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City website now pinpoints stray animal calls


Lost a cat? Found a dog? Stray ferret frolicking about your garden?

The City of Las Cruces has added a new map to its website that shows areas within the city where companion animals have been reported as strays.

Clint Thacker, executive director of the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley (ASCMV) said the idea to create the map came from city Animal-Control Supervisor Ernesto ‘Gino’ Jimenez. He presented the concept at an ASCMV board meeting, and Assistant City Manager David Dollahon gave it the green light to go live.

“It’s a good resource to show stray issue locations. However, this is complaint driven. The only time a dot will show-up is if a person calls and has an animal for pick up,” Thacker said. “There are times when a person will pick up a stray dog, drive to their house miles away and then call Animal Control for pick up.”

Thacker said he believes some area will get more calls than others based on individuals who are more prone to report strays.

“The map does not show all stray animals, just ones reported.  If someone doesn’t like dogs and calls on every stray they see, that area will have more [dots on the map] than others. It all depends on the callers.”

A city press release indicates the map can be accessed on the city’s home page (www.las-cruces.org) by utilizing the search box in the upper right corner and typing “stray map.”

While the map is the latest weapon in the area’s arsenal of companion-pet reunion methods, Thacker said things overall at the ASCMV are “going well.”

“Our population this time of year usually hovers around the 700 number, but is currently in the 200s,” he said. “The pandemic has been hard on our services. Surgeries were canceled for a while, but now started again on a very limited basis. Volunteers are back up and going on a limited basis.  The new ASCMV Stray/adoption center is continuing to go forward. 90 percent construction blueprints were turned in last week. They hope to have the building completed by December 2021.”

He said that while the pandemic has changed operations, the ASCMV team has risen to the occasion.

“They have to deal with a lot of daily changes as we have moved through the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “Many animal centers across the nation have closed. We have been able to stay open and keep animals moving through the center via adoptions, rescue and fostering.”

To see what services the ASCMV is providing, Thacker recommends visiting the website www.ascmv.org.