Updated: October 21, 2020 07:57 PM
Created: October 21, 2020 06:24 PM
FARMINGTON, N.M. — COVID has halted a lot of things over the months, but the overpopulation of stray and unwanted animals in Farmington was not one of them.
"San Juan county is the third highest intake as far as shelters go in the state and then our population of animals coming in compared to our human population is a little out of wack, and we have many more animals coming in than we should per human population,” said Stacie Voss, director of the Farmington Animal Shelter.
Experts said the solution to the problem is performing more spay and neuter operations to prevent pets from reproducing. However, the financial strain brought on by COVID-19 has made it difficult on the Farmington Animal Shelter.
"As we went along, the budget was really unclear but what was clear is that we were probably gonna have less money than we did previously because of the shutdowns and everything going on. Then it became a tough decisions of what things to cut,” Voss said.
The public spay and neuter program was part of those budget cuts, which created a backlog of 200 surgeries. Luckily, with the help of more than $10,000 in donations, surgeries resumed this week.
"The regional animal shelter foundation is one of our partners here that helps provide items and things to the shelter, and they decided that the spay and neuter program was extremely important and we agreed, so they decided to partner with the city to help refund our public spay neuter program,” Voss said.
The shelter will carry out spay and neuter operations that they had to cancel before the pandemic began.
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