New ordinance could improve animal welfare in Luna County | KOB 4
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New ordinance could improve animal welfare in Luna County

Ryan Laughlin
May 10, 2019 10:24 PM

LUNA COUNTY, N.M. — Animal advocates are pointing to Luv U Back animal sanctuary as a reason why animal laws need to change. 

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Luv U Back is run by Vickie Willey. She's the only one in charge of the sanctuary, which has passed all of its recent inspections by the Deming Luna County Animal Humane Society. 

"I try to put them into homes and if I can't, they stay here," Willey said. "They get taken care of."

Luna County pays the humane society $110,000 every year to conduct inspections and manage animal welfare. 

Humane society officials said that anyone with more than 7 dogs, cats or potbellied pigs are supposed to sign up for a Multiple-Animal Facility application.

The latest inspection records for Luv U Back show 92 animals at the sanctuary. There was food, water, shelter and proof of vaccinations so they passed the inspection process.

Some people think the process needs work. 

"We think this should happen because there's conflicts of interest," said Diana Bell from Deming Animal Guardians. 

 She's a board member for a nonprofit group working to improve animal welfare. She said the humane society would benefit from more oversight – hopefully through a new animal welfare ordinance currently in the works. 

"We just think it would work out, overall, better if they reported differently and they were trained and licensed or certified," Bell said. 

The president of the Deming Luna Humane Society, Matt Robinson, told KOB 4 that they report their activities to the county every month. 

"But, their reporting requirements and what they really do, are very few," said Chris Brice, a Luna County administrator.

County officials say the humane society reports the strays they pick up, the animals they place in homes and put down, but the county had no idea how the humane society handled inspections, or how many multiple-animal permits the humane society issued. 

"They have a lot of autonomy and kind of how they handle things," Brice said. "We trust them to do the right thing, that might change with this new ordinance." 

The county's contract with the humane society ends in July. County officials said they hope to have a new animal ordinance completed before then. 

Animal activists hope it will better ensure the safety of the animals. 

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Ryan Laughlin

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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