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Programs and Services

Pet Food Bank

APA distributes pet food to needy Dona Ana County residents on Tuesdays from 11 to 4 and Saturdays from 11 to 2 at 800 W. Picacho Ave. in Las Cruces.

Recipients have to show proof of low-income/government assistance, proof of DAC residency, a picture ID, and veterinary records for their pets.  Services are limited to no more than eight times per year for each recipient.  For more information, call 575-644-0505 or e-mail at

To date, we have distributed more than 1 million pounds of food and pet supplies–such as collars, leashes, dog houses,  and brushes/combs–to thousands of needy families.  The average pounds per month we distribute is 10, 000, and we help approximately 50 families per week.  We have been operating the pet food bank since 2009; it was our pilot program.

APA also provides food to small rescues and other agencies that serve no- to low-income populations, such as The Community of Hope and the Casa de Peregrinos emergency food bank and the City of Las Cruces Meals on Wheels program.  We are always seeking similar partnerships with other organizations as well.  We thank our volunteers, who help us each weekend with our pet food distributions and picking up food donations daily.

Pet Food Bank Location

Pet Food Bank Qualifications

Recipients are asked to fill out a detailed application the first time they receive our services.  They are asked to bring proof of their residency in our county by showing an ID or utility bill in their name.  They are also asked to bring documentation and/or proof of need, which can be in the form of a pay stub showing income or proof of their receiving other assistance as well as their pets’ available veterinary records for proof of ownership/guardianship.

Each applicant is given the opportunity to explain and prove their circumstances.  The food bank is intended to help during times of economic distress as opposed to long term.

After a client has been using our program for a long time, we may make a home visit to ensure that the pets we are helping are not living in inhumane conditions.  We want to help address issues and teach people how to better care for their pets, if necessary.  We also like to visit with and take pictures of the actual cats and dogs we are helping.

Other Services We Offer

  • Community cat advocacy and support
  • Pit bull advocacy and support
  • PASS (Positive Alternatives to Shelter Surrender) – advice and network set up to help people find alternatives to leaving homeless or other animals at the shelter
  • Low-cost vaccination clinics (a few per year)

We strongly encourage and require responsibility

APA actively promotes responsible pet guardianship to all of its program recipients. By receiving food or other support from us in their of econimic need, people agree to meet their pets’ basic physical and social needs (fresh food and water daily, adequate shelter, and companionship/attention). We are here to help companion animals only–not any animals people use for monetary or other gain, such as only for utilitarian uses (guard dogs, etc.). We also do not help breeders.

We also counsel people on keeping their vaccinations up-to-date and to spay and neuter all their pets in order to give back to the community who is generously providing the food and funds to purchase food.

We ask that people contact us about their pet care issues or questions. We have information about programs, services, pet behavior and training, and other non-profit groups in the area.

Paying it Forward

For able-minded and bodied recipients needing our help for more than six months in a row who are already responsible pet guardians, they are asked to donate their time or talents to APA’s efforts in the community.  Long-term recipients who are not already being responsible are asked to update their pets’ vaccinations and spay/neuter in order to keep receiving our support.  When our funds allow, we assist food bank clients with vaccinations and spay/neuter SNAP co-pays.  Some receipients are also asked to improve pet living conditions, if needed.  We review each applicant’s status continually to keep their information current and to be sure we are helping those that need assistance the most.

The main goal of the pet food bank is to keep animals with their families, keep them from suffering, and reduce the intake at our overburdended municipal animal shelter.  We ask people to think of our shelter as a place of last resort for animals, not a place where animals should be dumped off on a regular basis.