ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – The vicious dog attack of a 9-year-old boy has created some controversy in Roswell and how the city works with local rescue groups.
Thursday, Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh suspended all local pet rescue groups from adopting animals from the city’s shelter, then Friday, Kintigh halted all New Mexico rescue groups from doing the same thing.
“What happened on Wednesday is unacceptable,” Kintigh said. “Something did not work right and we have to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Prior to Wendesday’s incident, where a 4th grader was mauled by three escaped rescue dogs, local pet rescues could adopt an animal from the shelter for $1 as long as they were a licensed non-profit.
The group was then expected to vaccinate, spay or neuter and find the animals a forever home, but that didn’t always happen. “How were these dogs able to attack a small child if they were in care, custody and control of a reputable rescue group?” stated Kintigh.
Kintigh is now working on implementing a harsher city ordinance. New policies could range from mandatory rescue inspections, worker background checks and an increase to the adoption fee.
In the meantime, Kintigh has halted all New Mexico rescues from adopting from the Roswell shelter.
Some residents are outraged by what the Mayor is trying to do, “It’s not everybody’s fault and its not every dogs fault and all you’re doing is killing innocent animals,” said Corrina Casler.
Still, Kintigh defends his decision, “We’re afraid animals are going to be put down, I understand the desire in that part, but we have to be thorough,” he said.
Right now, the city’s code enforcement supervises animal control and Kintigh says he’d like to see the police department take over that responsibility.
The Mayor says he will lift the ban against New Mexico rescue groups adopting from the Roswell shelter as soon as the investigation is complete.
He did post information about the new policy on his Facebook page and has since been bombarded with negative comments calling him a dog killer and asking him to change his mind.