Officials investigate treatment of dog

Thomas Garcia

By Thomas Garcia

Quay County Sun

City officials are investigating an alleged violation of Tucumcari’s animal control policy concerning the euthanizing of a dog.

Quay County resident Betty Pettigrew said she contacted Tucumcari Animal Control officer Mike Martinez Nov. 29 with the intention of adopting a dog which she said been placed in the city’s kennel on Nov. 26.

Pettigrew said she has one dog which lives on her property. She said she told Martinez she was willing to pay the fines to adopt the dog.

Martinez could not be reached for comment.

City Manager Bobbye Rose confirmed the dog was put down Nov. 29.

Rose said she and Tucumcari police chief Jason Braziel are looking into the matter.

“We are investigating if city policy was violated,” Rose said. “There is a three-day period which an animal is to be held before it is put down.”

Rose said they are trying to determine when the dog was brought in. When asked if the dog had previous history with animal control, Rose said “We are looking into the history of interaction between the dog and owner.”

Braziel was not available for comment.

The dog, described as a brown 1-and-1/2-year-old pitbull and labrador mix, was found by Colleen Bultmann, a Bernalillo County resident visiting family in Quay County for Thanksgiving.

“It was a nice dog,” Bultmann said. “A 6-year-old girl pulled on its ears, hugged it, kissed it and it took it all in.”

Bultmann said she contacted Tucumcari Central Dispatch on Nov. 24 and was told no one could pick the dog up then. She said she and her family tried to locate the owners with no success.

“The dog stayed with us for the night,” Bultmann said. “He slept in the laundry room. He never barked or scratched on the door.”

Bultmann said they attempted to locate the owners the following day. She said they finally turned the dog over to a Tucumcari police officer.

Bultmann said that, 15 minutes after she gave up the dog, Pettigrew contacted her wanting to adopt the dog.

“They would not give the dog back to me,” Bultmann said. “I was told I needed to contact someone on Monday.”

Bultmann said she was shocked and saddened to learn the dog had been put down.

“They said it was a bad dog, which was not the case,” Bultmann said. “I cannot believe they would rather kill the dog than give someone the chance to give it a home.”