The Santa Fe Animal Shelter is the largest animal shelter and care facility in northern New Mexico. We serve more than 5,500 lost, stray, abandoned or injured animals and offer services to more than 20,000 companion animals and their guardians each year. As a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, we receive nearly all of our funding through private donors in our community and beyond. The Shelter contracts with the City and County of Santa Fe to care for homeless and stray animals, but also serves every animal brought through our front doors from any other source. We work to reunite people with their lost animal companions, and re-home those animals that have gone unclaimed into new homes through our adoption program. Low- and no-cost spay/neuter programs address the overpopulation problems that our community faces. Humane education programs in our local schools teach children to respect and care for all living creatures. Partnered with our community, we work for change in the lives of our companion animals and to end the suffering of all animals.
A Brief History
On July 18, 2005, the Santa Fe Animal Shelter left its home of 66 years—the only home the organization had ever known—and moved to our new, two-building, 100-acre campus. We left a structure that had helped us serve thousands upon thousands of animals for the better part of seven decades. And while that home held so much history and love, the needs of our community meant we needed more. Thanks to a partnership with the City of Santa Fe and the Bureau of Land management, we moved to a parcel of land with hiking trails, room to walk dogs, and amazing sunsets. After a multi-year fundraising drive, the first phase was completed: two beautiful new buildings in which we can provide a higher level of care to the animals in our community. The Lapides Adoption Center serves healthy, adoptable animals. Every detail of the new Shelter is designed for the comfort and health of the animals. From the tiled banco in each dog kennel to the spacious, cozy, cat colony rooms; from the radiant floor heating for our four-footed visitors to “cuddle” rooms where potential adopters can visit with an animal in an area designed to simulate a home environment. The second building, the Robin Sommers Animal Admissions & Care Center, allows us much more room to house stray and abandoned animals as we care for them during their stay with us. High-tech ventilation systems allow us to better control the spread of contagious diseases and to safely treat the animals in our care much more effectively. A third building, The Clare Eddy Thaw Hospital, was completed in the summer of 2013 and proudly opened to further serve the needs of the community. The Roddey Burdine Rehabilitation Center opened in May 2015 and is the proud home of our Behavior team, and works one-on-one with traumatized animals. We welcome you to visit the this haven we are providing to the animals of our community. Two five-acre dog parks are available so that the Shelter will not just be a place to adopt an animal or find a missing one, but one to visit over and over again. We have built this Shelter for you, our community, to use as a resource and a place to find joy with the animals. The staff of the Santa Fe Animal Shelter brings years of collective experience in animal welfare and related fields to the Shelter.
About the ‘humane society’ in our name
Many animal rescue organizations have ‘Humane Society’ or ‘SPCA’ (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in their names. These are descriptive words, much like the word ‘bank’ in US Bank and Bank of America. These organizations are not affiliated with, nor are they a ‘branch’ of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
The HSUS is located in Gaithersburg, MD and Washington, D.C. It does not operate any animal shelter facilities of any kind. Its mission is primarily education, awareness and political action on a national level. It does provide support through grants, training of animal care personnel, standards of care, and evaluation services. It is a nonprofit organization, but they do not supply any kind of financial support to any local humane society, including the Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society.
The ASPCA is located in New York City. It operates a shelter and clinic that serves that city, and spearheads educational efforts across the United States. The ASPCA does provide funds to certain selected animal welfare organizations as part of programs such as the Community Partners Program.
The Shelter’s “No-Kill Ethic”
The Santa Fe Animal Shelter is an open-admission shelter, which means we accept all companion animals that come through our doors.
A “no-kill” shelter is an animal shelter that does not euthanize animals who can be adopted or when the shelter is full, reserving euthanasia for animals who are terminally ill or considered dangerous. The Santa Fe Animal Shelter meets this definition of “no kill,” however, we do not call ourselves “no kill” because doing so would give a false message to the public. We believe it is important to have the opportunity to openly discuss why it is sometimes necessary to euthanize animals who are not suitable candidates for adoption.
We follow a “no-kill ethics.” We do not euthanize animals for reasons of space. Incoming animals are scheduled by appointment. If space is not available at our shelter, we will delay intake of animals until space becomes available. There are no time limits for animals at our shelter. Animals remain available for adoption as long as they remain physically and mentally healthy, and of sound temperament.
