City to consider animal shelter’s foster care policy

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At the Socorro city council meeting Monday night, in the public forum, Socorro Animal Shelter advisory board president Kathe McLaren presented several goals to help the city increase adoptions at the animal shelter. She said the shelter’s goals included more animal adoptions, and she reported the shelter’s accomplishments during the past year. She also provided the council a draft of the new foster care policy.

City Clerk Pat Salome said the city can have only so many animals at the shelter, and the idea for the foster care policy is for individuals to be able to assist with animal care. Individuals can help dogs and cats mature so other people can adopt them, he said. Council members will look at the animal shelter’s policy, Salome said.

During the mayor’s report, Ravi Bhasker spoke about finances, job descriptions, recreation, policies in waste water, production wastewater transportation and finance.

Tony Montoya, who teaches automotive technology at Socorro High School; addressed the mayor and council members, telling about how successful the course is. The course is only offered at two New Mexico schools, the other is Lordsburg. This is a dual enrollment program through Western New Mexico University in Silver City, he said. Montoya has had 17 years of working with high school students and 26 years in the automotive industry.

The program has six categories, he said categories one three and five are taught this year, and next year categories two, four and six will be taught. The categories teache students about brakes, steering, automatic transmissions and air conditioning.

The program first started with 17 students and has grown to 40, he said. The course is equal to five college credits that can be transferred over for a degree in automotive repair, if not, they can be used as elective credits. Montoya also said 70 percent of the program is through classroom instruction and 30 percent is completed in the shop. Four students are finishing the program in May.

Employees and other Socorro community members are welcome to bring their vehicles in for the students to work on, but Montoya doesn’t want to compete with other local automotive businesses, he said. Montoya encourages freshmen to be a part of the program.

“Our program is growing from 17 students,” Montoya said. “We have come a long way since I have started.”

Also at the city meeting, a certificate of achievement was awarded to Socorro High School senior Dezirae Armijo. Armijo was recognized at the meeting because she scored 234 soccer goals while maintaining a grade-point average of 4.2 and is also the most valuable player for basketball. The soccer team is headed for Albuquerque to play Robertson High School at Volcano Vista High School at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday. Armijo received a soccer scholarship for Adams State College in Colorado.