The Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley will offer free spay/neuter surgeries on Feb. 26 in honor of World Spay Day.

The shelter will perform procedures on dogs and cats on a first-come, first-served basis. Only 50 appointments will be taken, beginning at 6 a.m.

Anyone coming in for the free services must have proof of residency in Doña Ana County.

According to shelter director Dr. Beth Vesco-Mock only healthy animals can be candidates for the free procedures.

“This is the only permanent, 100-percent effective method to control our dog and cat population in Doña Ana County,” said Vesco-Mock. “And right now, our county leads the nation in the number of dogs and cats per capita.”

Vesco-Mock said between 2009 and 2012, the shelter took in 56,230 dogs and cats, resulting in 32,623 animals that had to be euthanized to make space for adoptable animals. Of that number, only 9,430 animals were adopted out.

The Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley joins the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International in their efforts on World Spay Day. The worldwide effort is held annually on the last Tuesday in February, which is Spay and Neuter Awareness Month.

For more information, contact the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley at (575) 382-0018, online at or visit their Facebook page.