Thank You For Keeping Rio Ranchoís Animals In The Spotlight This Year
Let’s keep pushing for them as the effort continues in 2013!
As the year comes to a close, we want to say thank you to the hundreds of people who, over the past few months, stood up for animals in Rio Rancho as a fierce debate ensued about the city’s animal ordinance. Thank you to everyone who signed our petition, made telephone calls, met with elected officials, wrote letters and organized their own protests and community events. The residents of Rio Rancho, who did all these things and more, deserve our special recognition for their efforts on behalf of animals in their community!
Following months of public debate, the Rio Rancho City Council in early December enacted a weakened version of its former landmark humane animal ordinance. The city’s new law includes controversial amendments put forth by Councilors Chuck Wilkins, Mark Scott, Timothy Crum and Lonnie Clayton. Councilors Patricia Thomas and Tamara Gutierrez consistently voted against the changes – our hats off to them for their steadfast support of compassionate laws that do not put profit above public safety and the humane treatment of animals.
As amended, the ordinance once again allows the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores, as the council lifted a ban enacted only last year, which was set to take effect in 2015.
The revised ordinance also lost the very provisions that kept the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus from performing in Rio Rancho earlier this year due to the circus’s recent, documented record of cruelty and neglect.
Finally, a cost-saving proposal by Mayor Thomas Swisstack to include dogs in the city’s spay and neuter requirements met with defeat, as the council majority inexplicably deemed it unenforceable.
We know our work in Rio Rancho is not finished. There, as in other cities and counties across New Mexico, we will continue to advocate for creating and keeping strong laws that protect animals and people. We are grateful to know we can count on all members of the humane community in New Mexico (and beyond!) to lend their voice and their support when and where it is needed most. Thank you again.
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