RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – A Rio Rancho family is fighting to get its beloved pet back; the American bulldog that was taken away after he got out and bit a neighbor.
Tiny has been locked up at the pound since December and the family claims Animal Control is breaking the law by keeping him. They said they can prove Tiny is not dangerous.
“He lets my daughter lay all over him,” Brianne Martinez said. “He’s not dangerous. What kind of mother would I be if I let my kids play with a dangerous dog?”
In December, Martinez said she got a call from her neighbors saying Tiny had gotten out.
“They said they were going to put him back into our yard,” she said. “Then I get another phone call, saying, ‘your dog bit me.”
According to a city ordinance the dog has to be quarantined for 10 days after biting someone.
“They kept him there and after 10 days, we made phone calls and asked, ‘When can we pick him up? What’s our next step?'” Martinez said.
According to Martinez a supervisor informed her Animal Control would be filing a petition to deem Tiny dangerous. The city ordinance also states Animal Control has 14 days to file the petition and if not they have to “immediately release the dog to its owner.” Animal control picked Tiny up on December 9, but the courts say the petition wasn’t filed until January 14.
That’s where Rio Rancho Police Spokesman, Paul Rogers, said the confusion is. Rogers said Animal Control initially deemed Martinez the owner, but she’s not. It’s her boyfriend’s mom who owns Tiny and according to police that’s what held the entire process up.
Martinez isn’t buying it.
In March, a judge dismissed the first petition to deem the dog dangerous. So Martinez said the mom went to pick up Tiny, but Animal Control told her she couldn’t.
“I cry every single time I pass through there because I hope and pray he doesn’t think we’ve given up on him,” she said.
Animal Control filed a new petition to deem the dog dangerous and this time it’s against the owner of the dog. That court date is set for May. If a judge decides Tiny is dangerous, he could be euthanized or go back to the owners with a list of restrictions.
The family has started an online petition to help free Tiny.