RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – A Rio Rancho woman is calling on city and state leaders to change the rules on dangerous dogs in the state. “My dogs are scared. I don’t feel safe walking my dog in the same neighborhood I’ve walked for seven years,” said Annette Imboden.

On February 10, Imboden and her dogs Max and Bella were walking in their Rio Rancho neighborhood when a pit bull attacked them. Bella escaped while Annette and Max fought off the loose dog.

“I got all bloodied and multiple injuries and I’m still on the ground being drug through the rocks and Max broke loose and tried to run home but the pit bull was still attached to his face,” said Imboden.

Neighbors came by to help and eventually got a muzzle on the dog. Max suffered multiple injuries, especially to his face. Imboden sprained her knee and had bites on her hands. All of this leading to hefty vet and hospital bills. She added this isn’t the first time this has happened.

Imboden mentioned, “It’s normal for the occasional loose dog to be out. Nobody can prevent that. Nobody in the world. But if they do find out who the owner is, the owner has to have some responsibility.”

Animal Control told Imboden there was no proof the dog had any vaccinations, and it wasn’t licensed. Still, Imboden said the pit bull was released back to its owners and weeks later, it got out again.

According to Imboden, Animal Control deemed the dog dangerous, and the owners were charged. However, Imboden said those were dropped because the owners gave the dog away.

Imboden’s sister, Brenda Clubine-Coolbaugh, wants to push for better legislation to protect victims while also holding dog owners responsible.

“The bottom line is this, there is zero accountability. I don’t care who you are if you want to own a dog get him licensed, get him shots, get him chipped,” said Clubine-Coolbaugh.

The sisters have reached out to their city leaders and state representatives. According to Rio Rancho regulations, any animal that has bitten a human and is deemed dangerous is supposed to be quarantined until the court can make a finding.

The officer followed all proper enforcement of the City Animal Ordinances, and citations were issued for non-vaccination, rabies proof – citations were in pending status as we allow owners time to provide proof. The officer followed up confirming the dog is no longer in the City, and the open case on our end can be closed.

City of Rio Rancho