This is a rather strange story about the Heart and Soul Animal Sanctuary in NM who says they received three anonymous phone calls regarding an abused Yorkie at the Bureau of Land Management offices in Santa Fe. Someone from the sanctuary went to the location and was captured on video surveillance removing the dog from a partially enclosed outdoor area of the facility.
The dog’s owner, a maintenance man at the Bureau of Land Management, took the dog (called Crazy) to work with him every day. The owner had left him tied in the outdoor area briefly and returned to find him gone. He called authorities, suspecting Crazy had been stolen.
Video surveillance of that event was published on The New Mexican‘s website Oct. 2 along with a news article. After it was clear from interviews that the dog was not abused, police say a friend of the bagman contacted law enforcement.
At that point, the dog, “Crazy” had already been placed for adoption with a family from Denver. That family, when informed about the mishap, offered the dog’s owner, Hector Gardea-Romero, $2,500 for the dog. He declined.
Police say no evidence exists that the dog was ever abused and their call for the public to respond with tips regarding the dog’s abuse has gone unanswered. Crazy and owner are now reunited. The sanctuary owner and the employee who took the dog are charged with larceny.
The sanctuary owner drove to the sheriff’s office to discuss the case Thursday in a vehicle carrying 15 dogs. While she was inside, a local TV reporter notified AC that dogs were in distress in a vehicle at the sheriff’s office parking lot. AC showed up, found the temperature inside the vehicle was 111 degrees, and seized the dogs. One of the seized pups had a body temperature of 107 according to the sheriff. Natalie Owings, the sanctuary owner, now faces 15 counts of misdemeanor cruelty in addition to the theft charge:
Depending on the money value placed on the stolen pet, the larceny charge can range from a petty misdemeanor to a fourth-degree felony, but jail time isn’t likely for Owings or her co-worker as neither has a criminal record. The animal neglect charges are all petty misdemeanors and would each carry a $50 fine.
Following the news story on the case (nope, it’s not over yet), several area residents whose dogs have gone missing phoned up the sheriff wondering if their pets could have been stolen by this sanctuary. AC officers visited the rescue yesterday to take photos and scan pets for microchips in an effort to sort things out.