52nd legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2016


Idalia Lechuga-Tena









     WHEREAS, every year, approximately seven million six hundred thousand companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide; of those, approximately three million nine hundred thousand are dogs and three million four hundred thousand are cats; and

     WHEREAS, while it is nearly impossible to estimate how many stray cats and dogs live in the United States, estimates for cats alone range as high as seventy million; and

     WHEREAS, the American humane society estimates that over seventy percent of cats in animal shelters are euthanized due to overpopulation; and

     WHEREAS, in San Juan county, more than ten thousand adoptable animals are euthanized in the two local shelters every year; and

     WHEREAS, in 2013, the Dona Ana county-Las Cruces animal shelter euthanized five thousand five hundred animals; and

     WHEREAS, in Carlsbad, more than one-half of the animals in the city's animal shelter had to be euthanized in 2013; and

     WHEREAS, to address companion animal overpopulation, more than one hundred municipalities throughout the United States have banned the sale of cats and dogs by pet stores or limited the sale of cats and dogs to animals that have been rescued; and

     WHEREAS, in 2006, the city of Albuquerque banned the sale of companion animals, including cats and dogs, by pet stores; and

     WHEREAS, prior to Albuquerque instituting the ban, the city was forced to euthanize approximately three hundred unwanted cats and dogs each week; and

     WHEREAS, since Albuquerque instituted its ban, animal adoptions have increased by twenty-three percent and euthanasia at city shelters has decreased by thirty-five percent; and

     WHEREAS, the American society for the prevention of cruelty to animals estimates that more than ten thousand large-scale commercial dog breeding facilities, commonly known as puppy mills, where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs, exist in the United States; and

     WHEREAS, while federal Animal Welfare Act regulations impose minimal standards of care on some large-scale commercial animal breeders, there is a need at the state level to close regulatory loopholes in the act, increase the standards for animal welfare at commercial operations and reduce the number of unwanted puppies and kittens that are bred in the state; and

     WHEREAS, at least twenty-five states have enacted legislation to regulate the commercial breeding of cats and dogs, utilizing varying definitions of a commercial breeder and differing levels of enforcement and penalties;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the superintendent of regulation and licensing be requested to convene a working group of stakeholders to address recommendations for laws, including pet store bans such as the one enacted in Albuquerque and the licensing of commercial animal breeders, to reduce companion animal overpopulation and increase companion animal welfare in the state; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group be composed of the chair of the animal sheltering board, a representative from county and municipal animal shelters, a representative from a nonprofit humane society or animal rescue organization, a representative from an animal advocacy group, a representative of pet store owners, a member of the animal law section of the state bar and one member of the public; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group report its findings and recommendations, including an estimate of the fiscal impacts associated with implementation of such recommendations, to the appropriate interim legislative committee by no later than August 1, 2016; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this memorial be transmitted to the superintendent of regulation and licensing.

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