Class Project Results in No-Kill Animal Ordinance

Jenny BeareWhen Jenny Beare (`12) chose Friends of Corrales Animal Shelter (FOCAS) for a class assignment, she had no idea she would end up making history. A requirement of Animal Ecosystems: Urban, Rural, Wild, a seminar that addressed a range of topics concerning legal treatment of animals and their advocates was to complete an experiential project.

At FOCAS, she began researching an ordinance to prohibit killing or euthanizing animals impounded at the Corrales Animal Shelter. Beare then set about writing her first ordinance, relying on Village Attorney John Appel (`98), who made sure the document contained the proper codes and revisions. When Councilor John Alsobrook agreed to sponsor the ordinance, Beare’s work began to make its way through the village’s law-making process.

After sailing through three readings, the council approved the ordinance, distinguishing Corrales as the first no-kill community in New Mexico.

"When Jenny presented her project to the class, everyone was very impressed with the level of commitment she had made to the project and with the exceptional results she helped to achieve,” said Professor Marsha Baum, who taught the seminar. “She clearly demonstrated the value of projects such as this to give students real life understanding of the work being done in animal advocacy and an opportunity to be involved in the development of successful new initiatives or to learn the difficulties involved in making change.

“The students in the class had great passion for their projects, which was then shared in the classroom, providing depth and reality for the class discussions. But, Jenny's opportunity to effect change in the law through this course was inspiring," she added.

Beare also wasinspired by the real-world opportunity the assignment provided:  “I never would have written this ordinance and worked on getting it passed if it had not been for the animal ecosystems project that Professor Baum assigned, and then encouraged us to go out and actually make a difference for an organization.”

June 9, 2011