Dog released after being mistakenly held by Animal Control for 3 years


After being locked up in a shelter for nearly three years, a New Mexico dog is getting a taste of freedom. The reason she was held for so long — a paperwork mistake. 

Maybelle was put on hold by the sheriff’s department in 2015. It wasn’t until Wednesday that everyone realized she should have been free long ago. 

“Mama! Hi. Hi,” the rescue group yelled as Maybelle jumped into their arms.

Nearly three years later, Maybelle is ready for her new beginning.

“July 2015, one of our deputies arrested a gentleman near the intersection of 19th and Red Bridge,” said Chaves County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Scott Ouillette.

I don’t know the particulars about the case, but during the investigation the dog was taken into custody because he was in jail and couldn’t care for the animal.

The owner was eventually sent to prison and with no one to care for Maybelle, she stayed at Animal Control.

Days passed, then weeks, then months, then years. People at Animal Control started wondering why Maybelle was still there.

They say they did question it, but never got answers as to why she was being held. Instead, she became a part of their family.

“Everyone at Animal Control loved her, everyone played with her. I mean she was part of Animal Control. She was part of them, they took care of her,” said Rhonda Wilkes, a Friends of Roswell Animals volunteer who was by Maybelle’s side the whole way.

It wasn’t until Wednesday, nearly three years later, that those answers finally came when someone at Animal Control found a missing piece of Maybelle’s paperwork.

“In July, later that month in 2015, the sheriff did sign a release for the animal with Animal Control,” Ouillette said.

That means Maybelle should have been released back in 2015, but she is still getting her happy ending.

“Three years baby. You’ve been in there for three years, and now we are going to go spoil you, yes we are,” Wilkes said to Maybelle. 

As soon as Maybelle was released to a local animal rescue, she got a new collar, toys and ice cream. Wilkes says she can already see a difference.

“She’s following us around giving us kisses and it’s wonderful,” Wilkes said. “It’s just a wonderful feeling to be there with her.”

Maybelle is currently at the vet getting spruced up. The rescue group Friends of Roswell Animals will be keeping her until they find the perfect home.

It’s still unclear specifically where the paperwork was all this time, and how it suddenly showed up.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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