Albuquerque Animal Welfare rescues entire Texas animal shelter impacted by severe winter storm

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Animals impacted by the devastating weather in Texas last week are getting a second chance, right here in Albuquerque. Their shelter lost water, power, and heat during the winter storm.

“They did an email blast to partners to seek assistance with animals in Texas in need of help as a result of the recent weather, causing power outages and water problems,” said Julie Buckland, the outreach program manager with Albuquerque Animal Welfare. “We stepped up and said, ‘yes, we’d like to help, this is what we can do,’ and within two days we were on the road to Texas to pull these guys out of that shelter.”

Buckland and fellow coworker Selia Velasquez, both with Albuquerque Animal Welfare, packed up the truck this week and drove to Junction, Texas, a rural part of West Texas, northwest of San Antonio. While the temperatures have warmed up, the shelters are still struggling.

“There was a lot utility workers and folks in town working on stuff to get everybody back up to speed,” said Buckland. The crew emptied the Texas shelter of 13 dogs and 11 cats, bringing all of them back to the Westside shelter.

“The animals that we picked up, they are wonderful. They’re actually very sweet, mild-mannered, and they’re probably going to get adopted very quickly,” said Velasquez, Animal Welfare’s adoption center manager. “It was a really great experience to be part of that and also just to have the support and encouragement from our leadership.”

The city says it was a no-brainer to step-up and help our neighboring state. Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller says it’s the epitome of the “One Albuquerque” mantra.

“We’ve all heard about the weather and the challenges, but what’s been overlooked is that there’s a huge animal issue there because they can’t keep the animals warm and properly cared for, they need help,” said Mayor Keller. “I think our spirit is always trying to help others and we try to take care of our town, but when there’s a chance to help someone else, we do that.”

Many of these animals from Texas were in the shelter for almost a year. Now, they may get a better chance at life in New Mexico.

“We’re finding ourselves at a place in the City of Albuquerque where we were actually able to go to Texas and pull these animals out, knowing that we’re going to be able to find them homes,” said Buckland. “We really owe a thank you to our community to give us the opportunity to save more lives.”

Right now, the animals are under quarantine for a few days for observation. However, Animal Welfare says many of them will be available for adoption, starting this Saturday.

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