Letter to the Editor: Animal Overpopulation in Las Cruces

Dear Round Up Editor:

Last semester I was floored when one of my grad student colleagues (a local, even) said she was unaware of the enormous animal overpopulation problem in Las Cruces and Doña Ana County.

If she didn’t know, I have to believe that most students don’t know the seriousness of the issue.

The Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley (ASCMV) is our county’s animal shelter. It is an extremely high-intake shelter that houses approximately 500 cats and dogs on any given day. These animals are brought in as strays by City and County Animal Control and members of the public. Sometimes members of the public relinquish their unwanted animals to the ASCMV as well – which, by the way, should be the very last resort.

Elaine Simon

Every year, between 9,000 and 10,000 animals are brought to the ASCMV. Every. Single. Year. For perspective, according to the NMSU Fall 2021 Factbook, there were 11,228 enrolled undergraduates on the main campus.

The ASCMV adopts animals out at the Center and at off-site events, and we transfer thousands of animals to local and out-of-state nonprofit rescues in places where they don’t have enough. But we can’t adopt or transfer our way out of the problem. It is far too big. The only answer is to stop more animals from being born.

If you get the urge to breed your pet, I invite you to first come up and see all the beautiful, perfect, and unwanted kittens, puppies, cats, and dogs awaiting a forever home at the ASCMV . . . but have no place to go.


Elaine Simon

Sterilize (spay or neuter) your pets. It’s healthier for them, better for you, and better for our community.

If you would like the ASCMV executive director to speak to your student group or if you are interested in volunteering at the ASCMV, please reach out to me at [email protected].


Elaine Stachera Simon

(Comm Studies)

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