Our history

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, who works one-on-one with traumatized animals.

We welcome you to visit the 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.