We are committed to our Mission

APA is a progressive animal welfare organization seeking to improve the quality of life for companion animals in Dona Ana County and greatly reduce the number of unwanted animals impounded and euthanized at the municipal shelter.


We strongly encourage and require responsibility

APA actively promotes responsible pet guardianship to all of its program recipients. By receiving food or other support from us in their of econimic need, people agree to meet their pets’ basic physical and social needs (fresh food and water daily, adequate shelter, and companionship/attention). We are here to help companion animals only–not any animals people use for monetary or other gain, such as only for utilitarian uses (guard dogs, etc.). We also do not help breeders.

We also counsel people on keeping their vaccinations up-to-date and to spay and neuter all their pets in order to give back to the community who is generously providing the food and funds to purchase food.

We ask that people contact us about their pet care issues or questions. We have information about programs, services, pet behavior and training, and other non-profit groups in the area.

Paying it Forward

For able-minded and bodied recipients needing our help for more than six months in a row who are already responsible pet guardians, they are asked to donate their time or talents to APA’s efforts in the community.  Long-term recipients who are not already being responsible are asked to update their pets’ vaccinations and spay/neuter in order to keep receiving our support.  When our funds allow, we assist food bank clients with vaccinations and spay/neuter SNAP co-pays.  Some recipients are also asked to improve pet living conditions, if needed.  We review each applicant’s status continually to keep their information current and to be sure we are helping those that need assistance the most.

The main goal of the pet food bank is to keep animals with their families, keep them from suffering, and reduce the intake at our overburdened municipal animal shelter.  We ask people to think of our shelter as a place of last resort for animals, not a place where animals should be dumped off on a regular basis.

Programs and Services

Pet Food Bank

APA distributes pet food to needy Dona Ana County residents on Tuesdays from 11 to 4 and Saturdays from 11 to 2 at 800 W. Picacho Ave. in Las Cruces.

Recipients have to show proof of low-income/government assistance, proof of DAC residency, a picture ID, and veterinary records for their pets.  Services are limited to no more than eight times per year for each recipient.  For more information, call 575-644-0505 or e-mail at mail@apalascruces.org.

To date, we have distributed more than 1 million pounds of food and pet supplies–such as collars, leashes, dog houses,  and brushes/combs–to thousands of needy families.  The average pounds per month we distribute is 10, 000, and we help approximately 50 families per week.  We have been operating the pet food bank since 2009; it was our pilot program.

APA also provides food to small rescues and other agencies that serve no- to low-income populations, such as The Community of Hope and the Casa de Peregrinos emergency food bank and the City of Las Cruces Meals on Wheels program.  We are always seeking similar partnerships with other organizations as well.  We thank our volunteers, who help us each weekend with our pet food distributions and picking up food donations daily.

APA Rescue Program

We continuously rescue cats and dogs from our municipal shelter in our efforts to help save lives and reduce the number of savable animals killed at our shelter.  We rescue 500+ animals a year and get them  healthy and adoptable and either find them homes locally or transfer them to partner rescues in NM and surrounding states.

Other Services We Offer

  • Community cat advocacy and support
  • Pit bull advocacy and support
  • PASS (Positive Alternatives to Shelter Surrender) – advice and network set up to help people find alternatives to leaving homeless or other animals at the shelter
  • Low-cost vaccination clinics (a few per year)
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Meet Our Team

Get to know our team. The human team, anyway.

Michel MeunierFounder/Executive Director
Michel founded ACTion Programs for Animals in Las Cruces in 2009 to fill gaps in No Kill programming and services she felt were important and sorely lacking in the area. She still serves as a member of the board and as the organization’s volunteer director as well as a foster caretaker and overall volunteer.
Rebecca Corran
Becky is an Assistant Professor of Public Health at Dona Ana Community College and has been befriending animals of all kinds since her first love, a beagle named Tessy. She loves to travel, and can sometimes be found sharing her lunch with strays in parks in Mexico or Peru.

