Roswell Mayor Bans NM Rescue Groups in Response to Dog Attack

A 9 year old boy suffered bruising and scratches after 3 loose dogs attacked him on his family’s property in Roswell, NM last week.  He scrambled on top of a gate to stay clear of the dogs until his father, a city police detective, arrived with a gun and began shooting the dogs, killing one and wounding a second who was later euthanized.  The third dog was taken to the Roswell pound and will be killed for rabies testing.

The 3 dogs reportedly escaped from a local rescue called Doggy Saviors which pulls dogs from the Roswell pound.  The rescue surrendered another 15 dogs back to the pound after the attack.  Those dogs have reportedly been sent to a rescue group in CO.  In a statement on Roswell mayor Dennis Kintigh’s Facebook page, he indicates that all NM rescue groups are currently barred from saving animals at the pound:

On my direction the Roswell Animal Shelter has suspended releasing any animals to a local “animal rescue” organization until investigations have been completed regarding the attack on the 9 year old. The dogs involved in that attacked were reportedly “rescued” from the Roswell Animal Shelter by a local group. That group may have failed to provide appropriate care and supervision to these dogs.

Once the criminal investigation by the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office and the Administrative investigation by the City of Roswell have been completed, the policy and procedures for releasing animals to local organizations will be reviewed and amended where needed. Until that time the only groups which will be allowed to receive dogs will be those who will remove the animals from our state.

While the incident which occurred with the loose dogs is tragic, there is no reasonable basis for barring every rescuer in the state from saving animals at the pound.  The mayor alleges that Doggy Saviors “may have failed to provide appropriate care and supervision” and that there is an investigation being conducted.  There are no allegations of possible wrongdoing by any other NM rescue groups.  In the absence of any evidence suggesting otherwise, it appears the mayor is reacting in an extreme manner to an incident involving the son of one of his police officers.  Furthermore, barring all in-state rescues will result in increased killing at the Roswell pound.

Presumably the mayor is basing his decision on the notion that the public will be safer if no dogs at the Roswell pound are allowed to live unless transported out of state.  But in order for this assertion to be true, there would have to be evidence that dogs at the Roswell pound represent a public safety threat and that evidence simply does not exist.  If it did, the mayor would be acting irresponsibly by ordering these dogs to be shipped out of state.

By reacting in this extreme manner, the mayor is conveying the message that all NM rescuers are too irresponsible to have dogs and that all dogs, including puppies, at the Roswell pound are dangerous and must either be killed or sent to live in other states where they can not threaten his constituents.  The mayor’s reckless response to the incident not only insults rescue groups but also smears shelter dogs as damaged goods, thereby discouraging potential adopters.  The cycle of harm created by the mayor’s thoughtless action in this case will reverberate over time.

13 thoughts on “Roswell Mayor Bans NM Rescue Groups in Response to Dog Attack

  1. Thanks Mayor Kintigh for your lack of leadership here. Lack of due diligence before locking down every single rescue in your jurisdiction for one incident. The blood of many dogs who will now die due to your gut reaction without thought – is on your hands.

  2. Well, GEE THANKS MR MAYOR……..I am so pleased to hear how willing you are to dump your vicious dogs on the rest of the world.

  3. Slash and burn reaction to a bad incident. Have to wonder if it weren’t a cop’s kid, would the reaction have been so extreme?

    How does he possibly justify stopping ALL in state rescues from pulling, rather than the one that had insufficient containment? And now, ALL shelter dogs are dangerous – thanks for that. Because an owned dog never hurt a child, right?

    The whole thing is madness waving a stick around by the wrong end. Next will come MSN and breed profiling (if they don’t already have it in place).

    Wondering why the rescue surrendered fifteen other dogs?

  4. Not only does eliminating local rescue hurt the potential animals that can be taken from the shelter and extend the number of animals held ALIVE until an adopter can be found. Then only allowing out of state organization lessens the chance any of the animals find a place to go, and if they do, the cost is higher because o transport. Lastly, sending them to communities which are not yet saving all their homeless pets can displace pets in receiving communities that then kill current shelter pets for space. Nothing about this works if applied with elementary logic.

  5. Truly a shame. This is the same short-sighted logic that condemns all breeders because of the actions of a few. Let’s condemn all rescues because of the actions of a few. That serves the animals well. Jesus.

