Bobbie Heller, Felines & Friends NM, and Murad Kirdar, Santa Fe Animal Shelter

Air Dates: May 21-23, 2022

 This week's guests on REPORT FROM SANTA FE are Bobbie Heller, Executive Director, Felines and Friends NM, and Murad Kirdar, Public Relations Officer, Santa Fe Animal Shelter discussing rescue and shelter provisions for animals displaced by New Mexico's wildfires.

Heller and Kirdar address the entire evacuation situation - particularly people who are evacuating their animals. They describe the distressed refugee traumatized animals that they are taking in from people who have lost their homes or have been evacuated.

It is important, if you are in the “ready’ mode, to get your animals out ahead of time. The Santa Fe Shelter, and Felines and Friends, are taking in cats and dogs. Santa Fe Cats on Tano Road last week had 26 or 27 cats, plus they took a litter of kittens abandoned when the mother ran away due to smoke.

Heller and Kirdar suggest that all pet owners prepare a grab-and-go bag for each one of their pets containing a recent photo of the animal, food, water, a food dish and a water bowl, an extra collar and leash, medicines if needed, health and vaccination records, a towel, cat litter and a litter pan, favorite toys, and a first-aid kit.

There are also many organizations focused on assisting evacuated large animals and livestock. These include both the Santa Fe and Albuquerque fair grounds, where ranchers and farmers can bring their animals.

One of the biggest challenges is the fact that New Mexico has had multiple fires with evacuations at the same time. Now there are people coming from different areas and they need a place to move with their animals.

At present, the animal rescue situation faces a perfect storm. With the fires going on all around New Mexico, and with kitten and puppy season also in full swing, it is a confluence for shelters and rescues across the state. Santa Fe Animal Shelter has welcomed in animals from Las Vegas, Pecos, and Los Alamos. All of New Mexico's animal welfare groups are working together for the good of the animals.