My Turn

Making use of Española's spay and neuter service best option

By Stray Hearts Animal Shelter board of directors
Posted 2/8/20

Your recent editorial about setting up a spay and neuter van to provide coverage for Taos County ("Time for Taos mobile spay-neuter," Jan. 16) included several excellent suggestions for funding and running this potential service. The editorial calls for involvement from various governmental agencies as well as the state with Stray Hearts Animal Shelter in the driver's seat.

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My Turn

Making use of Española's spay and neuter service best option

Posted

Your recent editorial about setting up a spay and neuter van to provide coverage for Taos County ("Time for Taos mobile spay-neuter," Jan. 16) included several excellent suggestions for funding and running this potential service. The editorial calls for involvement from various governmental agencies as well as the state with Stray Hearts Animal Shelter in the driver's seat.

The need for these services is a daily fact of life for all of us at Stray Hearts and the recent tragedy [of dogs mauling a woman at Taos Pueblo] brings this need into the spotlight for our whole community. There isn't any disagreement about the need.

How we reach this goal is the big question. Stray Hearts Animal Shelter's charter is to provide animal shelter services for Taos County. Setting up a spay and neuter van for the community is basically a whole new business. It would require a veterinarian, vet technician, vet assistant and an office person to schedule and follow up with clients.In addition, the vans are not equipped with enough space for the animals to recover.

Indoor, climate-controlled space is needed for each location, along with trained people to monitor the animals while they recover.

Stray Hearts has a surgical suite and will start construction of a recovery room this spring. The shelter does not currently have a full-time veterinarian, vet assistant, technician and extra office staff to do the scheduling. Our space is very limited and when we get a full-time veterinarian, that person will also be responsible for providing care for the shelter animals so we could only provide part-time services for our community.

It would be less expensive to provide a transport service to Española and use their free services than to create the services in Taos County. This option would require a cargo van, crates, insurance, schedulers and drivers.

An Intergovernmental Council, along with local animal welfare organizations and concerned citizens, would have the best chance of pulling together the plans and funding for a venture of this magnitude. Stray Hearts is committed to working with the team to make this happen but we are not in a position to do this alone.

Stray Hearts Animal Shelter board of directors in Taos.

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