ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – New hours, new employees even a new spay and neuter policy. They’re all changes the City of Roswell has implemented at the local animal control office.
“We want to make our community safer and we want to make it better for the animals too,” said Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh.
In early June a Roswell pet rescue adopted three pit-bull mixes from animal control.
While at the rescue, the dogs escaped and mauled 9-year-old Colby Prince severely injuring him.
“I saw the blood on his mother’s shirt and I held his father in my arms,” said Kintigh. “We will not have that again, period.”
Since the attack, people have voiced concerns about animal control’s hours and policies.
In an effort to ease those concerns the city has hired four new employees, opened the shelter for an additional 21 hours a week and purchased a special computer system to organize the department’s records.
Plus, they want to strengthen some of the ordinances.
“We have to get a grip of the number of animals you have at a residence,” said Kintigh.
Right now, a person in city limits can have up to 10 animals on their property if they have a certain permit.
As for rescues, there is no limit.
“We’ve got to systematically go through, make the changes that need to be made and issue the policies that are the best for this community,” said Kintigh.
Residents say they’re encouraged.
“We hate to see a tragedy create a turmoil that is going on, but sometimes it takes that to get people’s attention,” said Jerry Childress.
The city says it doesn’t know how many pets will be allowed in homes, but they are throwing around the idea of just three.
There will be a meeting so people can voice concerns about the possible change before proposals are presented to the city council.
The parents of the boy who was mauled by the rescue dogs has filed a lawsuit against the city.