This article was originally published in the Las Cruces Bulletin.
There are many examples of the wonderful efforts that are made every day by animal rights advocates in our city, county and region of southern New Mexico. We can’t pass up sharing this one with you, coming from Rick Hahn, a volunteer with the Coalition for Pets and People:
“As I was leaving one of my favorite restaurants earlier today, a woman ran up to me and asked if I was the guy that had fostered Feynman.
“I had learned about Feynman, a heartworm- positive dog at the shelter, through the Pet Network. With help from the Doña Ana County Humane Society animal relief fund, I was able to get him the treatment he needed and get him back to health. When he was ready, the broadcast was sent out on the Pet Network and social media that he needed a forever home. I got the call and took him over to the home of Nicole and her husband, and it was love at first sight. A few weeks later, they sent me a family photo with the new addition. This was four years ago, and Feynman — renamed Rio — and Nicole are inseparable. This never would have happened without the Pet Network email list and the wonderful people in our community and the volunteers, Jean Gilbert, Dee Dugil and Miranda Meyer, who devote precious personal time to maintain it."
When it comes to rehoming pets or making sure they can make it home, the Coalition for Pets and People is working to reduce the number of pets taken to the shelter. One way that can happen is by having your pet microchipped. This chip, the size of a grain of rice and inserted just below the skin, can be scanned without pain, providing a coded number that can be looked up with the registered owner’s contact information, and the pet rejoined with its family. These chips help get your pet home in some of the most amazing ways.
There was a car crash out on west I-10 by the Las Cruces airport. It was pretty severe; the driver barely made it out, and the pet was considered dead in the fiery crash. The driver was passing through southern New Mexico when the unfortunate circumstance occurred, and he returned home to Texas to recover from his injuries, heartbroken that his pet had perished. A short time later, a couple was out by the airport, not far from where the crash had occurred. They discovered a small furball scrounging the area in order to survive. A microchip scan revealed the code number, and a call led to the identity of the owner in Texas and a very happy reunion.
Another story is of a friend of mine and her beloved Cocker who has gotten her through many family losses and tough times. Sancho was always with her in the shadows of Mesilla. He was a sparky little guy. One day, while shopping, someone stole him from her car. Months of searching and checking at the shelter left her still certain that Sancho was alive and well. After 10 months, her friend who was listed as a back-up on the registration of the microchip, received a call that Sancho was at the Animal Services Center, and could she let Alejandra know? Faster than a speeding bullet, she was there to pick up Sancho, who was skinny, malnourished and full of ticks and burrs. This is another miracle result of microchipping your pet.
You never know what circumstances may happen in our lives that could separate us from our pets. It’s best to identify your pet in a way that can’t be wiggled out of or torn off their neck. A microchip is a pretty reliable way to identify and reunite you, usually within a few hours, but sometimes it takes a few weeks or months. And aren’t we ecstatic when our wishes come true and they are safely home? Microchipping is now mandatory in Doña Ana County and Las Cruces.
Microchipping is available at ASCMV for $20. Pupper Wear parties, with a low cost fee of $6.35, can be arranged by calling Frank Bryce at 523-8020. Action Programs for Animals is holding a special event for low cost vaccinations and micro-chipping from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, at their location, 800 W. Picacho Ave. Dr. Elizabeth Carver, DVM, provides microchips at her Mesquite Animal Vaccination Mobile Clinics for $7, and her clinic schedule is available at 650-2000. The Coalition for Pets and People with HSSNM will be sponsoring a FREE micro-chipping event in La Mesa from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 28, at the San Jose Roman Catholic Church, and you can sign up for low-cost spay or neuter clinics. Bring your dogs and cats to one of these microchipping events so they have a better chance of coming home.