers and pet owners, the blitz was successful. Two hundred community owned pets from AWD’s low and moderate income spay/neuter lottery program were sterilized, microchipped and vaccinated.

The Fire Academy equipment bay was temporarily converted into a surgery suite to accommodate the large volume of pets for surgery and recovery. By holding the blitz at the Fire Academy, AWD was able to increase access and delivery of services to the communities most in need.

“We are thrilled to be able to provide support to help reduce the pet overpopulation problem in Albuquerque and provide positive outcomes for these pets,” said Susan Ellis, Deputy Director of the Animal Welfare Department. You can be an important part of the solution by spaying/neutering your pet. In doing so, you will help your pet to live a happier, healthier, and longer life!”

“Albuquerque Fire Rescue is excited to support our partners at Animal Welfare by providing space at our Training Academy for a second spay and neuter blitz,” said Emily Jaramillo, Fire Chief, Albuquerque Fire Rescue. “Our location is ideal for our neighbors on Albuquerque's west side to be able to conveniently access this very important event.”

“Animal Balance cannot say enough about the team at Animal Welfare Department, who have gone above and beyond to help make the blitz a success,” said Elsa Kohlbus, Chief Program Officer, Animal Balance. “Access to spay/neuter and basic veterinary care is critical in maintaining a healthy community, and it is an honor to help this wonderful community provide this care for their animals.”

AWD’s goal is to make change through innovative programming by doing spay and neuter blitzes. Providing spay/neuter resources to pet owners and their companion pets will prevent litters of unwanted kittens and puppies that flood our shelters each year.

Without the requested permit, it is against the law in Albuquerque to own a dog or cat unless you have the pet spayed or neutered. Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department (AWD) offers a free spay/neuter lottery program for cats or dogs along with vaccinations and microchips for qualified low-income and moderate-income Albuquerque residents. To see if you qualify or for more information go to


Albuquerque Animal Welfare reminds you to always spay or neuter your pets. The City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department’s mission is to protect and serve the animals and people of Albuquerque by providing caregiving, awareness, resources, enforcement and service excellence.

Animal Balance is a global non-profit. Our mission is to collaborate with communities in need to create sustainable and humane animal management programs in order to prevent suffering and ignite social change