Board of Directors The Santa Fe Animal Shelter is governed by a Board of Directors, each of whom brings a deep commitment to the animals and people of our community. To contact our Board of Directors, please email email@example.com.
|Roddey Burdine, President
Jan Ballew, Vice President
Bill Synnamon, Treasurer
Robert Basler, Secretary
Dr. Jennifer Steketee, Executive Director
|Michele Cook, Director
Mary Kehoe, Director
Allene Lapides, Director
Caren Shiozaki, Director
Bill Thornton, Director
Carl Trujillo, Director
Meet the Santa Fe Animal Shelter Staff
Dr. Jennifer Steketee, Executive Director | Born and raised in Oregon, Dr. Steketee attended vet school in Oregon and Washington state. As director, she brings us a wealth of knowledge in many areas of animal sheltering so that our animal population receives the highest level of care possible. When she’s not busy with her life-saving work at the shelter, she’s mountain biking, hiking and skiing. Contact: 505-983-4309 x1201 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Parker, Director of Finances| Laura grew in the Midwest, attended college at Oklahoma State and earned her Master’s of Business Administration at The University of New Mexico. She has lived in New Mexico for 30 years and has been doing income taxes in public accounting since 1994. She served as Treasurer on the Board of Directors from 2007 to 2016. She has two Shelter cats, Marshall and Oscar and may be looking for the perfect dog to join her group. When not working, she enjoys quilting, college football and traveling. Contact: 505-983-4309 x1220 Email: email@example.com
Dr. Sara Lewis, Medical Director| Born and raised in Minnesota, Sara has lived all over the country. After a career in Fine Arts, Sara was inspired to give back and began as a volunteer at the Shelter. She was hired at the clinic, where she fell in love with the shelter environment and thus began her love affair with veterinary medicine and, in particular, shelter medicine. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University and decided to return to the place that inspired it all – the Santa Fe Animal Shelter. When she’s not busy in the clinic, Sara enjoys hiking, snowboarding, travel and making art. Contact: 505-983-4309 x1370. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monica Gonzalez, Receiving & Licensing Director| Shortly after completing a degree in Criminal Justice, Monica realized she preferred to work with animals. She now manages the Admissions department and licensing programs. Monica and her team work endlessly to reunite lost pets with their owners. She says experiencing that moment when a family is reunited with their lost pet keeps her coming to work every day. Monica enjoys a good boxing match, football and cooking. Contact: 505-983-4309 x1200 Email: email@example.com
Dylan Moore, Director of Adoptions | Born in Missouri, Dylan has lived throughout the East Coast. With a degree in psychology, he spent 14 years doing social work. Dylan now oversees our Adoptions building and staff, ensuring we make the best matches possible. His favorite time of year is hockey season, and when he’s not at the Shelter, he’s hanging with his adorable young son. Contact: 505-983-4309 x1240 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gabrielle Amster, Director of Development | With a degree in Communication & Journalism at UNM, Gabrielle launched her career in fundraising at The United Way and University of Virginia. Recently, she served as the director of development & marketing for Animal Trustees of Austin and as a community initiatives director for the ASPCA. Gabrielle feels blessed to rejoin the amazing SFAS team. Gabrielle focuses on all aspects of development that support and advance Shelter programs. Contact: 505-983-4309 x1232 Email: email@example.com
Emily Burlingame, Co-Director of Behavior & Training | Emily is a Companion Animal Behavior & Training Specialist with more than 15 years of professional experience working with and training a variety of animals. Before moving to Santa Fe, Emily worked as a trainer and operations supervisor for a private daycare and training center in California’s Silicon Valley, as well as many other animal-related jobs there. She is a graduate of the University of California Davis with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and an emphasis in Animal Behavior where she studied under the renowned Veterinary Behaviorist Dr. Sophia Yin. Emily has been Certified Professional Dog Trainer for over 12 years, is a Professional Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, a Certified CGC Evaluator, contributing writer to Bay Woof magazine, and attends training and behavior conferences regularly across the country. When she is not at work, she likes to spend time hiking on mountain trails with her retriever-husky mixed breed Zuni and her German Shepherd mix Kona. Contact 505-983-4309 x1153 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brittany Linkenheimer, Co-Director of Behavior & Training | Raised outside the Philadelphia area, Brittany has lived all over the country and even received her undergraduate degree right here in New Mexico! After spending 10 years in customer service and sales, she decided to switch gears and follow her passion for animals. She received her Canine Training and Behavior Specialist certification from Starmark Academy located outside Austin, Texas, and also received her KPA-CT certification from Karen Pryor Academy. With Brittany’s diverse experience with animal training coupled with her customer service background she brings a unique perspective to both our animals and our staff. If Brittany isn’t at the shelter you can find her skiing, hiking, or enjoying a cold beer at one of the local breweries. Contact 505-983-4309 x1153 Email: email@example.com
