Carlsbad woman says family dog was euthanized unfairly

CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – What constitutes a dangerous dog? That’s the big question a New Mexico woman has after her dog was taken by animal control and euthanized.

The mailman and neighbors say it chased him and growled at them, but it never actually hurt anyone.

Alana Gonzales says her dog Panda was a part of the family.

“My kids love him, my baby loves him, she crawls all over him, she’ll pull on his ears and his tail and he just sits there,” said Gonzales.

Now her home feels a little emptier after Panda was picked up by animal control last month.

Gonzales says animal control told her with the dog’s aggressive nature, she could not take him back home. Gonzales even took the matter to court.

“They never gave me a chance to defend him or myself to explain to them that he’s not vicious,” said Gonzales.

According to police records, while Gonzales was at work, panda got out of the yard. A mailman says the dog charged at him, growling and bearing his teeth. He says he pepper sprayed the dog several times, but he still charged at him. A neighbor says she saw the dog charge at the man and that he growled at her as well.

Gonzales says that Panda has never acted like that and deserves a second chance.  Now it’s too late; Panda was euthanized today.

“And I would have been more understanding if he actually did bite somebody, you know but he didn’t,” she said.

News 13 contacted animal control and Carlsbad police to ask how they define a dangerous dog and the criteria to euthanize one, but they never got back.

News 13 also went to the animal shelter where Panda was being kept, but they refused to comment.

For now, Gonzales and her family are devastated.

“You know going home to my daughter, my oldest, crying every night because she can’t have her dog back and me trying to make up excuses to tell her why she can’t have him back,” said Gonzales.

News 13 also tried to contact the judge who decided that the animal was too dangerous to return to his home, but the court is closed on Fridays.

News 13 searched police records for Panda involved prior incidents, but could not find any. 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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