  6. Just now, from the director of OutPaws Rescue in Denver who has been working to save these dogs for several months now:

    We’ve just received word that the Mayor of Roswell’s promise not to euthanize until Wednesday and not to intake any more dogs was apparently a lie. Cages 28, 35, 42, 46 and 47 were euthanized today without warning. RIP precious little ones.

  7. Clearly, the village idiot is in charge. No doubt someone at the one rescue did not proceed with due diligence. That is no reason to declare war on all rescues or all dogs.

    1. Article says that during the ban, 27 animals were killed (by comparison, there were no animals killed last year). The ban is now lifted but only for non-profits (which excludes some rescues) and only for those willing to sign an agreement allowing “city officials to inspect the rescue facility anytime and anywhere.” For many rescuers, this means allowing anyone from the city to inspect their home, day or night, which is not something everyone is going to do – nor should they be required to do.

  8. Well I think it should go further then that I think if that is the case the city should look at the pound. These dogs must be being mistreated. I know that our local pound will not let anyone take a dog that is in any way considered a threat. IF a dog shows aggression they must go thru a trainer to decide if the dog is retainable/ I think they need to look at this realistic. Since this was a police officers child did he over react? Was the kid teasing the dogs? Was he just scared? Cops are too quick to shot a dog. (people too for that matter)

  9. The situation has gone from worse to complete chaos and 99% kill rate unabated since you wrote your article. The POS thugs have dug their heels in and created a document that violates the Fourth Amendment Rights of every Rescue and Foster in Roswell, all of NM and across the USA. No rescue will sign it. See for yourself –

    Specifically, The City of Roswell in June 2014 created an agreement governing the relationship with 501(c)3 rescue groups that violates the Fourth Amendment and is in direct violation of case law cited below. 501(c)3 Rescue groups throughout NM and in Roswell rely on volunteers to temporarily foster dogs and cats in their private home. Throughout the USA, it is the 501(c)3 Rescue organizations that do foster home inspections and interviews. Not the government. As of July 1, 2014 Roswell animal control and its Shelter is now managed by the Roswell Police Department. The way this new agreement is written, any private residence of both the 501(c) rescue organizations and the fosters in Roswell or anywhere in NM or the USA is subject to warrantless, unannounced inspections by Roswell Animal Control, Roswell Police or “its agents at any time and without a warrant or advance notice. ”

    RIO GRANDE KENNEL CLUB V. CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE, 2008-NMCA-093, 144 N.M. 636, 190 P.3d 1131

    “….violates the Fourth Amendment because it allows animal control officers to conduct warrantless searches….The district court entered a memorandum opinion and order on October 2, 2006, granting the City’s motions to dismiss Plaintiffs’ claims, with two exceptions:
    First, HEART’s authorization of warrantless, unannounced inspections . . . constitutes a violation of the constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure….”

    Excerpt from attached “LETTER OF AGREEMENT”



    I, _(Fostering Agent)__________________________________, in consideration of the ability to shelter/foster
    animals released by The city of Roswell to (Name of 501(c)(3))_______________________________ , do
    hereby agree to allow inspection of those portions of my premises used to shelter/foster such animals
    by The City of Roswell or its agents, without warrant or advance notice, during such times as I may
    shelter/foster animals present on my premises.

    Excerpts from body of document:

    “7. The Undersigned shall maintain a list of all partners and their locations used to
    shelter/foster the animals awaiting transportation to your organizations principal by it
    or its partners. This list shall be available to the City of Roswell personnel or its
    designated representative upon execution of this agreement. Updated or revised lists Revised 6/20/14
    of all locations shall be made available to the City of Roswell personnel or its designated
    representative upon demand.

    8. The Undersigned agrees to allow inspection of its shelters by City of Roswell personnel
    or its agents at any time and without a warrant or advance notice.

    9. Any partner of the undersigned who undertakes to shelter/foster all animals being
    released under this agreement are to be released only to individuals listed under
    paragraph seven as partners or to the undersigned him/herself and the undersigned
    pursuant to this agreement shall execute an authorization in the form attached as
    Exhibit “A” authorizing inspection of its shelter premises by the City of Roswell or its
    agents without warrant or advance notice.”

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