Bernalillo County cracking down on animal cruelty

Posted at: 09/25/2013 5:17 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Now, Figgy can race down the sidewalk in what caretakers call his “turbo cart.”

But months ago, he was in much different condition. He was rescued after being chained, which led to severe injuries.

“He had to drag himself around,” rescuer Angela Stell said. “He got wounds and abrasions.” He was covered in maggots, with a fever and septic infection.

He needed special care and therapy just to get his legs moving again. Cases like his show what can happen when dogs are chained and confined to small spaces.

Now, that is not allowed in Bernalillo County. Officers and animal rescuers are doing sweeps for rule-breakers. When they find them, they’ll try to educate first.

“If you're a compassionate, conscious dog guardian, we're gonna give you every opportunity to do right by your dog in compliance by the law,” Stell said. NMDOG will even build a fence for you so you don’t have to chain your dog.

But if owners don’t change their ways – or if the county finds evidence of severe cruelty – they could face fines or even arrests.

Neighbors can report offenses by calling 468-PETS in the county or 311 in the City of Albuquerque.

Animal rescuers say the goal is to protect dogs like Figgy, who now, after a lot of help, has another chance.

“We saw the will and fight in his spirit that he really wanted to live,” Stell said.

To adopt Figgy, donate to his care or learn more about helping dogs like Figgy, visit