At the request of the Union County Sheriff’s Office, the ASPCA was on the ground last week assisting with the urgent rescue of more than 40 severely neglected dogs, along with a horse, from a cruelty situation in Des Moines, New Mexico. When law enforcement initially arrived on the property, they discovered the dogs living in filthy and overcrowded conditions, many in small cages covered in urine and feces and exposed to dangerous levels of ammonia. Some of the dogs were extremely underweight and suffering from untreated medical issues. More than 50 deceased dogs were also found in the home and in a garage on the property.
We are providing support with operational planning and removal, evidence collection, legal and investigative assistance, forensics exams, medical and behavioral care and sheltering for the animals. The majority of the dogs are being relocated to an emergency shelter operated by the ASPCA at an undisclosed location to receive ongoing care and treatment. New Mexico-based animal rescue group Helping Paws Across Borders also provided boots-on-the-ground assistance with this operation.
“As soon as ASPCA responders stepped foot on this property, it was clear immediate intervention was needed to protect the lives of these severely neglected animals who were left to suffer in extremely inhumane conditions,” said Leigh Anne Wilson, director of investigations for ASPCA Legal Advocacy and Investigations. “The ASPCA is grateful to be in a position where we can respond at a moment’s notice, and now our priority is to bring these animals to safety and provide them with much-needed care. We commend the Union County Sheriff’s Office for recognizing the need for expert assistance in this case and for prioritizing animal welfare in their community.”
Our subject matter experts are helping local authorities collect evidence to support their investigation. Any criminal charges resulting from this case will be handled by the Union County District Attorney. We are also providing support to ensure the best legal outcome for these animals.