Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19314
Classification: Mutilation/Torture, Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Reward: $7,500
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Thursday, Feb 2, 2012

County: Santa Fe

Disposition: Open
Case Images: 1 files available

Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!

Authorities are investigating a case of animal cruelty after a puppy was found with its ears cut off in a field in the La Cienega area south of Santa Fe.

Animal Protection of New Mexico and The Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society have partnered to offer up to $7,500 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrator(s).

"Somebody who likes the ears clipped off did it with scissors or garden shears or something like that," said shelter executive director Mary Martin. "It was too ragged for a razor blade."

"It's just horrifying," she said.

A newspaper carrier found the dog - a cattle dog mix estimated to be just 6 weeks old - in a field near Camino Montoya and Rael Lane just before 7 a.m. When the man got out of his truck and approached the scared puppy, it "hid under his tire," according to a Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office report.

The puppy was taken by a sheriff's deputy to the animal shelter.

Martin said the dog's body temperature was way down, apparently from shock.

The vet determined that the dog had its ears clipped recently and that it was "apparent that it was not done by a licensed vet as the ears are jagged and not properly done," according to Santa Fe County Animal Control Supervisor Audrey Velasco, in an email provided by Undersheriff Ron Madrid.

"It's sad," Madrid said. "We could have found it dead."

Madrid said it's uncommon to see these kinds of cases, but that sometimes people will clip a dog's ears or its tail for aesthetic purposes.

Martin said clipping a dog's ears is most common among people who put dogs into fights, so the animals don't have ears their opponents in the pit can bite and hold. But there are also cases, including among gangs in Los Angeles, New York and Phoenix, where owners clip dogs' ears just to achieve the fighter look. "It's a cultural thing" or status symbol, she said.

"My feeling is that this case is somebody wanting that look," Martin said. The little "mutt" found Thursday is not a fighting breed, according to Martin.

Investigators Thursday canvassed the area where the dog was found, but they didn't have any luck finding an owner.

Martin said the injured puppy was doing better by Thursday afternoon - it was eating and the body temperature was improving. "He's very afraid," she added. "He won't let us get near his head."

Those with information are asked to call the New Mexico Attorney General's Cruelty Hot Line at 877-5Humane (877-548-6263). Callers may remain anonymous.

If you have information on this case, please contact:
NM Attorney Genera Animal Cruelty Hotline
1-877-5Humane (877-548-6263)


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