Doña Ana County



Healthy, adoptable animals at the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley can begin the day Monday, June 11, with additional hope for a long, happy life.

Dr. Beth Vesco-Mock, executive director of the shelter, said she and her staff will do everything in their power that day to successfully participate in National No-Kill Day. But she said the community has to do its part if the effort is ultimately successful.

“We’ll rise to the challenge of National No-Kill Day if we can maximize adoptions and minimize intake during that 24-hour period,” Vesco-Mock said. “For our part, we’ve arranged a special off-site adoption event from 1-6 p.m. at PetCo on East Lohman in Las Cruces. We’ll aggressively facilitate adoptions from the shelter, as well as from PetCo in hopes of creating enough room to keep the euthanization room dark.”

Unknown, she said is whether the community will cooperate by taking a day off from dumping healthy animals at the door.

“The shelter’s success on June 11 will reflect the community’s commitment on June 11,” she said. “We’re all in this together.”

Tom Townsend, co-chair of the Doña Ana County Coalition for Pets and People said the uncertainty of whether a day without killing is possible underscores the priorities of the coalition’s efforts to achieve zero-kill status in the next seven years.

“Our mission,” Townsend said, “is to educate all pet owners in Doña Ana County about the critical importance of spay/neuter, regular vaccinations and responsible pet ownership. We have to stop the mentality of breed-and-sell, because every animal purchased privately effectively condemns to death a healthy animal awaiting adoption from the shelter. We have to balance intake and adoption rates so that June 11 is just another day, and every day is a no-kill day at our shelter. That’s a status our community could be proud of.”

But Townsend said the June 11 initiative is a ceremonial opportunity to show the community’s resolve.

“The fact of the matter is that Dr. Beth and the shelter staff try to make every day a no-kill day, but the enormous intake numbers consistently compromise their best efforts,” Townsend said. “It would be terrific if the community would mark that one day with a concerted effort to assist the shelter staff with this ambitious and honorable undertaking.”

National No-Kill Day is a collaboration of individual shelters across the nation coordinated by Nathan J. Winograd and the No-Kill Advocacy Center. Winograd estimates that if every shelter in the United States were to successfully participate, 10,411 adoptable animals will survive the day.

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Reporters seeking more information or interviews: may call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (575) 525-5801.