Town of Peralta confirms dead animal found hogtied, in burlap sack, is a dog

PERALTA, N.M. (KRQE) – A Peralta woman on her daily jog with her dogs was left stunned when she came across what appears to be a case of extreme animal cruelty.

During the Friday evening jog, the woman’s dog’s suddenly took off on her, surrounding a bush on a mesa east of town.

“I kept calling them, they weren’t coming, so I said oh, I’ll just go and get them,” said the woman who asked KRQE News 13 not to identify her. “I could smell something dead, and I figured, they’re probably picking at it,” she said.

Then she came across the gruesome discovery.

“I thought it was really disturbing,” she said.

The woman was shocked and saddened at what she found — an animal, she believes to be a dog, in a burlap sack with its legs hog-tied with a wire on the outside of the bag.

“To see him tied up, outside of the bag, that means, he must have been put in there, alive,” said the woman.

The bag appeared bloody, and now she wants answers.

“You would think a dog of that size, how much damage could it do to deserve a death like that?” she said.

Although it’s unclear for certain what animal is inside the bag or what condition it was in when it was left there — it’s how the animal was left that really bothers her.

“That’s what kind of made us more alarmed, I guess you could say because, it’s weird to see a dog tied up like that,” she said.

The horrifying discovery fills her with anger.

“If it was shot or drug or beaten… you know, we were thinking those people should rot in hell,” said the woman.

As to who left the animal remains a mystery.

“He didn’t deserve to die like that,” said the woman.

The woman said she shared the picture on social media, and people started using the hashtag, #Justice4Fido.

KRQE News 13 reached out to the Town of Peralta and on Tuesday they got back to us. A spokesperson for the town said investigators located the animal on the property, opened the sack, and determined it was a dog.

The spokesperson also mentioned there is no way to determine if animal cruelty was involved in this case, but they did give the animal a proper burial.

They said dumping dead animals is a huge problem in Valencia County and they do have an ordinance in the Town of Peralta, that an individual has 36 hours to dispose of the animal.

The town will be sending a letter to the property owner, who they said lives out of state, to notify him of what is happening on his land.

State law says this about extreme animal cruelty:

30-18-1. Cruelty to animals; extreme cruelty to animals; penalties; exceptions. 
A.   As used in this section, “animal” does not include insects or reptiles. 
B.   Cruelty to animals consists of a person: 
(1)   negligently mistreating, injuring, killing without lawful justification or tormenting an animal; or 
(2)   abandoning or failing to provide necessary sustenance to an animal under that person’s custody or control. 
C.   As used in Subsection B of this section, “lawful justification” means: 
(1)   humanely destroying a sick or injured animal; or 
(2)   protecting a person or animal from death or injury due to an attack by another animal. 
D.   Whoever commits cruelty to animals is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be sentenced pursuant to the provisions of Section 31-19-1 NMSA 1978.  Upon a fourth or subsequent conviction for committing cruelty to animals, the offender is guilty of a fourth degree felony and shall be sentenced pursuant to the provisions of Section 31-18-15 NMSA 1978. 
E.   Extreme cruelty to animals consists of a person: 
(1)   intentionally or maliciously torturing, mutilating, injuring or poisoning an animal; or 
(2)   maliciously killing an animal. 
F.   Whoever commits extreme cruelty to animals is guilty of a fourth degree felony and shall be sentenced pursuant to the provisions of Section 31-18-15NMSA 1978. 
G.   The court may order a person convicted for committing cruelty to animals to participate in an animal cruelty prevention program or an animal cruelty education program.  The court may also order a person convicted for committing cruelty to animals or extreme cruelty to animals to obtain psychological counseling for treatment of a mental health disorder if, in the court’s judgment, the mental health disorder contributed to the commission of the criminal offense.  The offender shall bear the expense of participating in an animal cruelty prevention program, animal cruelty education program or psychological counseling ordered by the court. 
H.   If a child is adjudicated of cruelty to animals, the court shall order an assessment and any necessary psychological counseling or treatment of the child. 
I.   The provisions of this section do not apply to: 
(1)   fishing, hunting, falconry, taking and trapping, as provided in Chapter 17 NMSA 1978; 
(2)   the practice of veterinary medicine, as provided in Chapter 61, Article 14 NMSA 1978; 
(3)   rodent or pest control, as provided in Chapter 77, Article 15 NMSA 1978; 
(4)   the treatment of livestock and other animals used on farms and ranches for the production of food, fiber or other agricultural products, when the treatment is in accordance with commonly accepted agricultural animal husbandry practices; 
(5)   the use of commonly accepted Mexican and American rodeo practices, unless otherwise prohibited by law; 
(6)   research facilities licensed pursuant to the provisions of 7 U.S.C. Section 2136, except when knowingly operating outside provisions, governing the treatment of animals, of a research or maintenance protocol approved by the institutional animal care and use committee of the facility; or 
(7)   other similar activities not otherwise prohibited by law. 
J.   If there is a dispute as to what constitutes commonly accepted agricultural animal husbandry practices or commonly accepted rodeo practices, the New Mexico livestock board shall hold a hearing to determine if the practice in question is a commonly accepted agricultural animal husbandry practice or commonly accepted rodeo practice.