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It's Damn Cold

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While many folks in animal welfare are taking advantage of Valentine’s Day themes and encouraging adoption for a lifetime of unconditional love, we at FOMAS are concerned with one thing today: the BITTER cold weather.

One dog was dumped yesterday at the Turner Inn, while people watched as the dog was tossed from the pickup’s cab and the truck then peeled out onto Hwy 60. No one was able to get the license plate number, but they did provide a full description of the vehicle to our ACO Steve. Fortunately, Turner, as we are now calling him, was sociable enough to allow himself to be held until we could come and get him.

Now, the high today is supposed to 5 degrees, with a windchill factor of -17. The low tonight will be -3 degrees with a windchill of -40. Imagine if Turner had run off? Would he have survived? What about those dogs who are tied up outside 24/7 without adequate shelter? How many of them will die tonight?

While dumping animals is illegal, it is LEGAL in many parts of New Mexico, including Torrance County, to have a dog tied out 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as long as they have “adequate” shelter, water and food and are able to move around with a chain or rope at least 12’- 15’ in length.

There are a few reasons people tie out their dogs; they can’t afford a fence, the dog is being used for protection, or they may have a house that may be too small. (And yes, we also have a response for each of these reasons, but we won’t go into that here…maybe later.)

However, in spite of the fact that this type of treatment of dogs dates back as far as anyone can remember, we know that this practice is inhumane. A dog deserves MUCH more than to be trapped in the same small patch of yard and subjected to a life of never-ending loneliness.

One of FOMAS’ future goals is to build a robust “fence program” in which we can help residents put up secure fencing around their yards to untether dogs off of that chain. Another goal is to work with Torrance County Commissioners to ban tying dogs out altogether.

NMDOG, one of the most successful dog rescues in New Mexico, has successfully worked with legislators to BAN this practice in a number of cities including Albuquerque, Las Vegas, and Hobbs.

Would it be too much to expect for other cities and counties to consider following suit?

We are interested in the feedback of our readers. Would you support this effort? How serious are you in helping? Please let us know as we make steps to tackle a decades-old legislation……