About 60 people showed up today to mark the one-year anniversary of the newly expanded Kitty Condo at the Doña Ana County Government Center.
A plaque was unveiled to recognize the program and the efforts to pay for the new enclosure without using taxpayer monies. Doña Ana County Commission Chairwoman Karen G. Perez and Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley Director Dr. Beth Vesco-Mock spoke at the event, as did Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley Board Chairman and Las Cruces City Councilor Nathan Small. Las Cruces artist John Pittari, who donated an original oil painting that now hangs adjacent to the Kitty Condo, was recognized, as was condo builder Ben Hutchison.
The original Kitty Condo was located just below the north staircase in the Doña Ana County Government Center main lobby. A new and significantly larger enclosure – complete with a chair where potential adopters can interact with the kittens – was installed in April of this year.
Employees of both Doña Ana County and the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office, as well as members of the public, donated to a series of small fundraisers during four months beginning in December of last year. A total of $2,000 was raised to pay for the new enclosure and buy furnishings for the kittens. No taxpayer funds were used in the project.
Since adoptions began from the Doña Ana County Government Center on May 22, 2012, there have been 29 kittens placed into forever homes. Adoptees pay for the adoptions at the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley prior to taking their new kitten(s) home. At the time of payment, arrangements are made for the cats to continue their vaccination regimen and to be sterilized and microchipped.
An informal Kitty Condo Committee keeps the kittens fed, watered and socialized. The committee members also tend to the daily litter-box maintenance.
Front desk receptionist Rebecca Garcia handles all adoption paperwork, and she also works with individual employees who want to take the kittens to their offices during the workday or home on weekends and holidays.
The other committee members are Karen Archuleta, Liza Burke and Angela Roberson, with support from Special Projects Director Jess Williams and many other county and district attorney employees.