Friends of the Shelter helps reduce pet overpopulation on Navajo tribal lands

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By Special to the Monitor

Friends of the Shelter (FOS) is a small but dedicated animal rescue group that has saved the lives of homeless pets for more than 10 years.

Besides working to find loving homes for lost and abandoned cats and dogs, FOS provides funds to pay for neutering rescued animals and pets of low-income owners.  Annually, it provides a grant to the Española Valley Humane Society for their special spay/neuter weeks, when they perform dozens of surgeries at no cost to the owner.  

Reducing the number of unwanted kittens and puppies born each year is the key to reducing pet overpopulation and ending the deaths of thousands of healthy, adoptable dogs and cats in New Mexico shelters each year.  

Friends of the Shelter has recently partnered with McKinley County Humane Society (MCHS) and the Cedar Animal Medical Center (CAMC) in Gallup to launch a spay/neuter program for the Navajo community.  

Sena Fitzpatrick and Brooke Garcia with MCHS makes contact with the pet owners, talks to them about the benefits of neutering their animals and transports the pets to and from CAMC.  CAMC performs the surgeries at a reduced cost and Friends of the Shelter foots the bill.

Martha Garcia, a tribal official in the Ramah Navajo community, strongly supports the project.

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