Justin Schatz is The Paper's daily news reporter. He has reported on New Mexico for KRQE News, Searchlight NM and the Santa Fe Reporter.

Photo Courtesy City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Facebook

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Last week, Mayor Tim Keller and Albuquerque City Councilors Lan Sena and Klarissa Pena announced the opening of the Albuquerque Animal Welfare Preventative Pet Care Clinic in the Copper Pointe Business Complex at-40. Keller said the opening of the new clinic was the greatest addition to the city’s animal welfare program in over two decades.

The new facility will offer spay/neutering services, vaccinations and microchipping for animals belonging to low to moderate-income voucher programs. The facility aims to transition to a sliding-scale fee structure in the near future.

“The new clinic is another step towards making Albuquerque an even more animal-friendly city,” Keller said. “We’ve all seen the news that animal shelters across the state are full to the brim. Providing this access to preventative pet care regardless of income will help reduce overpopulation and empower families to stay healthy and safe.”

The facility will coordinate with the city’s veterinary community to provide and expand service for low to moderate-income households. By working with local veterinarians, the city also hopes to facilitate relationships with veterinarians and the communities that they serve.

The Dennis Friends Foundation, a Corrales-based organization, directly supported the new animal healthcare clinic by providing a $300,000 grant.

“The Dennis Friends Foundation is proud to support One Albuquerque in this exciting new venture,” said Sayre Gerhart, President of Dennis Friends Foundation. “Providing support for animals and their human families is exactly what our foundation was created for, and we are excited for the future of this program.”

“This resource for our residents will work to reduce pet overpopulation through spay and neuter and to reduce contagious pet diseases through vaccination and education in the city,” Dr. Nicole Vigil, Chief Veterinarian, said.

For anyone interested in the clinic’s service, low and moderate-income residents of Albuquerque seeking spay/neuter services can apply to qualify for the AWD Spay/Neuter Lottery at www.cabq.gov/pets

“Having the first city standalone veterinary clinic will be a wonderful new asset to the community and creates great optimism that we are on the path to finding solutions for the overpopulation of pets,” said Director of Animal Welfare Carolyn Ortega.

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Justin Schatz is The Paper's daily news reporter. He has reported on New Mexico for KRQE News, Searchlight NM and the Santa Fe Reporter.

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