SAN MIGUEL COUNTY, New Mexico—The Humane Society of the United States is assisting the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in rescuing dozens of dogs and more than 10 puppies from an alleged cruelty situation in San Miguel County, New Mexico. The San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office is also providing assistance on-scene.
Local authorities served a search and seizure warrant on a residential property at approximately 8 a.m. on March 14. The dogs were found living outdoors in crowded, filthy pens, some with no apparent access to food or water. Rescuers worked cautiously in freezing temperatures to avoid slipping on ice and other hazards such as broken glass, wires and other debris found throughout the areas the dogs were living in.
The dogs were unaltered and apparently permitted to breed freely—veterinarians noted that several dogs are pregnant. One puppy was found dead in one of the pens as an adult dog, possibly the mother, paced and whined nearby. Some of the dogs hid behind pieces of plywood and in various makeshift structures, while others appeared curious and approached rescuers.
The rescued animals are being transported to a temporary shelter in an undisclosed location where they will be examined by licensed veterinarians and receive much-needed care and TLC. RedRover volunteer responders are assisting the Humane Society of the United States in caring for the animals.
“These dogs have been living in a pretty dire situation—they’re desperate for resources and adequate living conditions to meet even their most basic needs. It feels good to get them out of here,” said Jessica Johnson, senior director of animal rescue for the Humane Society of the United States. “We are grateful to the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office and RedRover for helping get these dogs the care they need.”
“Our office is committed to investigating and prosecuting animal cruelty and neglect cases,” said Thomas Clayton, district attorney of New Mexico’s 4th Judicial District.
The assistance of the Humane Society of the United States was requested by San Miguel County officials after concerns about the welfare of animals on the property were raised. The dogs will receive expert care while the court process determines their eventual custody.
- Kirsten Peek