ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A man accused of running a puppy mill out of his home and doing his own vet work has been released from jail.
On Thursday, a metro court Judge Jill Martinez ruled there wasn’t probable cause to hold Martin Segura on the 22 extreme animal cruelty charges raised against him. Bernalillo County Animal Care Services claims Segura kept nearly two dozen dogs in a dangerous and dirty home in southwest Albuquerque, hidden behind walls of plywood.
“It was a combination of a puppy mill and kind of a hoarding situation,” Animal Care Services Officer Meagan Rose said. “The smell and the odor from that you could feel on your skin and your nose, and it’s very severe to walk around.”
The department on Wednesday picked up 22 Doberman Pinschers, reportedly being raised in animal waste and dangerous conditions identified in an at the home over the summer. “[There were] several broken-down vehicles, the dogs were living under and inside the vehicles trying to find shelter wherever they could,” Animal Care Services Enforcement and Protection Manager Patrick Trujillo added.
The criminal complaint states the animals were underweight and covered in ticks. Segura’s arrest comes after more than 10 months of officials trying to help him clean up the mess. “We’ve been trying to work with him, trying to meet with him,” Trujillo added.
The criminal complaint states a neighbor first reported the problem last December. That’s when Segura told officers that he breeds and sells dogs. “It was mostly underground. We know some of it, that he was selling dogs on Facebook,” Trujillo said.
Segura’s son later told deputies that Segura even did “his own vet work” by docking, or cutting, the dogs’ tails. On Thursday, a metro court judge questioned the felony charges because, she said, they didn’t meet the standard for a felony animal cruelty charge, which requires three prior convictions for animal cruelty.
The district attorney’s office said it will be looking at its options, whether that’s pushing to indict Segura on the felony charges or refiling them as misdemeanors.
As for the dogs, they are now getting medical care at an off-site facility to eventually be adopted.