In a highly contentious decision by New Mexico's Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh, animal rescue groups are no longer able to pull any dogs to safety. On Thursday, Kintigh suspended all local rescue groups from adopting dogs from city shelters, and on Friday, he widened his ruling to include all New Mexico rescue groups from saving dogs out of Roswell Animal Control.
On Friday, 19 highly adoptable innocent dogs and puppies were euthanized; there are 9 more dogs scheduled to die on Monday morning. No one knows why.
The tragic chain of events began on Wednesday. Wkre.com reported nine-year-old Colby Prince was attacked by three rescued dogs out of Roswell Animal Control that were being kept at a nearby local rescue; the dogs were preparing to be transferred to a rescue in Colorado. Unknown at this time is how the three dogs escaped, but as the young boy was preparing to feed and water his horses, the dogs attacked. The child's father, a Roswell Police detective, shot two of the dogs; the third dog ran away. The third dog is now being quarantined for rabies, and will be euthanized at the end of his hold period.
The child was petrified, and was flown to Lubbock, Texas for treatment for bite marks and scratches to his neck and body as the dogs dragged him off his feet.
Fortunately the youngster is healing well, and the brave little boy was home the next day and able to be interviewed by two local media stations.
The other 15 dogs at the local rescue were confiscated. The Colorado rescue was able to reclaim the dogs early the next day.
The owner of the rescue has been given until June 20 to make sure all of the dogs have been vaccinated against rabies. An investigation continues to determine if criminal charges will be pressed against the rescue owner.
Prior to the incident, nonprofit rescues were able to pull dogs out of Animal Control for $1, vaccinate, spay and neuter, and find the dogs permanent homes, however the Mayor's press release on his Facebook page :
"On my direction the Roswell Animal Shelter has suspended releasing any animals to a local “animal rescue” organization until investigations have been completed regarding the attack on the 9 year old. The dogs involved in that attacked were reportedly “rescued” from the Roswell Animal Shelter by a local group. That group may have failed to provide appropriate care and supervision to these dogs."
Roswell Animal Control is only open on Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (closed for lunch every day). There are no adoption events ever sponsored by Animal Control nor do they network any of the surrendered, stray, or lost pets. According to volunteers, the Roswell Animal Control is not accommodating at all to local rescue groups who use social media, organize adoption events, photograph the dogs and cats, and try to evaluate and gather information about the pets in order to network and save lives.
Meanwhile many animal advocates and residents of Roswell are outraged at the Mayor's blanket decision to essentially sign the death sentences for innocent dogs. The shelter is closed on the weekends... how can an out-of-state rescue or anyone wanting to adopt the dogs even get in touch with shelter employees before Monday to save the nine dogs now marked as "Code Red"?
The Facebook page, Death Row Dogs of SE New Mexico posted a plea earlier Saturday asking for help to try and save some of the dogs destined for the 7:00 a.m. death walk on Monday.
According to Krqe.com, Roswell resident, Corrina Casler states:
“It’s not everybody’s fault and its not every dogs fault and all you’re doing is killing innocent animals.”
The Mayor's Facebook page continues to be bombarded with negative comments about his decision; citizens are respectfully asking him to change his mind.
"This is beyond belief that a mayor would punish every dog and every rescue person. No doubt the child was hurt, and that father was his son's hero, but not every dog is bad," stated Susanne Conroy of Philadelphia. "So if a neighbor dog in my South Philly neighborhood attacks a person and hurts them, all the dogs in my neighborhood should be euthanized and not allowed to go out of the house? This is just a "knee jerk" reaction."
For contact information on Roswell Animal Control: 705 E. McGaffey, Roswell, NM 88201
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