Mayor Keller announces new leadership at Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Mayor Tim Keller and Albuquerque officials held a press conference on Tuesday to highlight the local coronavirus response and new leadership at the city’s Animal Welfare Department.

General updates

The Department of Health is now allowing COVID-19 for all workers in the state including all government employees, utility and construction workers, grocery and pharmacy employees, retail wholesale, and food service industries as well as all essential industries. Testing is also available for all individuals in essential industries and any New Mexican at work who would like access to a test whether they are symptomatic or not.

Lovelace Hospital downtown is offering testing to anyone in the public that wants a test starting on Tuesday, May 12. Their drive up clinic is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Animal Welfare

The new Animal Welfare Department Director is Carolyn Ortega who previously was the director of the Atrisco Heritage Foundation and Atrisco Companies. Ortega replaces the previous Animal Welfare director Danny Nevarez.

Mayor Keller states that the department has made “the single biggest turnaround of any department in the city”. The Animal Welfare Department remains open by appointment only at this time.

The department is expanding its hour for appointments for non-emergency stray or owner surrender:

  • Eastside Shelter: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Westside Shelter: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The department will still accept emergency intake of stray animals between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. Appointments can be made by calling 311.

To see available pets for adoption, visit the City of Albuquerque’s website.

New dog adoption play yard

The mayor and Albuquerque officials cut the ribbon on the newly renovated play yard at the Eastside Animal Shelter located at 8920 Lomas NE near the Los Altos Golf Course. The new yard has a large shaded area and agility elements for dogs to run through including an A-frame, an elevated dog walkway, a teter-board, plastic tunnels, and a pause board.

The play yard area is where people can do meet and greets with animals they may potentially adopt. Mayor Keller says the city is in the process of making one of these play areas at the Westside Animal Shelter which will most likely open in July.

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