Rescued puppies ready for new homes for the holidays
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Bernalillo County Animal Care officers started taking dogs from a home in Tijeras earlier this month, including days-old puppies. Officials say it is a textbook hoarding case, but the property owner is now facing animal cruelty charges.
“Sometimes you think there’s 20 dogs, you might think there’s 100 dogs – most times it falls somewhere in between,” said Benjamin Silva, protection enforcement supervisor with Bernalillo County Animal Care.
Silva started working on this hoarding and animal cruelty case in Tijeras in July 2021. He says the property owner, Douglas Reames, cooperated for a year.
When he stopped, the BCSO Animal Cruelty Task Force stepped in to help start clearing out dogs earlier this month. They also charged Reames with extreme cruelty to animals.
Reames is out of jail now – but no longer living at the now-condemned property.
“Even though it’s taken a while, we have been successful in getting all of those dogs,” Silva said.
Authorities found 60 dogs at the home. Silva says he caught the last of the dogs just last week, after hours of effort and dozens of visits.
“It’s nice to just help the animals in need that don’t have a voice,” Silva said.
However, they couldn’t save all of the dogs.
“There were dogs that were sick, there were dogs that were feral,” Silva said. “Most of the time, you’re gonna see that in large-scale hoarding cases.”
There are 10 at the shelter available for adoption now. 12 more will be ready in the coming weeks.
“Everyone is interested in these cases,” Silva said. “They wanna see dogs go to loving homes, they don’t want to see dogs abused.”
Leaders just hope that interest goes as far as a trip to the shelter.
“They’re all adoptable, just like any other litter of puppies that comes through here from any other place in the county,” Silva said.
The Bernalillo County shelter is caring for 94 puppies right now, which is very high for this time of year. They’re also juggling a shortage in enforcement – they have five officers and a supervisor. Fully staffed would be 11 officers. Their door is open to applicants, volunteers, and fosters.