Humane Communities: Santa Fe & Las Vegas Initiatives

What would you say if we told you that together we can create a world where the lives of both human and nonhuman animals are sustained through tolerance, respect, and dignity? Now, what would you say if that world could be in your community, as well as your own back yard?

Animal Protection of New Mexico’s Humane Communities initiatives aim to build kinder, more compassionate, and humane communities in New Mexico through targeted community outreach and support. Humane Communities brings together local leaders, businesses and residents to address pressing animal-related concerns in their community and enhance animal welfare. The Humane Communities: Santa Fe & Las Vegas Initiatives are in direct response to the animal welfare issues specific to those communities.

As Humane Communities builds momentum, APNM’s goal is to develop the means and strategies of this pilot program in a manner that can be practical, successful, and sustainable for other targeted communities throughout the state.

The Humane Communities program provides comprehensive, multi-faceted, strategic approaches to help create solutions to animal welfare challenges unique to individual communities. Through focused work at the local level, APNM’s Humane Communities initiatives will serve to inspire and mobilize civic-minded residents through:

Capacity Enhancement: Animal Shelter Assistance Program

Humane Communities will assist as needed in moving local shelters forward by providing leadership training and development, collaborating with city officials and agencies, helping to secure better funding for shelter operations, organizing low-cost spay/neuter clinics, and generating more public and private support for the shelter. For example, in Las Vegas, APNM is working closely with the municipal open-admission animal shelter, operated by the nonprofit Animal Welfare Coalition of Northeastern New Mexico.

Carrying the Message: Community Outreach, Education & Mobilization

Humane Communities programs harness the power of peer-to-peer and neighbor-to-neighbor connections to motivate collaboration and promote positive messages regarding animal welfare. We provide support to established animal care professionals already working in the community to help promote the program and educate community members.

Investing in the Future: Humane Education

By providing effective humane education to New Mexico students we boost academic performance, enhance social skills and individual responsibility, and help build empathy and compassion for humans and other animals. The Animal Connection, APNM’s humane education program, has a profound influence on students who share these lessons with their families, friends, neighbors, and communities. Humane education creates meaningful, long-term, normative change by reaching children and youth, instilling in them a greater appreciation for kindness, responsibility, and respect for all living beings.

Providing Resources: Municipal & County Animal Services

By offering scholarships for further training and advanced education, Animal Welfare Officers are better prepared to effectively and humanely address the many challenges they face on a daily basis. In addition, we have expanded the donor-supported Straw Fund to Santa Fe City and County and will include Las Vegas and San Miguel County in the fall of 2016, to ensure the availability of insulating straw as needed or requested by animal services departments for any backyard doghouse or other outdoor shelter.

The Humane Alternative: Building Fences

Expanding APNM’s Train. Don't Chain® campaign can improve the safety and well-being of residents and dogs in communities. Humane Communities program plans include providing assistance with building fences for little or no cost to qualifying households, directly improving the welfare of dogs who might otherwise be chained or tethered their entire lives. We also offer coaching to families about how to safely and humanely engage more with their companion animals to enhance the lives of the animals and family members.

Systemic Change: Humane Law & Policy

By performing a thorough assessment of local animal protection laws vis-à-vis current animal-related problems in the community, and with active participation by local residents, we can determine the need for facilitating upgrades to the city and/or county ordinance, and take appropriate steps toward specific improvements.

Humane Communities Santa Fe Initiative is made possible by a generous grant from the Doris Goodwin Walbridge Foundation. Humane Communities Las Vegas Initiative is made possible by a generous grant from the ASPCA.