Taos Bark

Important animal legislation awaits governor's signature


The Taos Bark always endeavors to keep you updated on the laws that can affect us in Taos County.

Hark and behold. House Bill 64 is waiting for our governor to sign and make it a reality. Here is the latest news on the bill, which would add a tax to pet food to fund spay and neuter services in the state.

The following report comes from Animal Protection Voters of New Mexico, the legislative "arm" of Animal Protection of New Mexico (apnm.org):

Last week House Bill 64, which enacts a new spay and neuter law to be paid by pet food manufacturers, a funding mechanism proven effective in other states with no negative impacts, passed the legislature with bipartisan support. It was approved by the House of Representatives by a 48-19 vote and the Senate by a 30-4 vote. The identical mirror bill introduced by Gay Kerman (R-Hobbs), Senate Bill 51, also made it through the legislative process with significant support.

Why support a pet food manufacturer fee increase?

• Because every New Mexican is already spending their tax dollars, to the tune of $27 million a year, to capture, care for and euthanize half of our shelter's 135,000 homeless animals a year.

• Because pet overpopulation is not only a fiscal and humane problem but also a public health and safety issue due to the potential danger and disease caused by stray and feral animals.

• Because the fee has been proven to work in other states to reduce the number of homeless animals and the rate of euthanasia while having no noticeable effect on consumers, retailers and the pet food industry. After just three years one state decreased its euthanasia rate by 29 percent.

New Mexico cannot rescue and euthanize its way out of our pet overpopulation problem. We need to address it head-on with an aggressive spay and neuter program. We need adequate and reliable funding to be successful.

This bill is now on Gov. Martinez's desk to be signed. Please urge our governor to sign House Bill 64 to put an end to the perpetual waste of tax dollars and animal lives.

Email the governor and follow up with a phone call to her office (505) 476-2200 and please share with others to do the same.

Taos Bark comment: We must do what we can...take the little steps that grow into great big steps that make the difference. Do take a few minutes out of your day and email the governor and follow up with a phone call.

Please go to apvnm.org to send a form to the governor supporting this House Bill 64.

Free spay-neuter update

Taos County once had spay and neuter options for low-income families, but we now are not able to offer these services today. The vet medical vans that used to come to Taos have been discontinued, a tremendous loss until we can get a veterinarian to perform this service through Stray Hearts Animal Shelter.

Our animal shelter has a fully equipped clinic and was working with the county for these clinics; the vet had to leave and the clinics were discontinued. It is the new director's expectation to work towards reviving the clinic for our low-income families.

Grateful words

The following letter was received by me and others from the director of Animal Protection of New Mexico. I wanted to share with you what I believe to be a real "class act." This is also how I feel about all the people who advocate for our animals: our hardworking, compassionate advocates,the town council members, county commissioners, our animal shelter, Stray Hearts, where their staff and volunteers experience heartbreak every day and so many more. Thank you….Thank you.

"Dear Trish,

I have been advocating for over 30 years, during that time I have witnessed heart breaking suffering combined with human indifference or worse. But just as many times my spirits have been lifted by the compassion and generosity of people like you. People who envision not only a humane world but who also support the two-steps-forward-one-step-back dance it often takes to make it a reality.

"As 2017 comes to a close, I want to let you know how grateful I am to each of you. You give me and our entire staff courage. You give us strength.You give us hope.

"And this is what each of us needs, what each of us deserves and what each of us can give each other.

"From all of us at Animal Protection,

"Elizabeth Jennings, Director

"Voters, thank you for caring in all of its many forms. Together let's make humane the new normal."

Have an animal tip or story to share? Contact Taos Bark at taosbark@gmail.com or (575) 613-3448.


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Concerned Citizen

Unfortunately this article listed where local residents CAN'T get public spay-neuter (mobile clinics and Stray Hearts), but did not let Taos cat/dog guardians know where they CAN get FREE spay-neuter. Zimmer offers free pet cat spay-neuter-vaccines at the Salazar Rd Vet: 505-466-1676, and Taos Feral Feline Friends 575-737-9208 offers free spay-neuter for feral cats and former stray cats at the same vet clinic (qualifying conditions apply to both). The Española Valley Humane offers FREE spay-neuter-vaccines for both Taos Town/County/Pueblo cats (pet, outdoor, feral, etc) and dogs. Optional free microchip for cats if owner opts for it during the spay-neuter. Call 505-753-0228 for a M, W, or F appt. Feral cats in traps can be walk-in between 8-9 am for spay-neuter on M, W or F. The Española Valley Humane has fixed-vaccinated over 400 Taos area dogs for FREE in 2016/2017, and fixed-vaccinated over 200 Taos area cats for FREE in 2017. That's a heck of a lot more animals that have been fixed in Taos area mobile clinics annually in past years or at the sporadic public spay-neuter clinic at Stray Hearts, and it's being done by Rio Arriba County! Taos needs an independent stationary low-cost/FREE spay-neuter clinic that can handle the volume required to get the overpopulation problem under control quickly.

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