NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A New Mexico dog rescue recently saved more than a dozen dogs from poor living conditions. The dogs were living on a property in a rural part of New Mexico.

Mousey is one of 19 dogs rescued and up until a few weeks ago, she’d been living in a rundown car on a mesa property for five years. Those 19 dogs were recently rescued by N.M. Dog – a nonprofit rescuing chained, abused, and abandoned dogs across the state.

“We’re just a very small, feet on the ground, kind of grassroots group,” said Angela Stell, the founder of N.M. Dog. Stell asked that we keep the location of the mesa property private, to protect the previous guardian. Stell says the owner of these nineteen dogs felt very remorseful.

Stell says scenes like the one she witnessed on that mesa property are not uncommon in her line of work. Twelve of the 19 dogs were on chains, the other in makeshift pens, a lot of them living in their own waste.

Stell says the state has laws to keep situations like this one from happening, but rural jurisdictions like this one don’t always have the proper resources to enforce those laws. “Do we have willing enforcement participating in our animal welfare across the state? Are they trained properly? Do they have resources to take care of them once they’ve been impounded or taken in,” said Stell.

She says she’s glad the owner of these dogs asked for help, and they’re on their way to a happier, healthier life. It took about three weeks to get all 19 dogs off the property. The guardian is not facing any charges.