Animals in need find sanctuary in Santa Fe

SANTA FE (KRQE) – It turns out, New Mexico’s capital is a place a lot of other shelters turn to when they have nowhere else to turn. Lately, lots of pets from across New Mexico and out of state have found sanctuary in Santa Fe.

So many four-legged friends wouldn’t have a leg to stand on if it wasn’t for the Santa Fe Animal Shelter.

“It’s the reason I get up every morning,” explained Ben Swan. Swan, along with other workers and volunteers at the shelter have had their hands full lately, and it’s not because Santa Fe’s been busy.

“We know that a lot of shelters are suffering,” Swan explained. “And those communities that are trying to do the best by their animals and still need help, we’re gonna help out.”

Other shelters deal with overcrowding issues, or can’t take on medical needs. Santa Fe is now a destination for those pets.

“We take really a mixture of animals,” Swan told KRQE News 13.

They’ve recently taken in dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles from southern California, Oklahoma City, Farmington, Hobbs, Espanola, and more.

Last year the Santa Fe Animal Shelter took in about 900 dogs and cats from places across New Mexico and out of state. The shelter is set to top that this year.

Even though they’ve taken in about 200 animals just in the last two months, the shelter still has room for more.

“We moved to a bigger facility, we’ve got a bigger donation base,” Swan explained.

Despite the intake increase, Swan said adoption rates are high, and it’s not only locals who are adopting.

“We had one woman come in from Alaska,” Swan recalled. “She followed us on Facebook, she saw this dog that she really loved, she came and got it.”

Each animal has their own story. but if they make it to Santa Fe, chances are they’ll have a happy ending.

The shelter recently received a grant to buy a transfer van. Volunteers will make the drive to surrounding states, or meet California shelter workers in Phoenix.

Swan said the Santa Fe Animal Shelter has a 95 percent success rate for animals that come through there. They expect to take in at least 20-30 percent more pets this year overall. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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