Becky loves Las Cruces and the compassionate people and delightful animals that make their homes there, including her house full of rescues, fosters and “foster failures.” Becky has been a foster for APA since 2012 and joined the board in 2014. ​

Amanda López Askin
Amanda López Askin, a native Las Crucen, currently works for the State of New Mexico in behavioral health advocacy. Amanda is a 3X Aggie, as she earned her Bachelor’s, Master’s, and a PhD from NMSU. Amanda serves on various boards, coalitions, and advocacy groups in Dona Ana County, in addition to being a former member of the Board of Regents at New Mexico State University.

Amanda’s interest and concern for animals began early in college after reading animal advocate Jane Goodall’s book on the chimpanzees of Gombe as required course work. Jane’s detailed writing of her experience with their emotions, connection to each other, and pain had a profound effect on her. This, combined with owning her first dog during this time, encouraged her to become more in-tune with the challenges in our local community and active in local efforts.

Amanda’s passion includes promoting responsible pet ownership, spaying and/or neutering, chain-free ordinances, and encouraging animals as family members, instead of property. Amanda is excited and inspired about ACTion Program’s for Animal’s goals and hopes to be a part of their comprehensive plans; she joined the board in 2014. Amanda is married and she and her husband share their life with their daughter Eliana, and 5 dogs–all rescues.

Heather Hume
Heather is a native of New Mexico but grew up in Oklahoma. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with her Journalism degree. She had a passion for fashion and ended up in Dallas Texas working for Dillard’s. She was transferred back to her native state of New Mexico in 2012 to manage the Dillard’s store in Las Cruces. She fell in love with the city and significant other, which prompted her to leave the corporate world and buy the amazing boutique, LuLu. After buying LuLu, Heather became involved with APA. Being an avid animal lover for our four-legged furry friends and rescue mom to 3 fur babies of her own, LuLu was host to several events and supporter of fundraising efforts and events.

Heather brings with her experience in retail sales, merchandising, fundraising, social media, special events, event planning and marketing.

She enjoys traveling, hiking with her dogs, being with family and close friends, and of course animal rights and advocacy.

Seeking new Board Members committed to saving lives!

APA’s philosophical approach to animal welfare in our community is modern and progressive. We are part of the No Kill movement as defined and advanced by the No Kill Advocacy Center, which is helping many communities achieve No Kill goals nationwide and worldwide. We strongly support reform of Animal Control departments and animal shelters to drastically reduce our community’s homeless animal kill rate and improve the lives of animals and people.

If you are a No Kill advocate, someone who wants to help save more feral cats’ lives, someone who is partial to the plight of pit bulls in our community, or someone willing and able to learn more about progressive approaches to animal welfare and help us grow quickly to reach our goals, we’d love for you to join our board of directors and help us step up our advocacy work in the community. Please contact us today if you are interested in serving on our Board.

Special Thanks To:

Doris Day Animal Foundation

Thanks to the Doris Day Animal Foundation for their generous $5000 grant in October 2016 toward our senior rescues.

Pedigree Foundation

We appreciate the Pedigree Foundation awarding us a grant of $1000 in November 2015.  The funds will help us with our general operating expenses.

Ian Somerhalder Foundation

We are greatly appreciative to the Ian Somerhalder Foundation for their support for the medical needs of some of our rescue dogs.  In early 2015, they sponsored one of the many  heartworm dogs we rescue from the shelter, a weenie dog mix named Ruby.  The dog has made a full recovery and is now in her new home — thanks to ISF!
They also sponsored a hip surgery needed for Foxy later in the year.  Foxy is also doing great and now in a new home!!


We thank the ASPCA for their grant assistance over the  years:

  • Our first $5000 grant from them was in 2013 when we were early in our rescue efforts.
  • They then awarded us a $10, 000 grant in March 2014 to further support these efforts.
  • In June 2016, they also awarded us $2000 to start our adoption ambassador program.

Wellspring Church

The Wellspring Church donated $650 to our organization as part of their quarterly giving, which they divide up among three chosen non-profits. We are honored they think highly of what we are doing to save the lives of sheltered animals in our community.

Tobe Turpen from Steinborn and Associates

Thanks to Tobe Turpen for his support in 2016 and 2017 … our APA alumni fosters and volunteers are awesome!

Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary

The sanctuary shares pet food donations with us for our pet food bank.  We are very grateful to them for sharing what they can’t use with the needy families of our area.

