On Monday afternoon, Otero County Sheriff's deputies and rescue workers removed dogs from the New Mexico animal rescue of the Chaparral Dog Sanctuary trying to save as many animals as possible. The dogs were living in deplorable conditions.
According to kvia.com, a domestic violence complaint on Friday to a dog sanctuary at 804 Alice Marie in Chaparral resulted in the discovery of a grim hoarding situation at a registered dog sanctuary called Desert Mission Sanctuary.
The owner of the sanctuary, Felix Moriel, 44, faces several counts of assault and battery after making sexual advances to a 70 year-old woman. He is currently being held at the Otero County Detention Center.
KFOX 14.com reports over 200 dogs were left to fend for themselves; some of the stronger dogs had killed the weaker dogs.
A sheriff's deputy was attacked by dogs as he entered the house and required medical attention. Authorities were unaware that Moriel had disbanded the committee formed to oversee the rescue and condition of the dogs. An associate of Moriel was able to obtain a power of attorney allowing the removal and placement of the dogs to local veterinarians, community members of Chaparral, and local rescues.
Several piles of dead dogs were found.
The dogs are being placed in local rescues and shelters, and authorities are hoping to find them homes.
There have been no updates on the organization's Facebook page since March. The group's mission statement reads:
"Desert Mission Sanctuary for Dogs, also known as D.M.S., is dedicated to helping the dogs we serve find great, loving homes. We do this through adoptions and adoption follow-ups."
Moriel may face numerous counts of animal cruelty.
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