500 Miles to Safety
A shelter worker becomes part of an underground railroad for strays
When Patty Mugan goes to work, she knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that some of her friends will die on her watch. Mugan is not the only one who faces this grim forecast every day. That's just reality for animal shelter employees. "Some days, it is very difficult to see some of the things that we see at our shelter," says the Valencia County Animal Shelter technician. "But I know that for some dogs and cats that have been abused or abandoned or on the streets for a long time, this is the best they have ever been taken care of; because they had shelter from the weather, fresh food and water, and someone that cares to spend time with them—at least for a little while."
Lost Dog (or Cat or Horse or Cow ... )
While humans seem to love loud, bright, exploding Fourth of July fireworks our furry friends hate pyrotechnics. For dogs, cats, horses and other farm animals this is one of the most stressful and dangerous times of the year. 2010 was especially rough, because the holiday stretched over several days. The noise often drives pets to run away, especially if left outside and unattended.
“We have a higher volume of stray animal calls and a higher volume of barking complaint calls on July 4 than on almost any other night of the year,” says Capt. Albert Marquez of Animal Welfare’s Field Services Division.
Kennel workers are expecting an unusually high volume of stray pets at the Eastside and Westside shelters this week. Should your pet get lost and end up at either shelter, Animal Welfare wants to expedite the process: If your pet already has a microchip, a license and is spayed or neutered, he or she will be returned to you free of charge. Owners will not be charged a reclaim fee. All you have to do is pick up their lost pets at the shelter.
If your pet has gone missing, check Albuquerque’s Eastside or Westside shelters immediately. Or you can get help by dialing 311.