Man pleads no contest to animal cruelty charge

Raphael's former owner has plead no contest to animal cruelty charges.

POJOAQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The original owner of an extremely emaciated dog found near death in Pojoaque has pleaded no contest.

Michael Riggs was charged with cruelty to animals.

The dog named Raphael was in very bad shape when he first arrived at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter back in October. He weighed just 45 pounds and was basically skin and bones.

He eventually gained enough weight to live in a foster home but he was then diagnosed with cancer.

In March, Raphael’s condition deteriorated and he was put down.

A judge gave Riggs a deferred sentence Wednesday. That means he could get jail time if he gets into any trouble over the next year. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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