"We received numerous reports from neighbors of dogs barking and keeping them awake at a night," said Santa Fe County Sheriff's Lt. William Pacheco.
After nearly a month-long investigation the sheriff's office served a search warrant on a property in Edgewood being rented by Debra Clopton, by early Monday evening they had found 20 dogs and expected to find many more.
"At last count we were between 40 and 45 dogs that we believe are on this property," Lt. Pacheco said.
Clopton is a woman News 13 has profiled in the past, the former veterinarian had her license revoked in 2011.
"She's familiar with animals so at this point I don't know if she just thinks she can still care for them because she has the knowledge or if other things are wrong with her," said Pacheco.
Clopton was convicted was convicted for having too many dogs at her Rio Rancho home.
That house was eventually repossessed and when workers went to re-key it last month they found even more animals still inside.
Deputies believe she's been living at the property in Edgewood for a couple of months.
"We did have one dog that we did see deceased, neighbors informed us of that last week," Pacheco said.
As of Monday evening deputies had not found anymore dead dogs during their search of the home and property but some of the dogs they did find did not look so good.
"It disturbs me that you can have that many animals and try to hide them cause I don't think anybody can take care of that many animals," said Rob Simpson, a neighbor who lives across the street from Clopton.
Deputies say Clopton could be charged with abuse and abandonment of an animal. She does have a warrant out for her arrest out of Rio Rancho for failing to pay fines but she can only be arrested for that if she is in Rio Rancho.
Sheriff's deputies are asking anyone who may have left their dog in Clopton's care to contact them.
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