New Mexico's Pet ResourceSUMMER/FALL 2001


REGIONAL NEWS

NO MORE HOMELESS PETS OF
NEW MEXICO (NMHP)

By Nancy Marano

Notice anything different? The No More Homeless Pets Coalition has changed its name to No More Homeless Pets of New Mexico.

The mission of No More Homeless Pets of New Mexico is to reduce the number of cats and dogs born in New Mexico until every cat and dog is guaranteed a loving home.

The group will accomplish this mission through:

Project Spay/Neuter NOW will help to achieve this mission. Through aggressive, low-income, spay/neuter programs, NMHP intends to decrease the number of unwanted animals in New Mexico substantially.

NMHP received a $25,000 grant to fund a spay/neuter program. This money was offered on a matching grant basis to animal welfare organizations and agencies throughout New Mexico to fund spay/neuter surgeries for the pets of qualified low-income clients. Organizations receiving grants were:

  • Alliance Against Animal Abuse - Albuquerque
  • Animal Humane Association of New Mexico - Albuquerque
  • Animal Protective Association of Socorro
  • New Mexico Animal Friends, in cooperation with Albuquerque Cat Action Team (A.C.A.T.) and People's Anti-Cruelty Association (PACA/AAR) - Albuquerque
  • Perfect Harmony Animal Rescue & Sanctuary - Chaparral
  • San Juan Animal League - Farmington
  • Valencia County Animal Control - Los Lunas

It's estimated that at least 50,000 dogs and cats are euthanized in New Mexico every year simply because there are not enough homes for them. That number doesn't include the animals that never make it to a shelter and die of hunger, neglect, injury or illness.

By spaying and neutering your pets, you become part of the solution to this costly and devastating problem. Spaying or neutering your pet improves his or her health and personality. For example, neutered male cats are much less likely to wander, spray, and fight. Spayed female cats are less likely to develop certain cancers or infections and they become more loving pets because they don't have to think about mating and kitten raising all the time.

If you are interested in learning more about the work of No More Homeless Pets of New Mexico or in joining one of its committees, contact:

No More Homeless Pets of New Mexico
P.O. Box 94390
Albuquerque, NM 87199-4390
(505) 474-5870
nmhp@apnm.org

562 ADOPTED!

Congratulations to the 562 dogs and cats that found new homes during Pet Adopt-a-thon 2001, and to the people who adopted them.

The animals came from the Animal Humane Association of New Mexico, Albuquerque Animal Services Division,
New Mexico Animal Friends, People's
Anti-Cruelty Association, and Rio Rancho Animal Control.

The Pet Adopt-a-thon is an opportunity to find the perfect pet for you and your family. Representatives from the various animal organizations and veterinarians are there to answer your questions about animal behavior or health issues. Pet supplies and fancy treats are available to start your animal off right in its new home.

Mark your calendar for the first weekend in May 2002 so you won't miss next year's Pet Adopt-a-thon. Help a deserving animal find a permanent, loving home.


Dog and Cat Stats

Did you know that a breeding pair of cats and their offspring can produce 420,000 cats in seven years? Or that a male and female dog can become 67,000 dogs in just six years?


MOBILE VETERINARY CLINIC HEADS FOR THE PUEBLOS
By Sue Dean

The Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society has acquired a 30-foot state-of-the-art mobile veterinary clinic. With an invitation from Bernie Teba, the Executive Director of the Eight Northern Indian Pueblo Council and the governors of each pueblo, the vehicle has begun providing veterinary services to the pueblos, conducting spay/neuter and vaccination clinics. The van, staffed by Dr. Rick Snook and Dr. Brent Parker of the Santa Fe Animal Hospital, with numerous assisting veterinarians, technicians and volunteers, has been enthusiastically welcomed by the pueblos' community health representatives and pet owners whose pets are in need of veterinary care. At Tesuque Pueblo recently, one dog who met his match with a porcupine, was particularly glad to see the doctor, who removed a face full of quills from the subdued and humiliated pit bull.

The shelter plans to expand its mobile services in the future to other areas in Northern New Mexico where veterinary care is limited or non-existent. With 22 kennels on board, the vehicle will also serve as an emergency rescue unit in the event that pet evacuation is needed.

The van and its efforts are being funded by donations. Barker Realty has made the first community business pledge. Business or individual, if you would like to help, please contact Melissa Carter at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society, 983-4309 ext 108.


LAWMAKERS IGNORE THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE, VOTE TO RETAIN COCKFIGHTING
By Lisa Jennings, Executive Director
Animal Protection of New Mexico

Those of us who live here know that New Mexico and New Mexicans are unique. We distinguish ourselves from other states in so many ways: our stunning landscapes, the rich diversity of our citizens, our enviable climate. There’s so much to love about New Mexico, most of us can’t imagine living elsewhere. However, one aspect of New Mexico that makes most people shake their head in disbelief is our retention of a centuries-old practice called cockfighting.

A great many New Mexicans are astonished when they learn that this archaic spectator event is still legal. People ask, in all sincerity, “You mean people still do that here?”

Although cockfighting has been practiced throughout the world for hundreds of years and is believed to have originated in either India or China, many societies have now banned it because it is cruel. Cockfighting involves strapping razor-sharp knives and gaffs up to four inches long to the legs of roosters and pitting them against one another in a fight to the death In the United States, every state prohibits cockfighting except Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Most states banned cockfighting in the 1800’s. In New Mexico, 11 counties and at least 27 municipalities have banned cockfighting.

In the recent 2001 legislature an impressive coalition of organizations, including the New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association, supported a ban on cockfighting. The coalition, called Voices Against Violence, also consisted of Attorney General Patricia Madrid, the New Mexico Conference of Churches, the New Mexico District Attorneys Association, the New Mexico Chiefs of Police Association, the New Mexico Animal Control Association and Land Commissioner Ray Powell, Jr.

