Dozens of seized dogs are overwhelming local animal organization | KOB 4

Dozens of seized dogs are overwhelming local animal organization

Brittany Costello
August 21, 2019 10:31 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A Northern New Mexico animal shelter is still caring for dozens of dogs that were seized earlier this year at a property in rural San Miguel County. 


According to an arrest complaint, 32 animals were found in deplorable conditions. Several of them were dead.

A property in Ilfeld, New Mexico, belonging to Jessica Taylor, was searched on Jan. 31, 2019. The animals were seized and taken to the Animal Welfare Coalition, a local organization that is contracted out by the city and county.

Taylor is charged with eight counts of extreme cruelty to animals and 27 counts of cruelty to animals.

“They were extremely shut down,” said Martina Holguin, the director of the Animal Welfare Coalition. “I am amazed at how far some of them have come.”

But progress of the animal is somewhat hindered, according to Julie Hart, a dog trainer with Hart to Heart Canine Training, LLC and volunteer at Animal Welfare Coalition.

In a letter filed in San Miguel County Magistrate Court on July 29, Hart says “what the dogs need is transfer to qualified rescues or foster homes.”

The letter goes on to say, “It’s brought us to our knees in terms of financial resources as well as our capacity to meet the needs of our community."

The dogs still belong to Taylor. That means the dogs are to remain at the shelter pending criminal charges, according to Holguin. Hart was asking for the dogs to be involuntarily surrendered, but that hasn’t happened.

“Her cost has hit about $100,000 in fees and medical that everyone has received,” said Holguin.

Six months and counting, the cost is growing and they don't believe they'll see a dime of it. There’s much more work Hart said needs to be done.

“I guess, a year with some pretty stringent rehabilitation till they resemble a normal pet dog,” said Hart.

That's just the beginning. It turns out, Taylor has another San Miguel County property. Holguin said there are at least 61 other dogs in similar condition.

But even though conditions of release documents require her not to have any animals on her property, Holguin said there’s nothing they can do because they are already stretched thin.

“It’s absolutely overwhelming. I cannot fathom the tax on our resources with these 32 has been tremendous, to have an influx of 61, we simply don’t have it,” said Holguin. “They are already in a bad situation, to bring them out and bring them into a worse situation because we don’t have the resources to provide for them, it’s not fair to them.”

The San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office is aware of the second property. It’s not clear when the other group of dogs will be taken from the second property.


Brittany Costello

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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