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Las Cruces animal protestors raise shelter concerns at city hall

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico– Las Cruces protestors took to city hall Thursday to express concern for dogs at the Mesilla Valley Animal Services Center.

Protesters said limited public viewing hours for the shelter leave more than 80 percent of the larger dogs unseen, making it harder to adopt them.

ABC-7 spoke with protest organizer and Animal Services Volunteer Harriet Dannhaus, who said the shelter houses over 350 dogs; out of those, over 80% of the dogs are unseen by the public.

Those unseen are medium to large breeds, which get euthanized daily for space, according to Dannhaus.

She said the shelter has only opened up walk-throughs three times per week for four hours at a time, and during that time, the public is only allowed to walk through and see 18 kennels with two dogs each. 

"Well I'm a volunteer from the public, and I can walk into any area that I want to. Why is it different for the public who wants to go and view adoptable dogs?" said Dannhaus.

Animal Services of Mesilla Valley Executive Director Clint Thacker, said that due to construction on the property the usual way to view dogs could not be done because it would lead the public to go through unrestricted areas to see all the larger dogs. 

Thacker said he does not believe the temporary solution will decrease adoption in larger dogs, and the public can still see them if they make an appointment. 

"It's all about change. Without change, we are not going to have the growing pains, so we are having those right now. We will get these animals out and get them adopted as soon as possible," said Thacker.

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Brianna Perez


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