Solange Del Arco, Director of Public Clinics | Born in Uruguay but raised in New York City, Solange settled in Los Angeles after completing a degree in Biology from UCLA. She found her passion for veterinary medicine because of her beloved cat Simba. As Director of Public Clinics for the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, Solange’s many years of veterinary experience are perfectly suited to ensure every pet guardian in Northern New Mexico has access to quality affordable veterinary care for their beloved furry friends. Contact: 505-983-4309 x1330 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Rick Snook, Shelter Veterinarian | Born and raised in Colorado, Dr. Snook received his B.S. and DVM from Colorado State University. He soon developed a strong interest in surgery, and has since focused on orthopedic and soft tissue surgery. After 19 years in private practice, our animals are lucky to have him on our staff full-time. Contact 505-983-4309 x1370 Email: email@example.com
Dr. J. Tod Obergfell, Spay/Neuter Clinic Veterinarian | Dr. Obergfell was born and raised in Western Colorado. After graduating from Colorado State University, he worked in private practice in Denver until 1995. The serene landscape of Santa Fe lured him in, allowing the Santa Fe Animal Shelter to gain another skilled and passionate veterinarian. Tod is now our veterinarian at our south-side clinic, performing quality spay/neuter and vaccinations for our community at an affordable price. Contact: 505-474-6422 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne Stein, Lead Shelter Technician | Born and raised on the outskirts of Chicago, Anne has always been passionate about animal welfare and obtained a degree in veterinary technology in Illinois. She has a soft spot for senior animals and has a long foster history to reflect this. After a short hiatus in Utah, Anne found her way back to the Shelter. She is excited to be here and ready to jump in and use her nursing skills to help any sick or injured animal that may come through our doors. While not at work, Anne enjoys hiking, travel and baseball (go White Sox!). Reach her at email@example.com.
Ben Swan, Public Information Officer | An award-winning journalist in Alaska, Oregon, Washington and New Mexico for many years, Ben delved into animal sheltering after creating an animal-related section for Santa Fe’s daily newspaper, The New Mexican, and a companion website, Scoop. As public information officer, he is responsible for media and community relations for the shelter. In his spare time, he and his husband, Ricky, take care of a menagerie of rescued dogs and birds. Contact: 505-983-4309 x1139 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Herrera, Facilities Manager | Hailing from Taos, Steve has lived all over the world during his days in the military. With years of facilities management under his belt, Steve is one of the most seasoned maintenance supervisors around. He now keeps our facility in top-top shape at all times. But Steve says the favorite part of his day is being able to greet all of the animals when he first arrives at work. Contact: 505-983-4309 x1260 Email: email@example.com.
Chelsea Gregg, New Hope Coordinator | Chelsea grew up in Colorado but spent several years living in sunny Hawaii, where she worked for the Girl Scouts of Hawaii as the after-school program leader. She’s also spent a good amount of time volunteering at the Hawaiian animal shelter, so when life brought her to Santa Fe, applying for a job with us was a no-brainer. She now oversees our foster program and works with other shelters and rescues to transfer animals in and out. Contact: 505-983-4309 x1270 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Devin White, Volunteer Coordinator/Critter Camp Director | A born and raised a Midwesterner, Devin received his Interpersonal Communication degree from Kent State before making his way out West. Since graduating, Devin spent over four years training and recruiting volunteers to teach at after school programs. Devin makes sure our volunteer program runs like a well-oiled machine, and also runs our Critter Camp program, teaching children the importance of humane education. Contact: 505-983-4309 x1128 Email: email@example.com
Melissa Marquez, Graphic Designer | A native of New Mexico, Melissa graduated with a degree in Media Arts from New Mexico Highlands University. She is now our go-to-gal for any designs needed for print or web materials and works closely with our development team to brainstorm ideas and implement them into designs. Her favorite part of the job is knowing that all of our efforts go towards saving as many lives as possible. Contact: 505-983-4309 x1282 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Alexander, Humane Education Coordinator | Hailing from Texas, Tom graduated from Texas A&M and spent his business career in Philadelphia. In 2000, he retired to gorgeous Santa Fe. As the Humane Education Coordinator for the shelter, Tom works hard to educate young people in our community. He knows that if spay/neuter efforts are going to grow if animal abuse and neglect is going to be reduced, it has to begin in the hearts and minds of New Mexico’s young people. Contact: 505-988-8980 Email: email@example.com
Sue Burnham, Pet Outreach Coordinator | A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Sue has been volunteering with our Pet Outreach program since 2002. Sue now leads the program, working to establish and promote therapy dog programs across our community. Helping kids to read, spending time with the elderly, and visiting folks in the hospital are just a few things that make Sue’s job a rewarding one. She loves making Santa Fe a better place for folks who need an extra smile in their day. Contact: 505-820-9955