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Paws & Claws highlights new animal care and resource center services

Tour the new Bernalillo County Animal Care Services and Resource Center and possibly adopt a four legged friend during Paws & Claws on Saturday, May 18. (Courtesy of Bernalillo County Animal Care Services and Resource Center)

Bernalillo County will showcase its newest gem, the Animal Care Services and Resource Center, during Paws & Claws on Saturday, May 18.

The county wants to get the word out about the center as well as hear from the community about its needs. The center opened in January.

“We wanted to do something to let the community know that we’re here and we’re open and kind of give back to the community as well and get their input,” said Terri Stephens, Outreach Manager, Bernalillo County Animal Care Services and Resource Center. “Especially as a new shelter and a resource center, we’re both trying to let people know what we’re here for and what we do, but also get ideas as far as what programming would you like to see or what services do you think would be beneficial to you as a community.”

The family friendly event will offer music, children’s activities, arts and crafts and food trucks as well as allow attendees to tour the facility and possibly adopt a pet or livestock. Attendees are asked to leave their family pets at home.

“We’re going to have an Animal Control Officer Olympics for kids…,” Stephens said. “Just silly things like we have the rubber snakes and snake tongs and we’ll ask them to pick them up and put them in a bucket. Our little brown ping pong balls (will represent) poop so they can race and pick that up.”

Demonstrations will be part of the event. The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office will be bringing its therapy K-9 units and the Rio Grande Therapy Racing Team also will be on hand.

Dogtopia, a doggie daycare and boarding facility in Albuquerque, is the event’s main sponsor. It will be giving away a dog evaluation, which determines a dog’s social needs, and a stay at its doggie daycare. Attendees will take a poll to be eligible for the giveaway.

“We’re going to make a list of items that they would like, information that they would like us to provide to them,” Stephens said. “So are they interested in learning about volunteer opportunities? Are they interested in obedience classes? Are they interested in programming for their schools? So instead of paying for a raffle ticket we’re just doing a really short poll on every ticket.”

The festivities will kick off early with a mural dedication today at noon. The mural was created by students from Garfield and Hayes middle schools. The students will be on hand with their parents and some of their teachers.

“One of our first partnerships here was with Harwood Art Center and they have an art teacher who works with two different middle schools and the Harwood Art program has created us a mural,” Stephens said. “… (We are) really trying to let people know on our community day festival that here’s one of our community partnerships that we’re excited and proud of and to keep an eye out there will be many more to come.”

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