ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Bernalillo County animal shelter is already outgrowing its building that opened just over two years ago and now it’s looking to expand. From providing pet food or litter to owners to helping them from keeping their pets from getting out, the county shelter said it does all it can to keep animals in their homes.
“But even with that, we have this influx of animals coming in that we need to care for. And we have to have the spaces in which to do that,” Misha Goodman, the director of Bernalillo County Animal Care Services, said. The county’s shelter was built to take in 2,500 a year but Goodman said they are seeing about 4,500.
“Essentially, what we’re doing now is looking at expansion. We have run out of space for animals, we have run out of space for staff. And we need additional areas to be able to do what we need to do for the public,” Goodman said.
According to Goodman, the county is set to spend $500,00 in bond funding to conduct a study on where and how to expand. In addition to more space for staff and animals, the county shelter wants to expand its veterinary space in order to perform more spay and neuter services for the public.
“By doing that you can reduce the amount of animals that are coming into facilities, unwanted births,” Goodman said. “Right now, our spay and neuter services for the public is so minimal, in part, because we have very limited recovery place for those animals and you don’t really want to mix public animals with shelter animals for a variety of reasons. One is health reasons. You want to make sure you’re not sharing those spaces.”
Goodman said they’d also like to offer services like obedience training and kids camps to teach them how to be responsible animal owners. “We just want to continue to provide the best services we possibly can. And in doing so, we want to make sure we are progressive, providing the best care possible for animals coming into the facility and we give the best resources for the citizens who need them,” Goodman said.
No word yet on where the expansion may take place. Goodman said it could be expanding its current building or building on a new piece of property.
She said the Request For Quotes will go out in the next few months and construction wouldn’t start for at least a few years. In the meantime, she said the shelter is working with its rescue partners and other shelters to help transport animals and ease the capacity at its facility. The shelter is also working on hiring another veterinarian.