Unprecedented Lifesaving Transformation in Southern U.S. Animal Shelters


April 29, 2019

Contact: Kasey Chayeb
Marketing + Communications Director
[email protected]

Unprecedented Lifesaving Transformation in Southern U.S. Animal Shelters

Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley reached record live release rate in March

LAS CRUCES, NM-- Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley reached a record live release rate of 92.7 percent in March. This is one of several reports of improvements at animal shelters across the Southern United States. The shelter is steadily working on lifesaving operational changes to save the lives of more homeless pets in their community.

As the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley journeys towards No Kill, the Las Cruces community is not alone in the effort to end unnecessary killing in animal shelters. Las Cruces’ neighbor, El Paso, Texas has also made major progress toward No Kill. In March, El Paso Animal Services recently announced its own record, 92.5 percent of the animals entering the shelter, left alive. The progress documented at these animal shelters illustrates an unprecedented transformation in animal sheltering. No Kill is possible, everywhere

“Just within the last year the ASCMV has taken the advice of AmPA! and changed many of our intake protocols,” said Executive Director for Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley Clint Thacker. “This has helped our animals stay healthy. Healthy animals means more rescues will work with us. In 2018, we sent over 3,500 animals out to rescues. That is the highest number of rescues that we have ever done.”

Both shelters were provided support and guidance from American Pets Alive!, the animal welfare group, whose strong belief that any community can become No Kill, is taking shape through success stories like these. American Pets Alive! works with hundreds of shelters across the nation to establish successful life saving animal sheltering practices, through a national conference, Maddie’s Lifesaving Academy and onsite shelter support services.

“We are really excited to see the progress being made at Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley and other shelters in the area,” said American Pets Alive! Executive Director Dr. Ellen Jefferson, DVM. “The American shelter system is broken and animal sheltering is overdue for this transformation. We’ve made it our mission to end unnecessary deaths in shelters and we are so appreciative of the shelters, rescues and advocates working alongside us to make this vision a reality.”

American Pets Alive!’s first onsite support visit to the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley was in August 2018 in response to a distemper outbreak at the shelter, a disease that in most shelters is a death sentence. The American Pets Alive! team worked with the shelter to relocate the exposed dogs and implement lifesaving shelter protocols to prevent future spread of disease and save the lives of the affected dogs. Under the team’s counseling, the shelter was also able to increase rescue group coordination and efforts toward transparency, like daily updates on social media.


American Pets Alive! is a national program dedicated to No Kill advocacy and providing education, mentorship and hands-on support to animal sheltering professionals, volunteers and advocates. Their mission is to urgently save the lives of companion animals from unnecessary deaths in shelters. American Pets Alive! is a program of Austin Pets Alive!, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on helping the healthy and treatable pets at risk of euthanasia at municipal shelters.

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