County Offers Low-Income Spay/Neuter Program In Partnership With Watermelon Mountain Ranch

The Sandoval County Board of County Commissioners, the Sandoval County Community Services Department and representatives from Watermelon Mountain Ranch have announced the start of an expanded new partnership. The partnership will allow Sandoval County to offer free pet spay and neuter surgeries to low income pet owners in Sandoval County. The announcement was met with tremendous support from the Commission, especially from Chairman David J. Heil.

“I have had the pleasure of many Best Friends in my lifetime and we’ve always given them the best quality of life possible,” said Commission Chairman David J. Heil, District 4. “I’ve also seen many canines mistreated because owners didn’t know how to care for them. If we don’t take steps to reduce the number stray dogs and cats there will surely be far too many mistreated animals.”

The partnership is a result of efforts by Sandoval County Community Services Department Director Anne Ryan, who feels passionately about animal welfare and wants to see the lineup of services continue to expand in order to reduce pet overpopulation in Sandoval County.

“In healthy communities you want to see that the pet population is commensurate with the number of available loving homes. When that’s not the case, which is a common problem in most areas, what results are unnecessary euthanasia and risks to public safety,” said Community Services Director Anne Ryan. “Such situations can be significantly mitigated through access to low and no cost spay/neuter programs.”

Pet overpopulation is a human-caused issue with dire consequences. In New Mexico alone, nearly 70,000 homeless pets are euthanized every year. This program will help reduce those numbers and create an option for lower income families to also keep their family pet healthier. There are many benefits to spaying or neutering pets. Some of those benefits include: reducing aggressive behavior, reducing marking, reducing cancer risk, reducing tumor risk and much more.

“Our pets aren’t just animals, they’re family members. But sometimes families just can’t afford a spay/neuter surgery for their dog or cat. This expanded partnership with Sandoval County takes the worry out of spay and neuter for lower income families on a budget,” said Watermelon Mountain Ranch Executive Director Sara Garrigan. “Spaying or neutering your pet will keep them healthier, happier and helps mitigate overpopulation in a place where every animal deserves a forever home.”

To qualify for this County-funded program, in partnership with Watermelon Mountain Ranch, participants must:

  • Utilize the program for no more than two pets per household
  • Show proof of residency in Sandoval County
  • Show proof of income (Read the full brochure)

“As a Class-A County, not to mention one of the fastest growing counties in the state, we must advance our current animal welfare efforts. This program is a step in that direction,” said Sandoval County Sheriff Doug Wood. “The Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Officers see so many issues that could be mitigated by programs just like this one. I’m very pleased to see this partnership with Watermelon Mountain Ranch come to fruition.”

Sandoval County is investing $40,000 in this program, and since funding is limited, those interested in participating in the program should schedule their pet’s appointment right away. The County is hopeful that future funding will allow for the program to be available annually, and is especially grateful for the partnership with Watermelon Mountain Ranch to make this program possible.

To schedule your pet for a spay or neuter procedure or to learn more about the program, please call (505) 359-1706, email or visit Watermelon Mountain Ranch’s website at: You can also find additional information online at the County’s website at: