Committee To Abolish Sport Hunting
PO BOX 13815, LAS CRUCES, NM 88013-3815
(575) 640-7372


Please help the prairie dogs of Santa Fe.

Santa Fe, New Mexico is home to a small population of Gunnison’s prairie dogs, a species listed on the International Conservation Union’s red list of threatened species. Because several animals have been found in Santa Fe carrying plague, the city has removed protection from the animals and is allowing them to be poisoned in an effort to stop the spread of plague.

Experts with the Centers for Disease Control, The World Health Organization, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, the New Mexico Department of Health, the Colorado Department of Health, and other city and state agencies in Colorado, Arizona and South Dakota have concluded that the best way to halt the spread of plague is to address the vector species for the disease, which in this case is the flea. These experts also advise against removing or eradicating the host species for fleas, since doing so will cause fleas to seek other hosts, most likely domestic dogs and cats. If fleas are drawn to domestic animals rather than wildlife, the chance of the human population being infected by plague increases substantially.

***For more information please contact Denise Saccone of the Prairie Dog Advocacy Watch Group (505) 989-1233 or Ms. Saccone is the organizer of the effort to protect Santa Fe’s prairie dogs. ***

Please contact the mayor of Santa Fe, the city councilors, and the city manager and request that they reinstate protection for the city’s population of Gunnison’s prairie dogs and concentrate their efforts on controlling fleas through systematic dusting and public education instead of killing animals who are the victims and not the cause of this disease outbreak.


David Coss, Mayor
City of Santa Fe
200 Lincoln Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87504

Also, please contact:

Galen M. Buller, City Manager
City of Santa Fe
200 Lincoln Ave.
PO Box 909
Santa Fe, NM 87504

And city councilors Patti Bushee, Chris Calvert, Miguel Chavez, Carmichael Dominguez, Matthew E. Ortiz, Rosemary Romero, Ronald S. Trujillo, and Rebecca Wurzburger at the same address: City of Santa Fe, 200 Lincoln Ave., PO Box 909, Santa Fe, NM 87504.

Dear Mayor Coss:

As you are aware, several animals within the Santa Fe city limits have tested positive for plague. While this is indeed cause for concern, removing protections from Gunnison’s prairie dogs so they can be poisoned will not only impact the survival of this threatened species, but will likely further endanger the human population of the city.

Experts from The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), The World Health Organization, and state and local health and wildlife agencies concur that controlling fleas and not killing host animals is the best way to address the presence of plague. Flea control measures, including controlled dusting and public use of flea control products for domestic dogs and cats should play a significant role in minimizing any risk posed to the public by plague-carrying fleas.

According to the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department, “killing the prairie dogs, predators, and other wildlife species found in and around a plague-infected colony (is) impractical, costly, ineffective, and potentially dangerous in terms of spreading plague more widely” (South Dakota’s Prairie Dog Management Planning, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks, Progress Report 3, February 2003, p.3.).

Mr. Mayor, please reinstate protections for Gunnison’s prairie dogs within Santa Fe’s city limits and instead of killing them focus the city’s attention and resources on responsible flea control measures. Your response to my concerns will be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely, .


Contact Us

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting / C.A.S.H.
P.O. Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561