When a long-time councilor and Staff Council administrator realized Albuquerque didn’t have a holiday charity drive for homeless animals, she decided to do something about it.
“I knew the UNM community would come through for these animals.” - Kathy Meadows, UNM Staff Council
Thanks to Kathy Meadows’ efforts, the annual Happy Tails Drive is celebrating 10 years of gathering essential items for homeless pets.
“Staff Council wanted to do something different,” she said. “We filled an entire Hokona office with donations the very first year!”
The drive a collaborative effort between Staff Council and New Mexico Animal Humane, and this year it's bigger and better than ever -- starting with a kickoff event featuring adoptable animals on Monday, Nov. 13 at Smith Plaza on UNM Main Campus.
"This drive brings in our shelter’s largest mixed-supply drive annually," said Stefanie English, marketing and development director for Animal Humane. "The items collected save us thousands of dollars in supply needs that can be redirected to direct life-saving program support."
"We really view this as a way for UNM Staff Council, and others in our campus community, to donate", said Staff Councilor Ryan Gregg. "Out in the community there are a lot of ways, and causes, that people choose to support. We want to continue it as a Staff Council tradition for at least ten more years."
Every year, Staff Council partners with PPD to put out collection bins at a variety of locations on-campus, and this year, organizers are putting out even more collection sites than ever before. Departments can add their own flair by decorating bins to put in their offices, and participate in the "Best Bin Decorating" contest.
"Each year we hope to collect more than the previous year," said Gregg.
According to Gregg, one of the goals of staff council is to help UNM workers connect with each other, and their community.
"This is just one more way for staff to express their generosity and to give back to our community. So many people on campus are animal lovers, and we're thrilled to provide them with an opportunity to express their support," Gregg said.
English says the appreciation goes both ways.
"It allows Animal Humane New Mexico to continue strengthening our bonds within our community, and to share education and awareness of compassion, kindness and adoptions," she said.
Every year, New Mexico Animal Humane serves more than 25,000 people, gives away more than 100,000 lbs. of free pet food to families in need, provides over 1,000 free pet behavior consultations and cares for more than 10,000 cats & dogs. Those numbers include services to low-income families, through the Animal Humane food pantry and thrift store, and Donor-subsidized Veterinary Clinic.
This year, New Mexico Animal Humane is including the following items on its holiday wish list:
- Canned kitten food (Fancy Feast paté-style, poultry-based preferred)
- Dog and cat pheromone calming collars (Feliway brand)
- PetAg brand KMR (kitten milk replacer)
- Canned grain-free cat and dog food
- Kuranda beds
- Mr. Clean Magic
- Clorox liquid bleach
- Liquid dish soap
- Canine collars & harnesses (any size)
- Rubber dog toys (durable, non-plush) such as puzzle & kong, especially large sizes
- Canned tuna or sardines in water
- Zylkene brand anti-anxiety milk-based supplement
- 32oz Spray Bottles
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Potty Pads
- AA Lithium Batteries
- Cat & dog food (dry or wet)
Donations are accepted through Dec. 8.
To view a map off drop locations, pick up a department bin or sign up to be in the bin decorating contest, visit the Staff Council website.