TUCUMCARI, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico city is seeing a spike in calls about loose dogs running around town. It’s no surprise people in Tucumcari are on edge, after a man was killed by a pack of dogs at the beginning of February.
It was Elijaah Huber’s second day on the job as Tucumcari’s Animal Control officer when a man was attacked and killed by a pack of loose dogs. Authorities rounded up those dogs but immediately Huber started seeing a surge in calls from people all over town reporting more dogs on the loose. “We had 50 calls in January for service, and then in February we’ve have 134 calls, and in the last two weeks alone 51 calls of service,” says Huber.
As his department scoops up more dogs around town, he says it is putting a strain on the space he has at the shelter, which can hold up to 18 dogs. He’s been using social media to help owners find their pets and he’s already seeing it work. “Social Media helps because it’s able to spread awareness to 100 eyes at once for example through Instagram we’re able to use hashtags,” says Huber.
In an effort to clear the shelter, they’re also waiving adoption fees. Even so, it can take some time to get those dogs out the door. Officer Huber says he’s also starting a volunteer program to help his department, which most of the time is just him. Meanwhile, he is also working with a dog trainer to offer free classes to residents on what they should do if they come across a stray dog.
The mother and son who owned the dogs that attacked Mary Montoya and Kristopher Morris are now facing involuntary manslaughter charges for the death of 64- year-old Stanley Hartt.