Trying to control the pet population in Dona Ana County

KDBC
Sunday, June 29, 2014 - 12:04am

 Every year thousands of cats and dogs are taken in to the Animal Service Center in Las Cruces.

Out of all those pets, almost half never get reunited with their owners or find a new family and place to call home. 

Despite the numbers, officials with the center say it is a huge improvement from where they were just a few years ago. 

The Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley holds pet adoptions every Saturday around Las Cruces to try and find as many family’s for the animals as possible.  

“Knowing you are going to give these little dogs a little home is awesome,” said Amber Tsougas.

For a few of the dogs here, it was their lucky day. 

 Tsougas and her boyfriend, Dalton Chavez, adopted GiGi, a two-year-old dachshund.  

“She had wanted to find a wiener dog forever,” said Chavez. “I said well there is one right there. She said they never have wiener dogs at the adoptions.”  

It’s stories like this the service center wants to see more of.

They know not everyone has time to go to the center, so they try to bring the animals out into the community. 

“We have so many unwanted pets coming to the shelter. That’s why we are constantly at these offsite adoptions trying to get these animals in homes, trying to give them a second chance,” said Trisha Deal, with the center. 

When there is a match like GiGi and her new owners, it makes the effort worth it.

“It’s sad, you want to take them all home. But when you do take one home it is awesome,” said Tsougas. 

The situation at the animal center seems to be improving. 

In the first three months of 2014, more than half of the cats and dogs brought to the service center were adopted or sent to a rescue.

Deal said its thanks to the adoptions and rescues, that more animals are finding a home.

“Occasionally we do have to euthanize for space, but right now we haven’t had to do that in a long time,” she said. 

But there is always room for improvement. 

“It is not enough,” said Deal. “There is still more coming in than we can get out.”

When you do adopt, you new pet has already been spayed or neutered, is up to date on shots, and has been microchiped.

Something new pet owner say is important.

“If you are going to get a dog, you should definitely go check out adoption first,” said Tsougas. “Go to the pound and look first before you just go buy one.”

if you missed Saturday’s adoptions, don’t worry, they are held every Saturday across Las Cruces. You can also come to the Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley. They are open seven days a week. 

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