Taking in more than 800 animals every month, the Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley, based in Las Cruces, has the highest intake of animals per capita in the nation.
In a several day period alone in April, the shelter received more than 120 cats due to a hoarding case.
For that reason, officials with the facility, which is funded jointly by the City of Las Cruces and Dona Ana County, have for some time been arguing the case for more shelter space.
Now just such a project may be underway if members of the Las Cruces City Council next month include funding for a new shelter as part of a proposed $35 million general obligation bond.
If first approved by the council, and then by voters in an August election, some $9.8 million would be allotted to construct a new shelter near the intersection of Bataan Memorial Street and Riconada Boulevard.
Along with that new shelter, the $9.8 million would also pay for the renovation of the center’s existing shelter on the same site at 3553 Bataan Memorial.
That one-story facility was built in the early 1980s and, given the large number of animal intakes, is almost always operating at capacity level.
If the council decides to make a new animal facility one of the bond projects, it may well prove popular with voters: an informal survey conducted by the City of Las Cruces indicated that more than 70 percent of respondents wanted to see a new shelter built.
By Garry Boulard
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