Street Homeless Animal Project (SHAP) is the only organization in Northern New Mexico working with homeless youth to provide services to their companion animals. This summer SHAP, partnering with Smith Vet Hospital, will fund services for the companion animals of 10 or more homeless youth - girls and boys. No shelter in Northern New Mexico will allow people to bring in their animals. Kids often just sleep on the street with their animal families.
SHAP’s services since 1998 have included emergency veterinary care, preventative care, spaying neutering, shots, teeth pulling and more. Also provided are leashes, harnesses, food, blankets, coats, crates and more. SHAP exists because none of the emergency or long-term shelters in Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico have the resources to house companion animals along with their people.
SHAP gets referrals from police, fire, EMT, animal control, the humane society, Street Outreach, youth, adult, family and animal shelters. They get daily and nightly calls from homeless people on the streets whose animal companion is suffering or in need. Summers are especially busy for Street Homeless Animal Project, as many homeless youth are in the streets and arroyos with companion animals.
In the last 5 of years we’ve seen 40% of these calls coming from homeless youth, 21 and under. There are many reasons that youth are on the streets. Homelessness stems from an epidemic of mental health issues, domestic violence, substance abuse, the economy, and more.
As many as 25% of homeless persons have animals. Studies have shown that companion animals provide emotional support and represent important, loving relationships especially in youth. Animals make them feel loved, safe, less depressed, less lonely and with more of a sense of purpose. Teen suicide is reduced when the youth has a companion animal. There's no question about it - these animals are family! SHAP helps alleviate suffering and provides aid to these kids and their families.
This summer, SHAP will come to the aid of at least 10 homeless youth in Santa Fe whose companion animals need preventative or emergency veterinary care. In partnership with Smith Veterinary Hospital, $1,000 will fund 10 office visits (at a 30% discount) for wellness preventative visits including vaccines for rabies, distemper, bordatella and kennel cough, or emergency visits for exam and meds for an infectious disease or bad reaction to diet.
Funded by Santa Fe, NM (July 2018)