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If you have other questions about animals in Bernalillo County, please contact our office at 314-0280.
Animal Care FAQ
Yes. All dogs, cats, and ferrets in New Mexico over 3 months of age are required by state law to be vaccinated against rabies every year.
Yes, if you own a dog, cat, or ferret. You are required to purchase a yearly or three year license for your pet. This is true for all dogs, cats, and ferrets in the county. If you live in the unincorporated areas of the county, you should contact 468-PETS (7387) to purchase a license. County pet license fees are the following: Neutered or spayed dog, cat, or ferret - $10 for one year or $22 for three years. Neutered or spayed dog, cat, or ferret owned by person 62 years or older - $2 for one year or $5 for three years. Unneutered or unspayed dog, cat, or ferret: $20 for one year or $50 for three years. Unneutered or unspayed dog, cat, ferret owned by a person 62 years or older – $4 for one year or $10 for three years. If you live inside the city limits, call 768-1975.
In our area there are different "animal ordinances" that apply to you and your animals, depending on where you live. There are different sets of laws in Albuquerque, Los Ranchos, Tijeras, Corrales, Rio Rancho, and the unincorporated areas of the County. The laws are similar, but you should be aware of what is required in your area. Contact the appropriate Animal Control agency and ask for a copy of your local animal control ordinance. Your local Zoning or Environmental Health laws might also address animals. There are also State and Federal laws that prohibit cruelty to animals, regulate livestock, and require permits and inspections for the breeding, sale, and display of some animals. Bernalillo County's Animal Care Ordinance (Chapter 6) can be found by clicking here.
Wash the wound with soap and water and contact your health care provider as soon as possible. Try to keep track of the animal, but do not try to capture it. Report the bite to our office at 468-PETS (7387). In general, dogs and cats that bite are examined, then quarantined, for 10 days. Wild animals are captured and tested for rabies.
In the unincorporated areas of the county, each household may have up to four total pets (dogs and/or cats), or up to six if all of them are spayed or neutered. Special permits are required if you want to have more dogs or cats, or if you are breeding dogs or cats. For questions, call 468-PETS (7387).
All animals in the unincorporated area of the county must remain secured on the property of their owner, except when they are being walked on a secure leash of not more than six feet. In other words, animals are not allowed to "run at large". This means that citizens are prohibited from allowing their animals to be loose (unrestrained/off leash) on sidewalks, streets, school grounds, parks, sports fields, open space land, forest land, or hiking trails. This is for the safety of others as well as your safety and the safety of your pet. There are several dog parks in Bernalillo County and the City of Albuquerque; click here for more information on county facilities and here for city facilities.
Loose animals can be reported to our office at 468-PETS (7387). Between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. our officers respond to emergencies only. An officer will be dispatched to try to determine to whom the animal belongs and, if possible, we will capture it. Unfortunately, by the time we arrive the animal may be gone. In those instances, we will survey the area and try to contact the owner with a warning. Do NOT make attempts to capture or approach a stray animal.
All animals that are picked up by Animal Care Services Officers in Bernalillo County are taken to one of the two City of Albuquerque Animal Shelters. The East Side Shelter is on Lomas, between Wyoming and Eubank. The West Side Shelter is on Sunset Gardens, off of 114th Street and far west Central. Call 768-1975. Animals that are picked up by citizens can be taken to one of these shelters, or to the Animal Humane Association Shelter at 615 Virginia St. SE. Call 255-5523. It is always best to make a trip to each shelter every day to look for your pet. Only you can positively identify it. You can also check the deceased animal list. Check the newspapers, and consider placing an advertisement for a lost pet. Check with veterinarians in your area and the Emergency Animal Clinic to see if your pet was brought in with an injury. Keep trying. Sometimes animals turn up weeks after they are lost.
The City of Albuquerque shelters have many wonderful animals available for adoption. Make a trip to one of these locations and be prepared to fall in love. Some pet supply stores offer "adoption clinics" where animals from the shelters are brought out to be more accessible to the public. There are also smaller humane organizations that have animals in foster homes that need permanent, loving homes. These groups have regular ads in the newspaper pet listings, as well as web sites that can help you find your next companion animal.
Click here for information and locations of the City of Albuquerque animal shelters.
Eastside Animal Welfare, 8920 Lomas NE, 505-768-1975
Westside Animal Welfare, 11800 Sunset Gardens SW, 505-768-1975
Click here about pet adoption from a City of Albuquerque shelter.