P.O. Box 51602
Albuquerque, NM 87181-1602

Welcome To
Justice for Animals

Marcy Britton
(505) 292-1472

It is exciting to announce a new organization designed to help us all fight animal abuse in New Mexico communities. If you have ever reported animal abuse, or have worked to have cruelty charges prosecuted, you already know it can be a frustrating process. When police officers, animal control agents, livestock inspectors and/or sheriff's deputies are called to investigate, they often fail to enforce the animal protection laws. In most cases, animals are not removed from inhumane living conditions, nor are they given needed care. Owners are rarely cited or charged with cruelty. All too often, enforcement personnel leave the scene without taking appropriate action.

Even more difficult to prosecute, is animal cruelty committed by the very people entrusted to care for unwanted, abused or neglected animals--employees of municipal animal control agencies. In 1998, Marcy Britton, President of Justice for Animals, filed a landmark lawsuit against Albuquerque Animal Services for cruel euthanasia and animal handling practices. According to Dr. Gary Patronek, Chair of the Department of Public Policy at the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, the cruelty at Albuquerque Animal Services was the worst cruelty ever reported at a municipal shelter.

After winning the Albuquerque case, Marcy Britton began work to stop similar cruelty at Valencia County Animal Control, Torrance County Animal Control and Aztec Animal Control. Grand jury investigations are pending in the Valencia and Torrance cases. Aztec resolved the issues by firing the two cruel kennel workers and hiring compassionate, experienced vet techs for euthanasia.

We have found that many shelters are poorly constructed, under funded and are managed by unqualified workers. Some counties do not even have animal shelters. Aside from the obvious lack of state funding to provide adequate animal control, many of these problems stem from two causes. First, our state lacks mandatory standards for the construction and/or operation of animal shelters. Secondly, there is no state authority to oversee shelters, operations and most importantly, euthanasia. Without standards and government oversight, many public shelters simply fail to provide basic care and humane euthanasia for their impounded animals. On June 6, 2003, Marcy Britton will be addressing the New Mexico Board of Veterinary Medicine about the urgent need for a state euthanasia panel to oversee municipal shelters.

We received our tax-exempt 501.c.3 approval on September 5, 2003. If you know of any animal cruelty or neglect situations or any cruelty at a municipal or private shelter, please contact us at (505) 292-1472.

501© (3) tax-exempt organization 1998 - 2003 © Marcy Britton