I grew up with dogs and cats as family members while being raised in the Nambe Valley. My four sons have also experienced growing up with dogs as family members. Having the opportunity to be a New Mexico State Representative brings a unique opportunity to try and shape animal welfare in the state. As you may know, we do not do so well in this area. This past legislative session, I was successful in drafting and passing HB415, a statewide dog and cat spay/neuter program. This bill was signed into law in April 2015. The fact that 165,000 cats and dogs are euthanized every year in this state means we are getting it wrong and I feel that we can do much better. The statewide spay/neuter program will be running by 2016. In the 2013 Legislative session, I sponsored HB224 (ANIMAL CRUELTY, VETERINARIANS & COUNSELING). I was able to champion this bill in the House of Representatives but it died in the Senate. This bill would have had stiffer penalties for people convicted of animal cruelty and provided counseling for these individuals. This was motivated not only to protect our four legged companions, but also because studies have shown that mistreatment of animals can transfer to acts of violence against humans (mainly domestic violence). I remain committed to working hard on solutions that protect the wellbeing of all New Mexicans, including our dogs and cats. To this end, I humbly ask you to contribute to the wonderful work the Santa Fe Animal Shelter provides to our community.
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