Betty Berry, a commissioner with the Animal Services Advisory Commission, asks questions on Tuesday during an emergency meeting at the Farmington Civic Center to discuss animal shelter operations. (Jon Austria The Daily Times)
- Oct 23:
- Farmington Regional Animal Shelter prepares to open next month
- Oct 22:
- City council approves new guidelines for animal shelter
- Farmington announces new executive director of regional animal shelter
- Jul 30:
- Local veterinarians, animal welfare advocates say teamwork a necessity on spay/neuter, animal welfare initiatives
- Jul 28:
- Farmington, San Juan County governments look at spay/neuter initiatives
- Jul 24:
- Farmington Animal Shelter scales back animal control in wake of cat, dog influx
- Jul 23:
- Farmington City Council discusses animal shelter plans, future
- Jul 21:
- Farmington City Council to discuss animal shelter conditions, plan for future
- Jul 11:
- Farmington Animal Shelter at capacity, understaffed as officials search for a humane solution
- Jun 26:
- Animal shelter controversy continues at Farmington City Council amid funding, staffing concerns
- Jun 23:
- Farmington City Council to consider crematory at animal shelter, discuss project progress
- Jun 16:
- Farmington leaders celebrate progress at new animal shelter
- Jun 5:
- San Juan County agrees to pay more for regional animal shelter
- May 29:
- Farmington City Council approves animal shelter consultant
- May 15:
- Farmington Animal Shelter's first adoption special a success
- May 6:
- Farmington Animal Shelter to hold cat, kitten adoption special
- Apr 23:
- Water, electric utility hookups left out of Farmington Animal Shelter budget
- Apr 12:
- Farmington Animal Shelter seeks volunteers and foster homes
- Feb 14:
- San Juan County, city officials and animal rights workers celebrate new animal shelter
- Jan 10:
- Farmington animal shelter presentation receives high praise, funding uncertain
- Jan 7:
- City Council to hear animal shelter improvement suggestions
- Nov 28:
- City Council approves construction on long-anticiapted animal shelter
- Nov 26:
- Farmington council approaches animal shelter decision
- Jul 16:
- Farmington Animal Shelter aims to find balance
- Jul 11:
- New Regional Animal Shelter plans unveiled
- Jul 8:
- Final public meeting for Farmington's animal shelter plans to be held Tuesday
- Jun 8:
- Farmington officials and residents plan new animal shelter
- Apr 4:
- Farmington chooses BDA Architecture for new animal shelter
- Mar 30:
- Farmington Animal Shelter has new, enthusiastic director
FARMINGTON — The past six months of day-to-day operations at the Farmington Animal Shelter have shown the remarkable resolve and dedication of shelter employees.
Faced with rising intake levels, inconsistent leadership and an aging, inadequate facility, officials say the shelter's staff has vastly improved the quality of care animals receive, jump-started the volunteer and foster care programs, and boosted the shelter's live release rate.
The Animal Services Advisory Commission held an emergency meeting Tuesday evening at the Farmington Civic Center. Marcy Eckhardt, animal shelter consultant and acting animal welfare director, highlighted shelter progress
Marcy Eckhardt, animal shelter consultant and acting welfare director, speaks before the city of Farmington's Animal Services Advisory Commission. (Jon Austria The Daily Times)
and showed where the shelter still needs improvement.
"We have a lot more animal carried forward to the next month," Eckhardt said. "Intake is a little lower than last month."
The shelter euthanized 265, or 29 percent, of the animals it took in during June, according to her report.
"That's significantly lower than last year at this time, but still up compared to earlier this year," Eckhardt said.
The shelter's most significant challenge is simply the number of animals coming in, she said. The influx of animals makes for a difficult, high-stress environment.
"It's a tough job," Eckhardt said. "Our day goes backwards like that. You have to find a way to compartmentalize, to have a thick skin."
Cory Styron, the city's director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, applauded the shelter and its staff for their work.
"We put a stake in the ground and did a 180-degree turn in February," he said.
Styron said he is working with city administration and with Eckhardt to revitalize and reorganize the shelter's staff before the move to the new Regional Animal Shelter later this year.
Interviews are expected to begin in the next two weeks for six full-time shelter employees, Styron said. The city is also searching for two part-time employees and one temporary position.
The city has contracted with Strategic Government Resources, a recruitment firm based in Keller, Texas, to complete the search for a new animal shelter director, he said.
"We're building a team, but it's taking time," Eckhardt said. "We have 20 to 40 animals coming in per day. We've improved the quality of care, but what we're dealing with is the nonstop influx. Those unweaned (kittens and puppies) need constant TLC."
Greg Yee covers government for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4606 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him @GYeeDT on Twitter.