Farmington police help relocate shelter animals saving over 30 lives

A few of the puppies FPD officers transported.

FARMINGTON, N.M. – The Farmington Police Department helped save over 30 lives last week, but these weren’t human lives; they were animals. Sergeants Travis Spruell and Martin Olsen headed to Denver on Wednesday, Oct. 20, with 20 dogs/puppies and 11 cats/kittens from the Farmington Regional Animal Shelter. The shelter was at capacity and needed to transfer the animals to the Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue in Denver, Colorado. Shelter director Stacie Voss explained, “We were completely full, and a transfer had been scheduled. However, due to an emergency, our volunteer wasn’t able to drive the animals to Denver as planned, and we couldn’t find another driver. That’s when we reached out to other City departments for help; FPD stepped right up.”

Chief Steve Hebbe said, “FPD employees care about our community, and we were pleased to help save over 30 animals. All of us can do something by adopting or by volunteering to help at the shelter. It’s a great cause, and these animals could use a friend.”

It’s common for shelters to relocate animals to other communities when they become overcrowded. The Farmington shelter has several partnering facilities in the region where they can take animals when they’re at capacity. The shelter relies on volunteers for transports. If the shelter becomes full and transferring animals isn’t an option, tough decisions have to be made. 

“I’ve always known it takes a village to care for all of these animals, but I can still be amazed at the size of that village sometimes! Thank you to FPD and sergeants Spruell and Olsen for safely getting these animals to the rescue,” said Voss.

Most of the dog kennels that were emptied from last week’s transfer have already been filled. The shelter is still limited on space for dogs. While adoptions have been steady, transfers have been limited due to a lack of volunteer drivers and full transfer partner facilities. Space for dogs at FRAS is tight, and animals are staying longer, creating a backlog.

Farmington Regional Animal Shelter wants to remind the community of the importance of spaying and neutering pets.  

Anyone who’d like to volunteer with FRAS or foster an animal can fill out an online application at
Animals available for adoption can be found online at under adoptions or at Adoption fee includes spay or neuter, first set of vaccines (excluding rabies), microchip and 30 days of free pet insurance by 24Petwatch.