Animal task force plans recommendations

CNJ Staff Photo: Tony Bullocks Clovis Animal Control supervisor Louisa Maestas comforts a Chihuahua that was turned into the shelter.

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Members of the Clovis animal control task force discussed how to present their recommendations regarding the city’s animal regulations during the Nov. 20 city commission meeting.

The nine-member task force came up with recommendations during its Sept. 10 meeting that included implementing a pet-licensing program, spay and neutering requirements and changing the city’s method of euthanasia to lethal injection.

Task force chair Linda Cross said passing the recommendation to switch the city’s method of euthanasia from carbon monoxide poisoning would put the city in a position to take advantage of funds that will help the transition.

She said Governor Richardson has agreed to give Clovis $100,000 over two years if the city switches to lethal injection. Animal Protection of New Mexico has also offered to supply the medication, training and equipment for free for one year.

Task force member Chase Gentry will present to the city commission a recommendation to implement a pet registration program. The revenue generated from the proposed $5 and $10 licensing fees would help fund the animal shelter’s transition as well, he said.

Other suggestions included ordinances requiring rabies vaccinations and licenses.

City Commissioner Robert Sandoval was concerned the city, which has three animal control officers, will not be able to enforce animal control ordinances.

“I am not going to help pass an ordinance that we can’t enforce,” he said.

Cross said she anticipates the state to mandate switching to lethal injection by January.

Legislative and Community Development Director Claire Burroughes said the New Mexico Animal Sheltering Services Board will have a hearing on Friday to decide on mandating lethal injection. A series of public hearing will be scheduled after the decision, she said.

Burroughes said Clovis is among four communities in the state that still use a gas chamber as its method of euthanasia.