Initiative Brings Awareness, Understanding to Critical Shelter Challenges
EL PASO, Texas — The Animal Services Center is currently home to more than 700 pets, but on Friday, October 29 it will also be a temporary home to Animal Training and Enrichment Coordinator Mason Castillo, who will be spending 24 hours in a kennel.
The idea for the Shelter Sleepover Project came after shelter staff were thinking of ways to bring awareness to the growing animal-related challenges brought on by the thousands of pets that are entering shelters and rescues in our region.
“I am hopeful that my experience inside the kennels will connect with the community. It is not ideal for pets to live in the shelter but by volunteering to do this I think we can better show how important it is to continue supporting out pets in the community,” Castillo said. “I want El Paso to understand that pets belong in homes with their families, and we need to come together right now because these animals need us more than ever.”
“All of the animal shelters in El Paso are in a critical state; we are all at capacity and each day more and more animals are going missing or being surrendered,” said Ramon Herrera, Animal Services Interim Director. “I believe this initiative will give us an opportunity to share not only what life is like for a shelter pet, but it will also allow us to come together as community to solve these challenges together, weather by adopting, fostering, or simply ensuring your current pets are microchipped and properly cared for.”
Live segments of the Shelter Sleepover will be posted on El Paso Animal Services’ social media pages and the public is also welcomed to visit the shelter during normal business hours to learn more on how to support the department’s efforts to keep pets and families together.
In addition to the Shelter Sleepover, the Animal Services Resource Rovers program will also be on-hand from 2 to 6 p.m. on Friday to provide free microchips to pets and will also update microchip information for those owners that have changed addresses or phone numbers.