In addition to the backing of all these influential voices, a January 2001 poll conducted by Research & Polling, Inc., of Albuquerque, revealed that 81% of New Mexicans support a ban on cockfighting. According to the poll, tremendous support for a ban cuts across all categories, including ethnicity, gender, geography and political affiliation. Of those surveyed:

  • 84% of Anglos and 76% of Hispanics support a ban.

  • 83% of Democrats, 80% of Republicans and 72% of Independents/Other support a ban.

  • 77% of people living on the east side of the state, 83% of people in the south/southwest, 80% in the north-central region, 80% in the northwest and 82% in the Albuquerque metro area all support a ban.

  • 89% of females and 71% of males support a ban.

Yet despite all this, both a House bill and a Senate bill didn’t even make it out of their first committees. SB276, which was introduced by Senator Nancy Rodriguez (D-Santa Fe), and which aimed to ban all animal fighting, was killed in the Senate Public Affairs committee with a vote of 5-4 to “Do Not Pass”.

Those voting for the “do not pass” motion (which was a vote against the bill) were:

-Senator Shannon Robinson, D-Albuquerque
-Senator Allen Hurt, R-Waterflow (Waterflow, in San Juan county)
-Senator Steve Komadina, R-Corrales
-Senator Rod Adair, R-Roswell
-Senator Bernadette Sanchez, D-Albuquerque

Those voting against the “do not pass” motion (in favor of the bill) were:

-Senator Mary Kay Papen, D-Las Cruces
-Senator Dede Feldman, D-Albuquerque
-Senator Mark Boitano, R-Albuquerque
-Senator Mary Jane Garcia, D-Dońa Ana

Later in the session, the House Consumer & Public Affairs committee tabled HB922, introduced by Rep. Joe Thompson (R-Albuquerque) to specifically ban cockfighting in New Mexico. The motion to table was supported by a 5-4 vote. The table came only after all other motions offered, such as a “Do Pass” and a “No Recommendation”, failed due to a tie vote in the committee (Rep. Fuller was absent during those votes). Rep. Fuller was present for the final vote.

Those voting is support of the “Table” motion (which essentially killed the bill) were:

-Rep. Richard Vigil (D-Ribera, in San Miguel county)
-Rep. Bobby Gonzales (D-Taos)
-Rep. William Fuller (R-Albuquerque)
-Rep. Rob Burpo (R-Albuquerque)
-Rep. Dianne Hamilton (R-Silver City)

Those voting against the “Table” motion, in favor of the bill, were:

-Rep. Gail Beam (D-Albuquerque)
-Rep. Patsy Tujillo-Knauer (D-Santa Fe)
-Rep. John Sanchez (R-Albuquerque)
-Rep. Alfred Park (D-Albuquerque)

Those voting against the measures gave varying reasons for their vote, all of which seemed to ignore the heart of the issue, which is that cockfighting is cruel and should not be sanctioned by our state.

It is hard to imagine any other issue that would be so broadly supported by the public and yet continue to face such staunch opposition by some lawmakers. Given the overwhelming public support for a ban, as confirmed by the public opinion poll, this cruel activity should just be banned once and for all.

Eventually, New Mexico will join other states in banning the bloody “sport” of cockfighting. It’s not a question of if it will happen, but when. That’s because our society is beginning to distance itself from institutionalized violence. Many look forward to the day when lawmakers respond to the will of the people and permanently ban cockfighting, so that intentionally hurting animals for fun will never be celebrated and sanctioned. Even though the legislative session is over for 2001, New Mexicans should continue letting their legislators know that they oppose cockfighting and that they want to see it banned. Legislators’ addresses can be obtained on the legislative website at www.legis.state.nm.us.

What You Can Do:
It is important to stay in contact with your state legislators, even throughout the interim between legislative sessions. Please call your state Senator and state Representative and set up appointments to meet them. Get to know them and let them know that their support of animal issues, and in particular a ban on cockfighting, is important to you as a constituent. Get your friends, neighbors and co-workers to do so as well. Write to your Congressional Representative (either Rep. Skeen, Wilson or Udall) and both Senator Bingaman and Senator Domenici, and ask them to support the federal bill to ban the interstate transport of fighting birds. Details below:

FEDERAL ANTI-COCKFIGHTING BILL INTRODUCED IN THE HOUSE

U.S.Representative Collin Peterson (D-MN) has introduced H.R. 1155 as a companion bill to S. 345, introduced earlier this year by Sens. Wayne Allard (R-CO) and Tom Harkin (D-IA). The legislation will close the loophole in federal law that allows the interstate transport of fighting birds from states where cockfighting is illegal to one of the three states where the practice is still legal. While last year's anti-cockfighting bill received a lot of support in both the House and Senate, we expect even more support this year.

What You Can Do:
Let's make this the year we finally close the federal loophole that allows the cockfighting industry to thrive nationwide!

1) Urge your two U.S. Senators to cosponsor S. 345 and do all they can to get it enacted this year : The Honorable (full name), U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510.

2) Urge your U.S. Representative to cosponsor H.R. 1155 and do all he/she can to get it enacted this year: The Honorable (full name), U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515. Also call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202/225-3121 to be connected to your legislators' offices. To find out the names of your federal legislators, call The HSUS at (202) 955-3666 or go to www.vote-smart.org.

3) If you live in a New Mexico county where cockfighting is still legal, work to ban the practice in your county. You may contact Animal Protection of New Mexico (505-265-2322; fax: 505-265-2488; e-mail: AnimalNM@aol.com) for assistance.


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