Animal welfare is the top priority for Roswell Animal Services staff.
Care is provided to all animals brought into the animal shelter on a daily basis, including providing fresh water and food to animals, as well as cleaning and maintaining kennels. The staff’s focus on animal welfare isn’t limited to the shelter (705 East McGaffey St.), but also extends out throughout the entire city. Animal Services officers complete welfare checks on animals at owners’ homes or other properties to ensure shade, shelter and water is provided to pets as described in city ordinances.
Two dogs enjoying time outside.
Requests for welfare checks is one type of call the department receives from citizens. Other calls include concerns about loose animals or aggressive animals. Once officers respond to a situation, they can assess the situation and decide to either pick up the animal(s) or simply educate the owner about proper animal care and/or ensuring the safety of the animal and community.
Roswell Animal Services staff includes two kennel workers who clean the kennels and feed and replenish water for animals. Five officers respond to calls for service. An office assistant takes calls from citizens and dispatches officers, completes paperwork for reclaims and adoptions (including by rescue groups), runs the front desk to assist visitors, and does the daily count of animals, tracking the animals taken in and taken out. The supervisor oversees all employees and facility functions and helps complete tasks.
Big Dog Kennel decorated for Valentine's Day.
The animal shelter is designated into areas for several kennel types. There are 70 big-dog kennels, 11 puppy/small-dog kennels, 28 adoptable-cat kennels, 23 feral-cat kennels, two small-animal quarantine kennels and 11 large-animal kennels. Overall, if only one animal is placed in each kennel, the department is able to house 149 animals. On occasion if there are multiple animals that come in from the same address, the animals will be housed together in one kennel if that is feasible.
As animals are brought in, they are first scanned for a microchip that could identify an owner. Dogs that arrive at the facility are weighed and vaccinated; those vaccines include distemper/parvo combo and, when the donated supply is adequate, bordetella (kennel cough). Dogs are then placed either in a big-dog kennel or in the puppy room depending on their size and weight. All animals that are not dogs are placed in kennels dependent on the species and size of the animal. Animals are held at the shelter for four days awaiting an owner to reclaim them. After that, they are put up for adoption.
Rooster previously brought to Animal Services.
Animal adoptions keep the kennel staff busy. In any given month, adoptions can vary, but often fall between 25 adoptions on the low end and 65 adoptions on the high end. As part of the adoption effort, Animal Services hosts adoption events at other locations in town.
Owner with newly adopted dog at Roswell Animal Services Adoption Event.
Would you like to help Roswell Animal Services? Ensure you are providing proper care, shelter, food and water to your pets and help educate other pet owners of the importance of these things. There are also different items individuals can donate to Roswell Animal Services. Items that are always needed include stainless steel water buckets and food bowls, kiddy pools (for pregnant and nursing animal mothers), towels, blankets and food (Dog Chow, Kibbles and Bits, and Puppy Chow are the preferred brands for dogs, while the cat-food preferences are 9 Lives, Friskies, and KMR One Step).
Kitten in one of the adoptable cat kennels.
For questions about Animal Services, call (575) 624-6722. You can keep up with the department on its webpage at roswell-nm.gov or its Facebook page (@roswellanimalservices).