Losing an animal is one of the most heartbreaking challenges we face as pet guardians. But when you’re ready to welcome home a new pet, “remember that they have their own personality and quirks,” said Joel Mathre of Albuquerque. Mathre recently adopted a new dog from the Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society after his dog, Pepper, died a few months ago from cancer.

“After a lot of internal debate, I decided I was ready to welcome another dog into my life, said Mathre. “Adopting a new pup would take a lot of love and patience, but in the end, they will give us a lifetime of happiness.”

Mathre began searching for a new companion, checking local shelters and expanding his search to Santa Fe when he noticed how full the shelter was. “I was very impressed with the shelter’s website and the detailed information about each of the adoptable pets. I knew if I went there, I would find the perfect dog,” he said.

After meeting with several dogs at the animal shelter and still not 100 percent convinced, a volunteer suggested he meet with Tilly, a tricolored 1-year-old mixed-breed dog who had been at the shelter for over a month.

“After spending time with Tilly in the outdoor area, I knew she would make a great companion. I was immediately taken in with her gentle and calm disposition, and she showed me a lot of affection at the same time,” said Mathre. “I felt and knew she would be a great match for my personality.”

The shelter always advises adopters that the first few days and even weeks could be an adjustment period for the new animal, and Mathre agreed.

“Tilly was a little unsure about her new surroundings for the first few days, but every day she became more comfortable with me and her new home,” he said. “She has been slowly getting used to my neighbor’s black lab, Cooper, with who we share a yard, and every day, she seems a little more interested in playing with him.” It’s been several weeks since the adoption, and Tilly, who is house trained and walks well on a leash, got permission to join Mathre at work at the University of New Mexico.

“Tilly is amazing at the office,” he said. “We employ several student staffers at my office and she has enjoyed meeting all of them, and they are also impressed with her gentle and sweet nature.”

Mathre, who knows that Tilly will not be an addition to Pepper, said best days are yet to come for both of them.

“Tilly has worked out better than I could have ever hoped for, and I thought hard about my final decision before adopting her, and I’m confident she will continue to grow and evolve in the coming weeks and months,” he said.


Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society: Princess Marie is about a year old and weighs about 60 pounds. Her favorite time of day is going on walks and she loves going to play with our volunteers. She seems smart enough to pick up fetch and chase. She is affectionate with people and enjoys being petted.

Victoria is a beautiful 10-pound, 2-year-old domestic shorthair female cat. Victoria has been super sweet and social. She purrs to say thank you.

These and other animals are available for adoption from the animal shelter, 100 Caja del Rio Road. The shelter’s adoption hours are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Call 505-983-4309, ext. 1610, or Visit SFHumaneSociety.org with questions.

Española Animal Humane: Kitten Tiny Timmy has stolen our hearts. With the Bissell Pet Foundation’s Empty the Shelters event, the adoption fee for the 3-month-old tabby is $25. He is neutered, microchipped and vaccinated.

Carmella, a 3-year-old dog, weighs 46 pounds and is constantly happy. She loves people, adores her kennel mates and she is equally thrilled to play or cuddle. Carmella’s adoption fee is waived this week for the Empty the Shelters event.

Felines & Friends: Rein is a gorgeous 1½-year-old Turkish Van cat rescued as a stray. She is very outgoing, confident and sweet. Rein would do well in any home and enjoys the company of other cats.

Pep and his sister, Peony, have flourished in foster care. These 7-month-old kittens can be shy, but seek affection, and love to play. Siamese mix Peony will climb all over you for attention. Abyssinian/Tabby mix Pep really likes belly rubs. This bonded pair would love to go home together. Visit www.fandfnm.org.

Dew Paws Rescue: Snowball is a beautiful, female, 6-month-old ball of love. She is friendly and good with dogs and other cats. She is vaccinated and looking for a foster with the intent to adopt. Call 505-412-9096 or go to infodewpaws@gmail.com for more information.

The Horse Shelter: Polly is a miracle case. Having come in extremely emaciated and with a broken jaw, it was uncertain if she would survive. Polly has made a strong comeback and is now a robust easy keeper, and has been started under saddle. Polly is a sweet mare once her trust is gained. Polly stands 14.2 hands high. Polly’s adoption fee is $250. Polly and many other horses are available for adoption at The Horse Shelter.

For more information, visit TheHorseShelter.org or call 505-577-2193.

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