More chihuahuas found near Santa Rosa after car crash
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A week after a van filled with more than 100 chihuahuas crashed in eastern New Mexico, people are still finding more helpless dogs who survived that crash.
“I have never seen anything like this in my life, like what we are facing now, last week what we went through, what we are still going through,” said Santa Rosa Mayor Nelson Kotiar.
Last week Kotiar thought they had the problem solved when multiple metro area rescues stepped up to take in a majority of the injured chihuahuas. More than 80 of them went off to metro rescues and fosters to recover before getting adopted, around 20 dogs didn’t survive the crash.
But over the last few days, it appears some dogs that were in that van are suddenly showing up now.
“Last Saturday a traveler was traveling up Highway 54 north, and they picked up another chihuahua running on the side of the road,” Kotiar explained. “We also got a call yesterday one of the ranchers found two of those dogs. I’m expecting more dogs running around here, and we are asking people for help if you find any dog call the city of Santa Rosa Police Department.”
New Mexico State Police say the driver, 40-year-old Missael Rodelo, and all his passengers were brought to the hospital after the crash. There he surrendered all of those chihuahuas.
NMSP also gave Rodelo citations for failing to stay in his lane of traffic and for not having insurance.
But, when we asked State Police if Rodelo will face any charges for animal cruelty, a spokesperson said that decision is up to the City of Santa Rosa.
“We had a council meeting to talk to our attorney, how can we follow up with this matter because somebody needs to get a citation for that, because that many dogs, the vehicle, and had no seat in the back, it’s horrible,” Kotiar said.
Santa Rosa officials are still weighing their options, but the mayor says right now, their priority is making sure these dogs are safe.
“I’m so worried about those dogs we are hoping people will find more dogs still alive out there, so we can find them a good housing,” Kotiar said.