Pit bull rescued in Socorro amid calls for increased punishment in animal cruelty cases

New Mexico News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Another extreme case of animal abuse has made its way through the Borderland, causing the community to call for saving good dogs from bad people. Pawsitive Rescuers rescued Roxy, a pit bull mix, and her 10-day old puppies on July 28. She was found at her owner’s home in Socorro chained in the front yard.


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An anonymous call was made to Karen Washington of Pawsitive Rescuers that reported Roxy and another dog chained in the backyard. The second dog was not on the property when Roxy and her puppies were recovered.

Roxy’s is the latest in a series of animal cruelty and neglect cases that have made headlines across the Borderland this summer.

Texas laws define animal cruelty as the failure to provide, food, care or shelter and is punishable for up to 10 years in prison with a fine of up to $10,000.

Oftentimes, however, cases of animal abuse in El Paso County are treated as misdemeanors.

Animal welfare activists are calling on local governments to more severely punish animal abuse as felonies and require certain reparations. 

”We feel the owners need to be held more accountable. We would love her owner to reimburse us for her vet bills. It’s his sole responsibility for this dog’s condition,” said Washington. 

Washington said she contacted the Socorro Police Department earlier this week and that Chief David Burton responded within half an hour.

On Friday, SPD arrested Mario Huereca, 21, of Socorro, was subsequently arrested on Friday for cruelty to non-livestock animals and booked into the El Paso County Detention Facility with a $2,000 bond.

The increased frequency of animal abuse cases in the area making headlines corresponds with a rise in domestic and animal abuse pursuant to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Animal advocates want more accountability and say that social media has been instrumental when it comes to identifying abuse and rescuing pets.

“We’re watching you and we’re watching your dogs,” said Washington.

Although Roxy has been recovered from her previous owner, she’s far from out of the woods.

Washington said Roxy was seen by two vets in the last week and is being treated for malnourishment and more.

“She’s being fed on the hour — every hour. She was given quite a few medications because she’s not digesting fats. Her liver count is low, her red blood cell count is low, she has an infection in her GI tract,” she said.

Roxy is being cared for by a foster family in Las Cruces but will continue to require medical care in order to fully recover.

Pawsitive Rescuers is asking for community support via donations that can be made here

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