RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) - A former veterinarian previously convicted of several animal-control violations is now a wanted woman in Rio Rancho.
Debra Clopton is now accused of even more, and she may be causing problems at her new home in Santa Fe County.
This is the same woman KRQE has reported on before. Neighbors and police said the house Clopton left behind in Rio Rancho is a mess with a number of animals left behind.
Neighbors said numerous barking dogs were an ongoing nuisance at the home in Rio Rancho. Clopton was convicted of having more pets than the five allowed by the city and on 10 counts of possessing unlicensed animals.
According to neighbors, she moved out in January but left behind a mess .
"There are feces strewn throughout the home. There are stains on virtually every surface that's vertical from about 12 to 14 inches down," said Sgt. Nicholas Onken of the Rio Rancho Police Department.
Worse, there were animals left inside. A dead cat was brought out Sunday, but there's more animal control couldn't get to.
"We have reason to believe there are still animals living in the walls, living in the residence, but like I say, it's filthy. Its still strewn with personal property," said Onken.
Animal Control officers placed traps inside the home to try and capture the animals. Bank officials changed the locks on the foreclosed house Sunday.
Clopton now has warrants for her arrest in Rio Rancho for failure to pay fines on numerous animal-control violations. KRQE has learned Clopton relocated to Santa Fe County where authorities there have already responded to several animal noise complaints.
Since she's moved, neighbors in Rio Rancho said they've seen Clopton's son come by about once a week to gather property. Onken said it appears someone was leaving food for the cats still left inside.
"Its very disgusting environment, and it's not healthy for anyone or anything to be living in," said Onken. "Clearly these animals are not being cared for. They have been abandoned.
"Its clearly not livable conditions for any animal or any person," referring to Clopton's previous Rio Rancho home.
Rio Rancho allows five animals, and neighbors said Clopton had at least 10 dogs. Santa Fe County ordinances allows 10 pets, and at this point its unclear if Clopton has more than that in her new home.
The former vet was convicted in January of 10 counts of having unlicensed animals, two counts of having more animals than allowed and not vaccinating for rabies. The New Mexico Board of Veterinary Medicine also revoked her license.
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