AZTEC — The advent of winter has brought chilly conditions to the furry residents of the Aztec Animal Shelter, and city officials are asking for the community's help with keeping them warm.

The shelter is running low on animal bedding, and is seeking donations of blankets, sheets, towels, and any other items that can be used to line the cages and keep the animals warm during the winter months.

Shelter Director Tina Roper said the bedding is washed and recycled as much as possible, but the shelter nonetheless goes through bedding at a rapid pace.

"The animals chew on the bedding and the puppies play tug-of-war with it, so it gets tattered and torn and has to be replaced," she said.

The shelter building, which houses an average of 80 dogs and 40 cats, is heated, but because the concrete floors are connected to the outside concrete areas, the cold seeps in, meaning chilly nights for the animals.

Roper said the Aztec shelter is often referred to as being a "no-kill" facility, but it's actually more of an extended-stay shelter.

"We work with rescue groups from all around the country, and we try really hard to get the animals adopted out. Unfortunately, we do have to euthanize animals sometimes, especially if they are unadoptable and have temperament issues," she said.

Chris Duthie, supervisor of advertising and marketing for the city, sent out the call for bedding help earlier in the week.


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"Whatever people aren't using, we'd love it if they'd bring it on over," said Duthie. "The cold can be particularly hard on the puppies."

Donations can be dropped off at the shelter, located at 825 Sabena Street. The shelter is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. After-hour visitors can ring the bell, or can leave items in front of the door. Items can also be dropped off at Aztec City Hall, 201 W. Chaco. Contact Roper at 505-334-7678 for more information.