VCSO thanks sponsors


The Valencia County Senior Olympic Board would, once again, like to thank the following sponsors for their gracious support:

Mathews Meat Processing, Niners Land Leveling, Spencer’s Enterprises, Jaramillo Vineyards, Noblin Funeral Services, Joe’s Pharmacy, Rio Grande Landscapes, State Employees Credit Union, Yucca Veterinary, Doris Niner, and a special thank you to RAKS Building Supply and Jubilee Los Lunas.

The Valencia Senior Olympics would like to encourage everyone 50 and older to join us in our fun and challenging program. This year, our program will be introducing new events and activities such as line dancing, bocce ball, cornhole, turkey bingo and much more. Our program promotes physical, mental and social well-being.

We invite you to be part of our senior program or become a sponsor for VCSO.

“You don’t stop playing, because you grow old ... you grow old, because you stop playing!”

Please visit us at or by calling 352-7661

Yvonne Montoya

President, Valencia County Senior Olympic Board

Finally, a solution in Valencia County


Over the 15 years that I have lived in Valencia County, I see so much positive change. N.M. 314 looks so nice with all of the improvements, the economic development on N.M. 6 offers so many opportunities for industry, retail and eating.

And soon, even the traffic congestion will be alleviated. All welcome additions while leaving the rural beauty of the county undiminished.

Many of us who concern ourselves with the pet population of our county may not be aware that our animal shelter has also had slow but steady change, all for the better, over that past 15 years. And soon, we can expect enormous change with the equipping and staffing of the shelter spay-neuter clinic.

The fruition of this dream, free- or low-cost spay-neuter, available to all dog and cat owners in Valencia County, has been in the works since former shelter director, Erik Tanner, began the process of making it happen with the help of former Sen. Michael Sanchez. And now, with shelter director Jess Weston and the combined allocation of funds from our Sen. Greg Baca and Reps. Alonzo Baldonado and Kelly Fajardo the dream will become reality.

These local legislators pooled their legislative appropriations to provide more than $300,000 for the set-up, equipment and staffing to operate the clinic for the first year, followed by proposed recurring grants of $200,000 for continual clinic operation costs.

According to Jess Weston, in order to get a hold of our intake and abandonment problem throughout the county, the first year of clinic operation, free pet spay and neuter will be available to all county residents. After this “big sweep” the plan is to go to an income-based program. Weston believes that once the clinic is running, our pet adoption fee can be reduced and our intake will decrease.

Valencia County is a great example of slow, steady, cooperative progress with our animal control and animal shelter. County residents, our Valencia County Commission, our state legislators have all worked together to contribute to tremendous improvement in the outcomes for dogs and cats in our county.

As Weston commented, “People have animals for all sorts of reasons and none of our attempts to solve our stray dog problems are simple and none depend on ordinance changes. The No. 1 reason for surrender of animals in Valencia County is people moving. Ordinance change will not change mindsets.”

The Valencia County Animal Ordinance allows a wide range of animal ownership that supports eight full time county veterinary practices. At the same time, even with a rapidly growing population, our shelter intake numbers are not increasing while our euthanasia rate is dropping steadily and our live exits are steadily increasing. In 2002, our euthanasia was 75 percent of intake, in 2018 our euthanasia was 25 percent of intake. Adoptions, pets being reclaimed by owners, rescue/transfer all continue to increase.

Patti Muggen and a dedicated group of volunteers are improving the lives of shelter animals every day. Media exposure, including Facebook and TV coverage, is fantastic, while Jess Weston does outreach, collaboration, and networking with other state shelters to address mutual problems. The flow of communication creates a positive atmosphere within the shelter.

It must surprise some readers that in just 15 years so much steady progress is being made in our county. We were once a continual source of negative publicity for our animals, now we are a model of slow, steady, cooperative progress. And with the soon to open free spay-neuter clinic, we may finally see a major reduction in our shelter intake population.

Thank you everyone who is making this happen.

Gail Goodman, Ed.D

Los Lunas

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