ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department continues to see an increase in pet owners surrendering their pets. The organization said a major donation to a new program might turn those numbers around.

In just this year, Animal Welfare said they’re seeing a 12% increase in pets being surrendered by their owner. Carolyn Ortega, the director of the shelter, said with more pets coming into the shelter, not many are getting adopted out. Just recently, the shelter received a donation of $10,000 from the Gary John Gartshore Estate for a new program they created called Intake Re-Direction. The goal is to provide owners with resources that can prevent them from surrendering their pet.

Story continues below

Ortega said two reasons why people are surrendering their pets now are because the owner is moving or for medical reasons. This is also why they prefer to be regarded as a resource center instead of a shelter. Ortega believes this program will direct owners in the right direction.

“We would prefer to keep the pets with their owners so if we can help them with resources like food,” said Ortega. “Medical care or help them get spay or neuter or vaccinated or help them with a dog house these are all programs that we want the community to be aware of.”

Ortega said she understands it’ll take some time for the numbers of surrenders to go down but she’s hopeful. Animal Welfare is currently hiring an Intake Prevention Specialist to be their counselor. They’re also accepting donations for the new program.