22 dogs seized from illegal ‘puppy mill,’ man arrested
October 17, 2019 08:37 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Bernalillo County Animal Care Service officers rescued 22 neglected dogs from what they described as a filthy puppy mill in a horrific case of animal abuse.
Investigators said Martin Segura was breeding the dogs and then selling them online. They said they dogs were living in terrible conditions and were in poor health.
Segura made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon. He was initially charged with 22 felony counts of animal cruelty, but the judge said he was not charged properly under the statue and was released on his own recognizance.
Segura is accused of running an illegal dog breeding operation at his South Valley property.
Animal Care Services Officer Meagan Rose described the horrific conditions when they served a search warrant and arrested Segura Wednesday.
"There was a large amount of feces, the air quality within the garage and the home is really bad, just to be able to breathe in the garage, the intense smell of urine that's in there, it'll burn your nose, you can feel it on your skin," she said.
Rose said the 22 dogs seized from the property are now being cared for by the county. She said they were feral, suffering from medical problems and in-bred.
"They are, for right, now receiving medical care and just basic food and things that they need and they will be housed until the investigation is over," she said.
Rose first started investigating after a neighbor reported Segura last December. Rose said the county gave Segura many chances to come into compliance.
"Unfortunately he was not willing to cooperate with these kinds of things and so in the end we had to move forward to just take all of the animals," she said.
New Mexico law requires three prior misdemeanor convictions of animal cruelty before they can be charged with a felony.
Prosecutors have 60 days to refile the charges as misdemeanors. A spokesperson for the District Attorney said they plan to refile the charges.
Created: October 17, 2019 08:37 PM
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