2020 was a record year for animal adoptions; now, as the nation is reopening and many people are returning to work, animal shelters are filling back up, so much so that they can no longer accept owner-surrendered animals.

The East Mountains and Estancia Valley have a few animal shelters and most are at full-capacity currently.

Bernalillo County Animal Control operates a large facility with the capacity to hold approximately 800 animals is at full capacity.

Spokesperson Larry Gallegos said they are experiencing a high volume of dogs and cats coming into the shelter. He said they couldn’t adopt animals fast during the pandemic and animal control was shut down.

Gallegos said they will be returning to regular business hours on July 1 when the state reopens but they still lack volunteer staff.

Some of their overflow was taken on by Moriarty Animal Control recently, which was able to house 30 kittens—and has already adopted out half of them.

At the Bernalillo County Animal Control animal adoptions are paid for by donation. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 12-5 p.m., and the adoption process is by appointment.

Moriarty Animal Control takes on animals from several shelters around the state when they have the space to do so. They are strictly foster-based and are still accepting intake for animals within the Moriarty city limits.

They have approximately 15 kittens left that need to be adopted. They are charging a $20 adoption fee for them right now. “It’s kitten season, when it warms up we can have many litters come in. We usually see an influx in summer,” said Moriarty Animal Control Officer Chelsea Worley.

She said they are seeing less adoptions right now and thinks it has something to do with people returning to work. She said a lot of the local shelters are not able to accept owner surrenders and they are all seeing a higher volume of owner surrendered animals coming in.

Torrance County Animal Services Director Cindi Sullivan said both Animal Humane and rescues in Albuquerque are totally full and are unable to take transfers from them right now.

She said Covid stopped a lot of the regular movement of the animals to various shelters that support each other.

She said their facility is also full and they are not accepting any owner surrendered animals at this time. “It’s not even puppy and kitten season yet and we are full,” she said.

She said she remains in close communication with Animal Humane and other shelters. To adopt a pet through the Torrance County Animal Services, the adoption fee is $100 which includes sterilization, county licensing, the first set of vaccinations, a rabies shot, microchip and de-worming. She said in the next couple of weeks they will need to adopt out cats.

Edgewood Animal Control is at full capacity according to Edgewood Police Chief Darrell Sanchez.

He said they currently have an overflow in dogs. He said they were able to get a lot of pets adopted during Covid but now that people are returning to work, animals are returning to shelters. He said they are not accepting any owner-surrendered animals right now, and are waiving all pet adoption fees until July 12, to help get animals out of the shelter and to make room for others who need to come in.

To adopt a pet, contact Edgewood Animal Control and make an appointment. They are re-opening on July 1 and will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Right now, a dog named Trigger, who is a Blue Heeler and Border Collie mix, has been at the shelter for six months. According to Jeremy Lewis, one of the Animal Control officers, she is a very sweet dog who is about four years old. She was returned to the shelter after not getting along with another dog. She would do best to be an only dog, in a family with no children, Lewis said. To see pictures of Trigger visit Edgewood Animal Control’s Facebook page.

Mountainair Animal Control is also at full capacity and is not accepting any owner-surrendered animals, said Animal Control Officer Steve Bernauer. He said he will continue to turn down surrendered animals until he can get some dogs adopted. To adopt a dog from the Mountainair shelter people can either call 505-705-0099 to make an appointment or they can visit fomus.org to fill out an application and get the process started. They are open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and are by appointment on the weekends.

“Last year, dogs were getting adopted like crazy because of quarantine,” Bernauer said. But in the last several months its been “flat” at the shelter, he said.

Currently Mountainair has a special needs dog who needs a forever home. The dog was found in a hoarder house, and had been stuck in a kennel for 5 years. He is a 5-6 year old Blue Heeler named Paw Paw and he is a timid boy. He gets along well with other dogs, but may not ever be able to be housebroken.