Police department looking at shelter policy

Kevin Wilson

The Clovis Police Department is still in the process of looking at policy following news rescue groups had taken a small percentage of animals from the Clovis shelter and signed them in as stray pets at shelters in Albuquerque.

Police Chief Steve Sanders said any policy change is solely at his discretion, but he hasn’t yet made a decision on what to do.

The Clovis Police Department has oversight of the Animal Control Department and the city shelter.

Jacque Wuest, who heads the rescue committee of the city’s animal task force, said volunteers give animals second chances at pet sanctuaries around the state, using significant amounts of personal time and money, and 12 of 240 animals taken from the Clovis shelter “slipped through the cracks” and ended up in Albuquerque shelters.

Albuquerque city officials said they didn’t want strays from other communities because it guarantees an animal is killed at city expense.

Barbara Bruin, the city’s animal welfare director, said she will start billing other jurisdictions when their animals are dropped off at Albuquerque animal shelters.

The shelters will continue to accept animals from Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, which pays the city for the service.

Sanders said nobody from Albuqerque has been in contact with him about the issue.

City Manager Joe Thomas stressed that city officials were unaware of the rescue group’s actions, and that he expects the matter will be addressed through CPD policy changes. But if the city were to receive a bill, he would first go to the rescue group before bringing it to the city commission for any decision on payment.