City striving to meet deadline for new state animal law

Chelle Delaney

With a June 19 deadline looming for all animal shelters to use lethal injections to put down animals, Tucumcari is striving to find ways to meet that state requirement.

The city of Tucumcari currently uses a carbon monoxide gas chamber to put down dogs and cats in its pound.

By Friday that process has to be halted or changed, according to the new law.

Clovis, Jal, Lovington and Tucumcari were the only communities in New Mexico to still use gas chambers when Gov. Bill Richardson signed the legislation into law in April.

I n Tucumcari the police department oversees Animal Control which is in charge of disposing animals.

The city has to adapt its facility, or build or buy a new facility, to euthanize animals and have workers and a veterinarian who meet state guidelines to begin using lethal injection, Tucumcari Police Chief Roger Hatcher said Thursday.

In addition to meeting those state requirements, an animal shelter is needed in Tucumcari to help the city cope with its stray dogs and cats, Hatcher said.