Local Veterinarians

We are very grateful to the area veterinarians and clinics who support our efforts to save as many shelter lives as possible.  Our board member and retired veterinarian, Laura Henckel, is especially generous with her time and the discounts and donations of services she provides.  When we have to use local clinics for things Dr. Henckel cannot provide, we get assistance from the Animal Hopsital of Las Cruces,  Arroyo Veterinary Clinic,  Calista Animal Hospital, and Schumacher’s Veterinary Clinic.

Animal Haven Lodge + Salon

Steve and Margaret Smelser, the owners of this business, are very generous in their support of our DAPA! Campaign and of our rescue efforts in general.  Each time we pull dogs from the municipal shelter, they are there to help us clean them up and get them ready for offsite adoptions.  Margaret also helps us work with and train our Second Chance Dogs who need a little extra help along the way.  We very much appreciate their support!

Local Wal-Mart stores

Our pet food bank program gets daily donations of pet food and other pet supplies from all our local Wal-Mart stores.  Without these food donations, our pet food bank would not be able to help as many families as we do each week.

Bissell Pet Foundation

We thank the Bissell Pet Foundation for their grant to us of $4000 in January 2016.
We are proud to be a Partner for Pets!  BISSELL and LostPetUSA.net have teamed up to help organizations like ours raise funds for our rescued animals.  Learn more about how you can help at our Donate page.

Vivienne at The Agile Animal

Thanks to Vivienne at The Agile Animal for her generous $500 donation in August 2015 in memory of her grandmother who recently passed away, Marie Beauchemin.  We will all miss Vivienne and The Agile Animal, who have recently left Las Cruces.  She helped us with many of our dogs along the way who needed her expertise and skills, and we partnered with her to save some retired research hounds in need earlier this year.

Petco Foundation

Thanks to the Petco Foundation for the following generous grants over the years:

  • $10,000 grant received in December 2016 for our rescued cats and dogs.
  • $10,000 grant received in January 2016 for our rescued cats and dogs.
  • $7500 grant in January 2015 for our rescued cats and dogs.
  • $4000 grant in November 2013 for our Save-a-Kitten project.
  • $5000 grant in march 2013 for our rescued cats and dogs.
  • $2000 grant in 2011 for our pet food bank program and another $5000 grant for vet care assistance for our pet food bank clients.

These grants help us save more lives!

Bissell and Lost Pet USA

We thank Bissell and their partner, Lost Pet USA,  for donating a cordless vacuum for our organization’s Mulligans Fore Mutts event in June 2014 and for making us a Partners for Pets participant!

Dog Cruces Magazine

This monthly magazine and online resource is a great help to many local animal-welfare organizations.  They help us with event promotions, flyers, ads in American Classifieds, and so much more.  We appreciate their assistance!

OnShore Foundation

Thanks to the OnShore Foundation for their donation of $1000 toward our veterinary bills in August 2015.  We appreciate the support.

Longmont Humane Society

Our pet food bank program gets daily donations of pet food and other pet supplies from all our local Wal-Mart stores.  Without these food donations, our pet food bank would not be able to help as many families as we do each week.

Animal Farm Foundation

Support from the Animal Farm Foundation (AFF) has assisted ACTion Programs for Animals (APA) in our mission of helping Dona Ana County reach our No Kill goal to eliminate the unnecessary killing of companion animals via progressive and friendly animal-welfare programs and services.  Part of the services we provide is to help animals stay with families during times of financial stress via our pet food bank services where we give out food, other supplies, and advice about responsible guardianship.  AFF awarded APA a $2500 grant in Nov 2015 toward use of the pet food bank program, which helps in the area of pet retention vs. families having to be broken apart and animals relinquished to the shelter during financial setbacks.
APA also received an I am an Individual grant award from the AFF in 2014.

Best Friends Animal Society

Thanks to Best Friends Animal Society and PetSmart Charities for their $5000 lifesaving grant awarded to our Dona Ana Pets Alive! program in December 2013 to help support our Home 4 the Holidays adoption promotion.  These grants make it possible for us to run adoption promotions to increase our adoptions and lifesaving capabilities.

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