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          Front Page




Animal Shelters are Empty

By Jack King
Journal Staff Writer
    For the first time in their history, the city of Albuquerque's east- and west-side shelters have no animals available for adoption— all found homes at a weekend event.
    More than 500 dogs and cats were adopted at Home 4 the Holidays, held Friday, Saturday and Sunday in a parking lot at Cottonwood Mall, said Mike Davis, communications director of Watermelon Mountain Ranch, a no-kill shelter in Rio Rancho that was one of several sponsors.
    Jeanine Patterson, director of the city's Animal Welfare Department, said her staff brought 221 cats and dogs to Home 4 the Holidays.
    "We brought every available animal to the adoptathon, and all were adopted. We had more people wanting animals than we had animals to adopt. But, we'll have more available soon," she said Sunday afternoon.
    Davis said 516 dogs and cats were adopted during the event, including all 223 from Watermelon Mountain Ranch.
    "I don't know of any adoptathon in the country this year that has had these kinds of numbers," said Lee Di Clemente, co-founder of Watermelon Ranch of Rio Rancho.
    Davis said the key to the event's success was publicity and cooperation between all the agencies involved.
    Also participating were the Animal Humane Association of New Mexico, Rio Rancho Animal Control, McKinley County Animal Rescue and seven other animal welfare agencies and breed-specific rescue groups from around the state.
    The city of Albuquerque recently changed management due to the mayor's insistence that fewer animals be euthanized and more adopted.