Neighbors of chained dog want tethering law changed

BERNALILLO, N.M. (KRQE) – People are outraged about how a dog in their neighborhood is being treated. They are taking their case to social media and county leaders to get officials to take notice and change the law. Neighbors say Guero is always on a heavy chain that is too short for him to reach his water bowl. They said they have asked animal control to get involved over and over again, but said they are doing nothing.

Angelina Gutierrez has lived next door to Guero and his owners for a year and a half and she’s angry with his situation.

“He’s like four feet shy of reaching his basic resources for life. We see him cry for hours. We come out here and watch him stretch and dig at the ground, just trying to reach,” explained Gutierrez.

Recently, Guero’s owners put up a fence and set him free. However, when Guero got out, he on went the chain.

“The weight of that chain, that can’t be okay. There’s just no way that that is acceptable,” said Gutierrez.

Gutierrez has called animal control, but they said the dog seems fine. Gutierrez disagrees and that is why she is helping to take care of Guero by giving him love and water.

“It breaks my heart,” said Gutierrez.

Gutierrez said with little help from animal control, she went to her friend Rob Vitek for help.

“Got to save them,” Vitek said. “That’s inhumane. That’s abuse to have a 3-inch chain around a dog’s neck.”

Vitek called animal groups around the state and filed several reports with Animal Control. Then he took his pleas to social media, getting the word out on Facebook. He even offering a $250 reward for their release.

“Bernalillo County, this would totally be unacceptable,” Vitek said. “The dogs would be released right now, but because it’s in Sandoval County, we’re dealing with the county law and dog laws and the restrictions and what we can and cannot do.”

His next step is getting the law changed altogether. As it stands now, there’s nothing keeping Guero’s owners from chaining him up. Guero is still supposed to have access to food and water.

Guero’s owners said that he will only be chained up until they can get a higher fence.

Bernalillo Police Chief Tom Romero said he went out to the home himself, along with Animal Control. Romero said the owners have agreed to fix the fence so the dog doesn’t get out. He also says he and his officers don’t agree with the chain and have asked the owners to replace it with a harness, even though there’s no law on the books. Romero says Animal Control will return Tuesday to make sure the owners made changes.

Counties like Bernalillo and Santa Fe both have anti-tethering laws on the books, but Valencia and Sandoval counties do not.

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