Bridging Communities Through Kindness to Animals
In 2015, APNM created and secured funding for Humane Communities, a pilot program designed to provide in-depth assistance in three selected localities over three years: Santa Fe County, San Miguel County, and Valencia County. By 2018, APNM added two more Humane Communities partnerships: in McKinley County and Mora County. As Humane Communities builds momentum, our goal is to develop the means and strategies of this pilot effort in a manner that can be practical, successful, and sustainable for other targeted communities in New Mexico.
Humane Communities implements on-the-ground initiatives aimed at improving the welfare of animals. We identify and deliver support specific to the local needs and challenges of communities within each locality. Humane Communities initiatives invite diverse community involvement in the planning and execution of focused outreach and support services. By uniting residents, local leaders, and businesses to improve the welfare of animals, we have been able to advance effective solutions and enable sustainable change.
APNM’s technical assistance comes in many forms: guidance in strategic planning and operational resources for animal shelters, assisting with non-profit/government contract negotiations, facilitating free spay/neuter-vaccination-microchip clinics, facilitating shelter animal relocation, providing free straw for companion animals living outdoors in cold weather, funding law enforcement training, and building fences to get dogs off chains.
APNM’s Humane Communities program provides multi-faceted, strategic approaches to help create solutions to animal welfare challenges unique to individual communities. These include:
Capacity Enhancement: Animal Shelter Assistance
We can help local shelters by providing leadership training and development, assessing needs and priorities, collaborating with local officials and agencies, helping to secure better funding for shelter operations, organizing low-cost spay/neuter clinics, and generating more public and private support for the shelter.
Carrying the Message: Community Outreach, Education & Mobilization
By harnessing the power of peer-to-peer and neighbor-to-neighbor connections, we can motivate collaboration and promote positive messages regarding animal welfare. We provide support to established animal care professionals already working in the community to help promote the program and educate community members.
Investing in the Future: Humane Education
Humane education creates meaningful, long-term, normative change by reaching children and youth, instilling in them a greater appreciation for kindness, responsibility, and respect for all living beings. The Animal Connection, APNM’s humane education program, has a profound influence on students who share these lessons with their families, friends, neighbors, and communities.
Providing Resources: Municipal & County Animal Services
Our training scholarships for humane law enforcement officers help them effectively and humanely address the many challenges they face on a daily basis. In addition, we offer partnering animal services departments access to our donor-supported Straw Fund to ensure the availability of insulating straw as needed or requested for backyard doghouses or other outdoor shelters.
The Humane Alternative: Building Fences
Expanding APNM’s Train. Don’t Chain® campaign can improve the safety and well-being of residents and dogs in communities. Humane Communities program plans include assistance building fences for little or no cost to qualifying households, directly improving the welfare of chained or tethered dogs.
Systemic Change: Humane Law & Policy
By performing a thorough assessment of local animal protection laws vis-à-vis current animal-related problems in the community, and with active participation by local residents, we can determine the need for facilitating upgrades to the city and/or county ordinance and move toward specific improvements.