Reported by local media:
background information:
3 dogs 'stolen':

Vet bills for seized dogs increasing; city wants puppy shop owners to pay

An animal control officer carries two puppies out from the Puppy Patch on April 23.

More than two dozen dogs seized from an Albuquerque puppy shop last week are costing the city over $11,000 to care for, and the city wants the puppy shop’s owners to pay the bills.

The city’s Animal Services seized 27 dogs from the Puppy Patch at Menaul and University on April 23, and then closed the business. The city is taking care of the dogs at its east side animal shelter. Veterinarian bills, food, and shelter costs have reached $11,296, and the tab is still running.

The city sent letters to the Puppy Patch owners Friday, demanding payment.

The owners, who were not available for comment Friday night, want the animals back. The city says it will fight that in court.

“Given the deplorable conditions they were in, how sick they were, that it’s not in the best interest of those animals to return them to the Puppy Patch under any circumstances,” said assistant city attorney Greg Wheeler. He says the owners face 27 counts of animal cruelty.

The city is still building a case against the business.

“What we’re doing today is trying to let the public know that if they have bought a sick animal from there or witnessed sick animals there to please call us and let us know,” said Viki Elkey of Animal Protection of New Mexico.

On Monday night, city councilor Sally Mayer will ask for a moratorium on pet shop permits to encourage people to adopt from shelters.

Three dogs stolen from animal shelter

Three dogs were stolen from Albuquerque’s East Side animal shelter.

Officials are offering a $500 reward for information on each of three puppies stolen this week from an Albuquerque animal shelter.

Officials say two of the dogs stolen from the East Side animal shelter were supposed to be returned to their owner as part of a deal owners of the Puppy Patch reached with the city. The Puppy Patch was closed last month, and over two dozen dogs were seized from the shop.

Officials say the three dogs were targeted for a reason. “It could be animal rights people that feel like they’re protecting the animals,” said City Councilor Sally Mayer.

Police say surveillance tape shows that a gate was left open. That allowed the culprit to enter, cut several locks, steal the dogs, and leave in just four minutes.

The animal control officer working that night had been called to the city’s West Side.

Ernest Alexander, the acting director for the shelter, says officials are investigating the incident and are making plans to prevent things like this from happening in the future. Alexander says the city is talking about adding another night-shift animal control officer and more security cameras.

Stronger locks are already in place at the shelter.

A $500 reward for each dog is being offered for information leading to an arrest.