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Monday, Oct 28, 2013County: Santa Fe
Case Images: 1 files available
» Michael Riggs
» Dolores Lujan
The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday that it is charging the owners of a starving dog found Oct. 28 with animal cruelty.
Capt. Adan Mendoza of the sheriff's office said the agency filed charges in the Santa Fe Magistrate Court on Wednesday against Michael Riggs and Dolores Lujan, the reported owners of the emaciated dog.
The brown dog was first found near Camino Iglesia in Pojoaque by a person walking his own dog, Santa Fe County Animal Control officers said.
Mendoza said animal cruelty is a misdemeanor offense.
In an interview on KRQE, Riggs said that he didn't intentionally starve the dog, but rather the animal refused to eat because of an ongoing sickness.
Riggs said the dog's name is Jackson, though staff at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society, where the dog is being cared for, have started calling the animal Raphael.
Ben Swan, the shelter's spokesman, said staff there have been feeding the dog a diet of bland hamburger and rice at half-hour intervals, and that the animal has slowly been gaining weight. At last check, the animal weighed a little over 50 pounds, although his ideal weight is closer to 75 points. Recent photos show the dog's ribs and other bones are still clearly visible beneath his skin and fur.
Swan also said staff haven't found an underlying cause for the dog's condition other than "extreme malnutrition." He said the shelter now has legal custody of the animal. He also said that a reward offered for information about the dog's circumstances or the owner's identity has yet to be paid out.
- Santa Fe New Mexican - Nov 7, 2013
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