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Several people have expressed disappointment and confusion about trying to adopt or rescue a dog from Roswell Animal Control.  Here are the procedures “in a nutshell..”


1.  Time is of the essence.  Most dogs there have 7-10 days before they are euthanized, officials insist on interpreting “humane disposal of animal after day 7” as euthanasia.  So you don’t have the luxury of taking too much time to “think about it.”

2.  Rescues are allowed to “tag” dogs and have the shelter adoption fee ($40) waived.   This keeps the dogs safe; however, it is a commitment by the rescue to pull/physically remove the dog from the premises ON THE RELEASE DATE.

3.   Dogs who have been tagged by a rescue are still available for ADOPTION . . . adoption always trumps a tag.  Each dog has a card and interested adopters write their name,  phone number and date.  Adopters have until 5:00 PM on the dog’s release date to adopt the dog.  If that deadline is missed, the dog goes to the “tagging” rescue or is euthanized.

4.   If owners want to reclaim the dog, that supercedes everything . . . adoption and tags.  They have until the release date to reclaim.


The adoption fee (and owner reclaiming fee) is $40, CASH ONLY. Local checks may be accepted, but no credit cards accepted.  It helps to have the exact amount.

If the dog is over 5 months old and is unaltered, then you must present a pre-paid voucher for a spay or neuter from the veterinarian of your choice.  If you live in Roswell, animal control will transport the dog to the veterinarian for spay/neuter . . . you will take custody of the dog after the procedure. The same holds true for owners reclaiming their dogs.


1.  Impounded  dogs and cats are listed on Death Row Dogs of SE New Mexico(facebook page).  The page is run by volunteers and NOT by the city or animal control.     Ideally, you should visit the pound and take a look for yourself or have someone you trust to do so.

2.  When you find a dog that interests you, you can call Roswell Animal Control  (575-624-6722) to find out more information about the dog.  Please be aware that the receptionist has to simultaneously juggle phone, radio, staff and visitor requests, and the intake paperwork for the dogs is in a central file that is away from her desk.  It’s always easier to get your questions answered if you’re there in person.  Kennel attendants can tell you about how approachable or friendly the dog is.  You can also ask them to bring out the dog for you.

3.   When you’ve made a decision, put your information on the back of the dog’s card and make sure you know what day the dog is available.  They will not call you to remind you.  It’s your responsibility to pick up the animal.



It can be confusing and discouraging to navigate the shelter system, but well worth it when you realize that you have just saved a life.  Please peruse some of the posts about the wonderful dogs I rescued from the Roswell pound.

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