Doña Ana County

The Doña Ana County Kitty Condo Project

The Doña Ana County Kitty Condo Project

Black and white kitten

Doña Ana County has adopted out more than 100 kittens since the Kitty Condo project at the Doña Ana County Government Center got underway in May of 2012.

On May 22, 2012, the Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners formally approved the facilitation of adoptions from the Government Center in a unique partnership with the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley.

The condo was significantly expanded and relocated within the Government Center lobby in 2013, thanks to a fundraising campaign by employees and visitors to the building who felt the original condo was too small. No taxpayer funds have been used to support the project.

The original Kitty Condo was located just below the north staircase in the Doña Ana County Government Center main lobby. The new and significantly larger enclosure – complete with a chair where potential adopters can interact with the kittens – was installed in April of 2013.

Adopters pay for the adoptions at the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley prior to taking their new kitten(s) home. At the time of payment, arrangements are made for the cats to continue their vaccination regimen and to be sterilized and microchipped.

Kitty condoAn informal Kitty Condo Committee keeps the kittens fed, watered and socialized. The committee members also tend to the daily litter-box maintenance. On weekends and holidays, approved volunteers take the kittens home for additional socialization and uninterrupted care.

Front desk receptionist Rebecca ‘Becky’ Garcia – a member of the Doña Ana County Special Projects Office team –  handles all adoption paperwork, and she also works with individual employees who want to take the kittens to their offices during the workday or home on weekends and holidays.

The other committee members are Karen Archuleta, Liza Burke, Angela Roberson, Deborah Rouse and Corrie Stone, with ongoing support from Special Projects Director Jess Williams and many other county and Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office employees.

The Kitty Condo is 93 inches tall, 53 inches wide and 99 inches deep. It is made of a steel frame to which expanded steel has been welded. A litter box enclosure at the bottom of the Condo can be accessed without going inside the Condo.

In deference to people with severe cat allergies, the Condo is located in one corner of a very large lobby, and there are no soft surfaces – carpet, wallpaper, etc. – nearby to harbor dander. The area is kept clean by the Kitty Condo Committee, and a deep clean of the interior is conducted each time the last of any given litter of kittens is adopted out.

 

Three kittensThe Kitty Condo Committee works closely with the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley veterinary staff to spot and treat respiratory issues, ringworm and other minor health issues when they arise. All visitors are required to sanitize their hands before and after handling the kittens.

Employees who wish to take one or more kittens to their work stations during the day can sign out the kittens at the main receptionist’s desk. Sign outs are generally approved for up to 20 minutes. For those who wish to socialize with the kittens at the Condo, a chair is located just inside the door.

The Doña Ana County Kitty Condo garnered national attention when reporter Steve Hartman featured it in his “On The Road” segment of the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley. The piece was broadcast on Friday, June 5 and again on Sunday, June 7, 2016.