Artesia police investigate extreme animal cruelty case

Posted at: 10/25/2012 10:14 PM
Updated at: 10/25/2012 10:54 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Artesia Police are asking for the community’s help in identifying leads in a case of extreme animal cruelty.

In early October, police found a pitbull terrier mix at the 1200 block of Washington with bite marks on its face, missing teeth, a hind foot that was almost completely cut off, a torn tear duct and other marks of abuse indicating it was most likely being used as a bait dog in a dogfighting ring.

“As police officers, we look at this dog and know something’s happened to it of this nature,” Sgt. Lindell Smith said. “It tells us that there’s something happening – whether or not it’s in the boundaries of our city limits or within the boundaries of Eddy County or Chaves County, something’s happening. What we’re really interested in is for people to maybe find it in their heart because of the animals to call us and tell us what’s happening.”

Paws and Claws took the dog in, and Critter Care administered veterinary aid.

“I’ve been doing animal rescure about 10 years and this is the worst case I’ve ever seen,” Paws and Claws President Cindy Perini said. “He can’t speak for himself so we’re hoping someone in the community that knows somebody will come forward so we can put an end to this.”

Perini said that the dog recovered through a lot of love and medical aid. The rescue group named him “Amato,” which means “beloved” or “loved one” in Italian. She says he’s doing well now.

“Amazingly here you have this dog that's just beat up, the first day he just laid there,” Perini said. “By the second day he was really coming to life and had the cutest, funniest disposition, sat for treats, gave you kisses, wanted to sit in your lap, just a card is what I referred to him as, in spite of all he'd been through, he loved everyone.”

Pilots for Paws gave Amato a ride to Colorado, where he will be getting a prosthetic foot and is staying with a foster family. He will soon be put up for adoption.