Man accused of abandoning dog in Santa Fe parking lot


SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Animal Control officers are looking for a man who they believe abandoned a dog in the middle of a doughnut store parking lot on a busy Santa Fe road.

It happened around 7 a.m. Tuesday at the Dunkin’ Donuts on south St. Francis Drive, just south of Cerrillos Road.

A customer found the dog in the shop’s parking lot with a note on its collar saying, “I’m free. I’m having babies.”

“To have an animal just left on a busy road like that is highly concerning for our division, for the welfare of the animal,” said Theresa Phalen, an Animal Services Officer for the City of Santa Fe.

Surveillance video from the business shows the man get out of a dark-colored mini-van and let the dog out of the vehicle just before 7 a.m. Video shows the man go into the store as the dog was left to roam free in the parking lot.

According to an animal control report, the man bought a cup of coffee from the business and even asked an employee “what’s up with that dog outside.”

The man left a short time later. The video shows the man looking at the dog, but leaving without it.

“The dog stayed in the parking lot after his departure,” said Phalen.

Santa Fe Animal Services says another customer picked up the dog and called Animal Control, fearing that the dog would be hit by a car if she was left alone. That’s when the person discovered the note on the collar that read, “I’m free, I’m having babies.”

The Santa Fe Animal Shelter is now caring for the dog, saying she wasn’t hurt. They’re also not sure if the dog is pregnant. According to the report, doctors took x-ray images of the dog and saw “something in the uterus,” but could not determine if it was a uterine infection or early signs of a pregnancy.

If the dog’s owner is identified, he could at least face a misdemeanor animal abandonment charge.

Call Santa Fe Animal Services at 505-955-2701 if you have any information that can help.

The shelter is not adopting out this dog just yet while they try to determine who owns the dog and if she’s actually pregnant.

Owners who can’t take care of their pets can surrender them legally through the city’s Animal Services division.

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