Our Support Service programs aim to support our community and keep pets in their homes.  We also provide TNR services for free-roaming cats and barn cat placement for under-socialized cats.

The Santa Fe Animal Shelter works hard to keep families and their pets together!

Are you experiencing an issue with your family pet? Let’s talk!
Here are some ways we can help:

Protection for your pets – Free dog houses (if available), call 505.983.4309 X1606.     Straw is also available for insulation.
• Low-cost to free spay/neuter surgery and vaccines, call 505.474.6422.
Pet Pantry  – Free pet food provided for a limited time, call 505.983.4309 X1606.

Gatos de Santa Fe: TNR of free-living cats

*** Due to COVID, a lack of staff, and the shelter being at full capacity, some aspects of the Gatos program are currently limited.  Please call or email to get the most up to date information. ***

Trapping and sterilizing feral and free-living cats is referred to as TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return), and it provides a humane, non-lethal solution. The TNR approach sterilizes cats and then returns them to the location where they were trapped, proven to be the most effective method to reduce population numbers over time. Our TNR program provides:

• free spaying/neutering for trapped cats, a rabies vaccination, and a tip on the left ear
• information and tools to help keep unwanted cats away from your home and property
trap rentals so you can trap the feral cats in your area and bring them in for spay/neuter
 assistance in trapping large colonies (4+ cats)

Feral cats, also known as community cats, are a part of our urban landscape.
It is our belief, and the purpose of this program, that the number of community cats must be controlled. However, we know that catching and removing the cats from their habitat does NOT control the populations long-term, but sterilizing the cats WILL, ultimately, reduce the number of community cats in Santa Fe.  Most of the behaviors that lead to complaints are because of uncontrolled breeding and the behaviors associated with intact cats

We’re partnering with the Melville Hankins Family Foundation to provide free spay/neuter for all feral cats altered through our TNR program.

The Gatos de Santa Fe team can come to your area to assist in the trapping of Community Cats if there are 4 or more cats living in the colony.  To obtain information about whether the community cats in your area qualify for trapping through the Gatos de Santa Fe program, please contact  gatos@sfhumanesociety.org, or 505.474.0843.

Example of a left ear-tip on a feral cat.  This means the cat is spay/neutered, vaccinated, and part of a colony. (See photo, left)

Resources for trapping cats:
Trapping Guidelines
Safe Transporting of Community Cats
Safe holding areas before and after surgery
Post-Surgery Checklist and Reminders


Barn Cat Program

The Santa Fe Animal Shelter occasionally has cats that don’t qualify as adoption candidates but still need dependable care. Barn living is the perfect scenario for feral and semi-feral cats that thrive in an outdoor setting but need the same basic care as a house cat.

Interested parties should understand there are some basic care/housing guidelines they must agree to before obtaining a barn cat from the shelter:

• The cat must be enclosed in an outbuilding or barn for 2-3 weeks while they adjust to their new surroundings.
• They must have access to clean water and be fed on a daily basis.
• They must have a permanent shelter from the elements.
• Give the cat space while he or she becomes comfortable in their new home.
• A litter box should be provided for the cat during the adjustment period.

Although we occasionally have non-feral cats in our barn cat program, most are categorized as feral or semi-feral. This means the cat will most likely want nothing to do with humans, will never be handled, and may appear to be aggressive. These cats have been known to become more socialized/tame, but it should not be expected.

For more information about our Barn Cat program please contact our Admissions desk at 505.983.4309 X1606.