The AWC Shelter Heads into Its 2nd Year
The Animal Welfare Coalition (AWC) was created
in 2008 by local citizens compelled to address the cruelty and neglect of cats
and dogs in and around Las Vegas, New Mexico. We are volunteers who gained our
community’s trust by helping folks with pet food, providing low-cost spay and
neuter services, and rescuing, rehabilitating, and finding forever homes for
the sick, the injured, and the forgotten. Since 2008, the AWC has worked to educate, provide resources, bring
together animal lovers, and rescue numerous animals. We answer calls and foster
animals in need, care for and maintain feral cat colonies, talk to people in
their own yards, and bring in grant funds to help with all of these.
In September 2013, we answered the city’s call to run
the city shelter at 1680 Grand Ave. At the least, the shelter allows us to do
our work on a much larger scale. In the last year, we have multiplied the
massive work Tina Holguin was also doing outside the shelter by an immeasurable
percentage. In one week we can transport 72 adult dogs and puppies out and away
from the high probability of misery in northeastern NM. This place is a haven
for abuse, pain, and suffering because of old ideas concerning animal roles and care, in addition to a complacent, apathetic system that cannot or do not enforce laws that inform and control people with animals. Amidst
this we all stand together and try to fill in and succeed where they fail.
Managing and saving more animals vis-a-vis the shelter is just the most obvious
thing we do.
In terms of
efficiency, the shelter provides a central hub of activities, a headquarters of
multiple arms reaching out in so many directions and affecting the lives of so
many hundreds and hundreds of animals every month one could never count them
all. People come TO US, and there are few more efficient tools in our bag. They
come to ask questions, to bring problems, to volunteer, to give help, to ask
for help, to cry about losing a pet, to leave their family pet because they
cannot figure another choice, to adopt, to bring litters of puppies and to give
away their problems sometimes. We answer, console, educate, provide options,
give humane instruction, encourage, and share our experiences, strength, and
hope on a level impossible without this hub, this gathering place of all animal
all the time. If you ever spent 8-10 hours, hell even four hours at the shelter
on any given day, you would see this amazing machine in action. It never stops
for one second and people are smiling, and loving, and excited, and hopeful
when they leave.
As we head toward our second year running the city shelter, we reflect on all we have learned and apply our new knowledge to better animal care and management. On August 20th we will see big changes for the AWC Board including the loss of some pivotal advocates, and the addition of more young and more diverse members. This year will see more events, the completion of the new web site you are viewing, our cattery grand opening and hopefully a new nursery. This is your community, and your participation in the welfare of our animals raise the quality of life for animals and their human companions. Donate, volunteer, adopt, and report neglect. We cannot do this without you.