Help needed in dog mutilation case
GRANTS-Grants Police Chief Marty Vigil and Crime Stoppers are offering up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for severe mutilation to a young puppy last week.
Vigil said a conviction is not required for the reward to be granted.
The puppy, affectionately called Ears by the Grants/Cibola County Animal Shelter staff, was found in an outside drop box at the shelter Friday morning, with both ears severed at the base, said shelter employee Jose Gonzales. Gonzales immediately took the pup to Airport Animal Clinic for examination and treatment because the ear stubs smelled bad and were clogged with what looked like infection, he said. Because the puppy was dropped off, no information is available about where he came from.
Dr. Rebecca Anderson examined the puppy. She said he appears to be 10 to 12 weeks old and a brindle mix, possible an Akita or Boxer mix. The injuries appeared to be two to three days old, she added. In all respects besides the damage to the ears the puppy appeared to be in good health. We won't know till he lives for two weeks after he gets his shots. She explained that the pup can still pick up kennel diseases such as Parvo but that would not be the fault of the shelter. The shelter is very good about sanitation, but diseases sometimes occur anyway, she explained.
Anderson said the injury was caused by someone trying to do an ear-crop, apparently with scissors. She added that she has seen four or five botched ear-crops in the past few years. Some vets won't do them. I do crop ears, but it costs about $200, she said. The veterinarian said people crop dogs' ears to make the animals look vicious. A Doberman with floppy ears isn't going to terrorize anyone, she said. A humane ear-crop requires anesthesia and certain procedures to ensure the ear heals properly, the vet told the Beacon.
Mutilation of animals is a crime.
Vigil said he would charge the crime as an ordinance or statute violation, whichever is greatest. To cut the puppy's entire ear off...It is horrible. It is disgusting, he said.
The Milan Criminal Code Ordinance 187 for Animal Control states: No owner or keeper of animals shall maliciously kill, maim, torture, mutilate, burn or to cruelty drive or work any animal.
Cibola County Ordinance 01-01 states: It is unlawful for any person to willfully or maliciously kill, beat, sexually abuse, maim, poison, disfigure, burn, or scald any animal, except that reasonable force may be employed only to drive off and repel vicious or trespassing animals.
The City of Grants Ordinance 350 states: It is unlawful for any person to maliciously kill, maim, torture, mutilate, burn or cruelly drive or work any animal.
Vigil said he would have to check the statutes to see if cruelty to animals can be charged as a felony. The mutilation was probably performed without anesthetic, said Anderson. There are no nerves in the cartilage but the pup would experience the pain of cutting skin and there would have been considerable blood, Anderson said. She added that the pup would not be feeling much pain now.
Anyone with information about this puppy or the mutilation should contact Crime Stoppers at 287-8400 or call the Grants Police Department at 287-4404. Crime Stoppers is a completely anonymous hotline; no caller identities are ever revealed.
Even information about the location where the puppy was seen, found or picked up before it was taken to the animal shelter might be useful.
By Helen Davis