ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – One month after three rescue dogs escaped and mauled a 9-year-old Roswell boy, the owner of the rescue has been charged in the attack.
Monday, KRQE News 13 spoke to the owner’s attorney who said the whole thing was one big accident.
“Sammye’s the kind of person that just wants good pets for people,” said Attorney Gary Mitchell.
Mitchell describes his client, Sammye Leflar, as a good Samaritan.
Leflar is the owner of Doggy Saviors, an animal rescue group in Roswell that’s been under fire for the last month.
In early June, three pit-bull mixes, who Leflar had recently adopted form the local animal shelter, escaped from her rescue and seriously injured a 9-year-old boy.
Leflar’s attorney says the attack was not her fault.
“This was an accident as far as I’m concerned and to bring criminal charges against somebody whose done as much good work as Sammye seems pretty outrageous,” said Mitchell.
Leflar’s been charged with three counts of animals running at large and having no proof the dogs received rabies vaccinations.
Mitchell said the charges are bogus.
“She certainly didn’t allow the dogs to run loose and we’ve got piles of records where she gets her adopted animals rabies shots,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell said the dogs that attacked the boy along with 15 others were staying at Leflar’s friend’s house awaiting adoption from a Colorado rescue. But because they were still under her care, deputies say she’s responsible for them.
The city claims the dog’s living area was deplorable, but her attorney said they were well cared for.
“It’s a lot of people trying to do good things and then we get caught up in a bad situation,” said Mitchell.
Leflar entered a not guilty plea Thursday.
Her attorney said she’s reached out to the victim’s family numerous times to apologize.
After the attack Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh implemented a new policy only allowing rescues to adopt from the city’s animal control if they’ve gone through inspections and followed other rules.
Doggy Saviors is still not in compliance and can’t adopt dogs.