Updated: 05/02/2014 1:53 PM |
Created: 05/01/2014 6:34 PM
By: Kai Porter, KOB Eyewitness News 4
It's not just homeless people who need help in Albuquerque. Some of them have pets too.
A new city program called ‘Operation Street Dogs’ aims at tackling that problem.
The program is still in the planning stages, but Officer Kathryn Waite, with the Animal Welfare Department, hopes it will be a reality very soon. She came up with the idea after seeing pets living on the streets with their owners. Working with APD and other homeless outreach programs, she hopes to provide a number of free services including
spaying and neutering, vaccinations, micro-chipping and licensing. She also hopes to provide basic medical care for the animals and transportation to shelters for treatment.
"The animals are important because a lot of the homeless are veterans,” said Waite. “They came back from Vietnam or Operation Desert Storm or have PTSD and this is their family. And they take better care of their dogs than they do themselves. And it's important. They're companions"
She also refers the pet's owners to city services if they're in need of support or mental health care too.
If you'd like to help pets of the homeless, the Animal Welfare Department is taking donations.
They're looking for items like food, blankets and leashes.