RIO COMMUNITIES, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a rescue mission one group of women did not give up on. A family of puppies has literally been living underneath a concrete slab.
They’re in an area of New Mexico that doesn’t have animal control, so volunteers have taken it upon themselves to try and save them, and time is running out.
For five days, volunteers with the Spay and Neuter Coalition of New Mexico have been going to a property in Rio Communities.
“I come out here and I sit on that concrete slab, and I wait for them to come out,” said Shelly Anzara, a volunteer with the Spay and Neuter Coalition.
The concrete slab sits in a vacant lot in Rio Communities. It’s been home to at least five puppies, likely five to six weeks old. Every so often, the puppies will come outside.
“We’re happy they’re getting used to our voices and getting used to seeing us so that they can trust people, so eventually we can get our hands on them,” said Anzara.
But that’s been the tough part. The pups haven’t had contact with people, so they tend to run away when someone gets too close.
When one of them made it a good distance from the slab, Anzara and volunteers tried to corner him. The pup made a break for it, and crawled back under the concrete slab.
“We don’t want to scare them so that they don’t learn to trust us,” said Anzara.
One of the biggest concerns if the puppies aren’t caught, is that they’ll reproduce and create an even bigger population of homeless dogs in Valencia County.
Rio Communities doesn’t have an animal control yet, so volunteers have had to step up. They had permission from the realtor to trap the puppies, but it came with a deadline.
“We have until the end of this month to get them out,” said Anzara. Soon, someone new will move onto the property.
Sunday, after hours of waiting and patience, they were able to catch one pup. He was named “Rio,” and was immediately vaccinated and taken to Anzara’s facility, Lazy S Rescue Ranch.
Hours later, the other four were also rescued. The goal is to give the puppies another shot at a better life.
“We do what we can one animal at a time because they’re all worth saving, every single one,” said Anzara.
The Valencia County Animal Shelter has gotten lots of requests from people who want to help. They said what they do need, is more foster families to take in pets from local rescues, and for people to spay and neuter.
Volunteers said the rescued puppies were covered in ticks, but were taken to safety at a local rescue. Volunteers will work to socialize the puppies, and eventually, they will be ready for adoption.