ELEPHANT BUTTE, N.M. (KRQE) – Sierra County Animal Control officers found 44 animals living inside a garage in Elephant Butte on Friday.
According to a police report, when officers arrived they found dozens of kennels many of them with at least for dogs living inside them. The dogs included Chinese Crescens, Boston Terriers, Pugs, Chihuahas and Yorkshire Terriers.
KRQE News 13 went to the home where the animals were being housed on Wednesday. There was smeared feces and blankets strewn about.
The owner of the animals, Margaret Simone, said a majority of the dogs were her late mothers. She said she’s been trying to make ends meet since she passed earlier this year.
“It was taking everything I had to feed them and at my age to clean them and take care of them it was really hard when I lost all my help,” Simone said. “I just wanted them to be happy and healthy and have a good home.”
Which is exactly what the Sierra County Animal Shelter is hoping will happen now. All 44 of the animals which appeared to be in good shape other than some minor matting have been surrendered to the shelter.
The problem is the shelter in Truth or Consequences only has room for about 20 dogs at a time.
It’s now working with shelters and rescue groups around the state to find other homes.
As for Simone, KRQE News 13 has learned she still have five dogs, one cat and seven parrots in her possession. News 13 asked code enforcement officials Wednesday why she’s still allowed to have that many pets. They say they’re investigating it.
According to city code, a person living in Elephant Butte is only allowed to have eight animals at a time.
Simone has not been criminally charged. That’s because the dogs were well cared for.
Code enforcement still could cite her for having more than the number of animals allowed on one property.
A majority of the dogs are being sent to the Socorro animal shelter.