ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – There are about 60 dogs right now in San Miguel County, locked up in kennels while their owner sits in jail. That owner is facing a very long list of animal cruelty charges, and because she can’t follow the rules, will stay locked up until at least November 15. So what about all the dogs?
“The ones I did see were in pens much too small. Several dogs to a pen, feces all over the ground. You know one person can’t take care of 69 dogs,” said Catherine Taft.
It’s a compound of dogs living in squalor, and neighbors have been fighting to save them.
“I am a dog lover and it was very discouraging. The first time I went, I wasn’t permitted to see all the dogs…she didn’t allow the volunteers who were bringing water and food that day to see all the dogs,” Taft said.
Taft is one of those neighbors, hoping the dogs will get the help they need.
The owner of the property is 71-year-old Jessica Taylor. Two goats and a handful of dogs were taken from another one of Taylor’s properties in February.
Taylor is facing 35 charges of animal cruelty, but on Monday, she was arrested again.
“Part of the terms of her release for that particular situation was that she have no animals, and here she was with 60 dogs on a different property,” Taft said.
Sky News 13 flew over Taft’s property in Rowe, and the dogs can be seen living in close quarters while Taylor sits in jail. The Animal Welfare Coalition (AWC) in Las Vegas is now taking care of them.
“Every other day. We just simply are not able to be there every day. As it is, this will put a tremendous strain on our resources,” said Martina Holguin.
Holguin is the director of AWC and says unless Taylor agrees to give up ownership of the dogs, the shelter can’t take them.
“How can we maintain them in a healthy safe position until we can do that? How quickly can we get legal custody of them so they’re not sitting in limbo?” Holguin said.
Unless the District Attorney’s Office requests to seize the animals and a judge approves it, the dogs will remain on Taylor’s property.
The AWC in Las Vegas is happy to take donations for the dogs, as they are a non-profit that is now struggling as they care for them. For more information, click here.
KRQE News 13 did reach out to the District Attorney’s Office to see if it plans to file a motion to seize the animals, but have not yet heard back.