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Zero-in-7 logo symbolizes Southern New Mexico project of love and caring

The Coalition for Pets and People is an organization of local animal support and rescue groups with a central goal of reducing pet euthanasias in Doña Ana County to zero within seven years. The sophisticated black-and-white logo represents that goal simply and clearly.

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The effort is a definite step ahead in humanity in a world where the Australian government far outstrips the U.S. government in its recognition of the unique and generous nature of pets. The Australian position is that “Individual owners and users of animals have a responsibility to fulfil a duty of care for animals in their charge and as members of the community, be responsible for the welfare of those animals.” And further that “Local governments have responsibility for some areas of domestic and unwanted animal control and public health that has a significant impact on animal welfare. This includes the provision of feedback to state/territory governments in order to change legislation and for the promotion and maintenance of responsible animal ownership.” The U.S. position is more a mediation between animal protection groups and research and vivisection labs.

In Las Cruces, AWARE – Animal Welfare and Responsibility Education – promotes “advocacy, education and support.” These are key components of the Zero in 7 program. Involvement of the community, in neighborhoods, small towns, organizations and in state and local government is critical in achieving the goal. Paul Sims of AWARE says, “We need an army of people to accomplish this!”

Many issues, some significantly cultural, compete with accomplishment. In some locales, individuals need assistance in affording spay-neuter efforts, and could benefit from education about mobile vans and low-cost SNAP services. In other places, neutered dogs are considered “unMacho:” Impregnation is a sign of virility, which is culturally revered. Some people simply have no idea what happens when animals are turned in at shelters. Making the thousands of deaths more visible as an educational process could result in more awareness and caring.

Clearly raising awareness in a diverse and disparate community requires a sophisticated educational and marketing plan. The new, striking logo is just one component of such an effort. Creating a buzz by sharing are the Zero in 7 goals with family, friends, students, co-workers and neighbors can go a long way to saving the lives of many sweet, loving animals who simply want a forever home.