Category Archives: New Mexico

Action Alert for New Mexico Residents

We received word from Melissa Roberts Schlough that HB63, a bill to prohibit breed specific legislation on the state level, has passed it’s first step with a unanimous vote and is moving on to the Judiciary Committee.  Though a date has not been set yet this could be called up at any time.

New Mexico Residents: It is important to contact the members of the judiciary committee and let them know that their constituents support HB63. Your continued support is needed to see HB63 become law in New Mexico!  Please contact your representatives , and as always be the best advocate possible for the dogs by being factual and polite.

For more information on HB63 and to track the bills progress see our previous post here.

The bills sponsor Yvette Herrel will be on Pit Bulletin Legal News Radio to talk about the bill on February 5th at 8PM EST.

Best Friends alert for New Mexico

A bill has been introduced by State Representative Yvette Herrel that would prohibit breed specific legislation in the state of New Mexico. House Bill 63 would create a state law prohibiting any municipalities, including those that are home rule, from enacting breed specific legislation.  HB63 was introduced on January 11, 2013 and has been assigned to the House Health, Government and Indian Affairs Committee.

This bill needs our support.

NEW MEXICO RESIDENTS, please reach out to your respective state legislators and ask them to support HB63.  Let them know that laws that target dogs based on their appearance rather than their behavior creates communities that are more vulnerable to dangerous dogs, not less.  The passage of HB 63 would mean cities and counties, in drafting animal control ordinances, would have to tackle the root cause of dangerous dogs, irresponsible and reckless dog owners, rather than pass a blanket law that regulates all members of specific breeds.

You can find your representatives here or use the simple contact form Best Friends has set up.

Please also send a note to Representative Herrell to thank her for introducing this common sense bill that would prohibit the passage of breed discriminatory ordinances in the state of New Mexico.

Representative Yvette Herrell
P.O. Box 4338
Alamogordo, NM 88311

HB63 can be tracked here.

Roswell, NM: Petition to ban certain breeds from city parks

In Roswell, NM, some residents are asking for a ban on all dogs from city parks, others are asking for a ban only on certain breeds, and others are against any kind of dog ban in the parks.

Residents of Roswell may wish to reach out to city leaders to ensure that whatever decision they make, it is not breed-specific.
City council contact info:

Deadly attack sparks dog ban discussion

Dogs okay in city parks unless events ban them

Published : Wednesday, 06 Jun 2012, 5:17 PM MDT
Gabrielle Burkhart
ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – […] The owners of the pomeranian said they’re working on getting together a petition to propose a city ordinance that would ban certain dog breeds, such as pit bulls and rottweilers from public parks.

Full article retrieved 6/9/12 from

Elephant Butte, NM: BSL passed

In January, Elephant Butte, NM, passed a law that discriminates against all “pit bull,” German Shepherd, and Rottweiler owners. This includes any mixed-breed dog that is at least one-half of these breeds, and any dog that displays “distinguishing physical characteristics” of any of these breeds.

“Pit bull” includes American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and miniature bull terrier (not sure why standard Bull Terriers are not included).

Owners of these breeds and mixes must follow a laundry list of restrictions, including liability insurance, special containment, and special registration. If you are found in violation of the ordinance, the city will kill your dog.

The ordinance further states that the city will post an announcement that encourages residents to turn in other residents who they think might be violating the ordinance, as such: “If you or your family is at risk because someone living near you illegally keeps a pit bull dog, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, or Canine Hybrid, contact the City Code Enforcement Officer.”

Read the full ordinance, if you dare. The first five pages cover the breed definitions, and various breed-discriminatory restrictions can be found on page 8, 12, and 15-20.

The ordinance went into effect on March 1. This is the first time we’ve heard of it, but Elephant Butte is a very small community.

Contact info for Elephant Butte officials:;;;;;

City Requires $100K Insurance For Pit Bulls

Rottweilers, German Shepherds Also Must Be Insured

POSTED: 8:38 am MDT March 26, 2012

ELEPHANT BUTTE, N.M. — One New Mexico town is requiring owners of pit bulls, rottweilers and German shepherds to get special liability insurance. […]

But as of March 1, pit bulls, rottweilers and German shepherds are considered potentially dangerous dogs by the city of Elephant Butte. Anyone with those breeds now has 90 days to insure their dogs for $100,000 worth of personal property liability. […]

Full article retrieved 3/26/12 from

New Mexico update: Governor will not “call” BSL proposal

Several sources, including a news report, have now confirmed that New Mexico Senator Sue Beffort’s proposal to restrict ownership of “pit bulls” will not be going anywhere this year.

Because 2012 is a short legislative session, Governor Martinez has to “call” any bill that is not related to budget. The governor’s office says that Gov. Martinez does not intend to call Beffort’s proposal, citing concerns about portions of the bill.

Beffort acknowledges how divisive her proposal was, but it’s unclear whether she’s actually changed her mind about how “dangerous” and “unpredictable” she thinks pit bull mixes are. Bill filing for the 2013 legislative session begins in December, and we will watch at that time to see if Beffort tries to file a simlar proposal during the longer session.

Beffort’s efforts to pass statewide BSL are not unique. In 2009, NM Representative John Heaton introduced a bill that defined “pit bulls” and Rottweilers as “dangerous dogs.” That bill did not pass, and Heaton lost re-election in 2010. When an elected official continuously proposes or supports BSL and is unwilling to change their stance, sometimes your vote is the best way to get that official out of a position of power.

Several New Mexico advocacy groups are now looking into the possibility of “banning BSL in New Mexico.” We believe that entails passage of a bill that amends state dog law to prohibit municipalities from passing breed-specific ordinances. Several other states already have such a prohibition. We support this effort and will try to share more information about it as the groups organize and get their bearings. Here’s one gathering place:

All alerts for New Mexico:

New Mexico: More on state senator’s breed-specific proposal

New Mexico Senator Sue Beffort’s as-yet unfiled proposal to restrict mixed-breed “pit bulls” has created quite a stir in the news media, among animal advocates, and in the general public. Many people are now asking how they can take action against this proposal, even at these early stages when there’s not really an official document to oppose.

1. Beffort’s proposal must receive permission from the governor to even be considered during the short 2012 legislative session. You can contact New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and ask her not to “call” Beffort’s proposal/bill.
Phone: 505-476-2200
Contact form:
There is also an online petition to the governor here:
We recommend that if you want to sign the online petition, do so in addition to contacting the governor’s office directly.

2. Contact your individual New Mexico state senator and express your opposition to breed-discriminatory laws. Make sure your own state senator understands who his or her constituents are, and what they stand for. Keep your statement of opposition broad; don’t limit it to Beffort’s proposal specifically. (Also, keep it short and simple.) Find your state senator here:

3. You may contact Senator Beffort and make an attempt to educate her, to correct her misconceptions, or to show her how her proposal discriminates against people (including victims of dangerous dogs). Please remain respectful in your correspondence; angry and disrespectful correspondence only reinforces a negative perception of so-called “pit bull people.” Keep your correspondence brief–one or two of your best points at the most. (Don’t worry, someone else will cover the points you don’t make.)
Senator Sue Wilson Beffort
Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4395

4. Join a local group. Many New Mexico animal organizations oppose breed-specific legislation, and they are doubtless preparing to fight this proposal, just as they have fought previous years’ attempts to introduce BSL in the state. Even better, some local groups attempt to directly address the community “dog problems” that are the source of breed-specific proposals like Beffort’s. Join up with a local group and get involved.

Keep in mind that this proposal has NOT been filed yet. If the bill is actually filed, it will likely go to a Senate committee. At that time, we will provide more information about who to contact. Please don’t write the entire Senate just yet.

Read more about Senator Beffort’s proposal:

All alerts for New Mexico:

New Mexico: Senator drafts statewide BSL

New Mexico Senator Sue Beffort has created a draft of a bill (click link to read it yourself) that she hopes to introduce in the 2012 legislative session (begins Jan 17).

The bill would declare all “pit bulls” in the state to be “dangerous dogs.” Owners of a dog believed to be a “pit bull” would be required to follow special restrictions. Such restrictions include special registration, liability insurance, special containment, spay/neuter, muzzling, spay/neuter, enrollment in behavior classes offered by animal control, and special signage. Further, dangerous dogs cannot be taken off the owner’s property except to go to the vet. Animal control may seize and kill a dog whose owner does not comply with these rules.

“Pit bull” is defined in the proposal as American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and any dog that is a mix of one of these, or any dog that resembles one of these. In a strange twist, purebred dogs of these breeds are NOT considered “pit bulls” as long as they are registered with the AKC or UKC. In other words, the “pit bulls” primarily targeted by this bill are non-pedigreed: such as mixed-breed dogs and shelter dogs.

Please contact Senator Beffort and your own New Mexico state senator now and express your opinion about breed-discriminatory laws.

Senator Sue Wilson Beffort
Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4395

Find your state senator here:

This proposal must receive a message from the governor’s office to be placed on the “call” of the 2012 session. Otherwise it cannot be considered. Please contact New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and ask her not to call Beffort’s proposal/bill.
Phone: 505-476-2200
Contact form:

Keep in mind that this proposal has NOT been filed yet. If the bill is actually filed, it will likely go to a Senate committee. At that time, we will provide more information about who to contact. Please don’t write the entire Senate just yet.

Read more about Senator Beffort’s proposal:

All alerts for New Mexico: