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Chaparral assault call leads to discovery of scores of dogs

Chaparral assault call leads to discovery of scores of dogs
Miguel Mendez: KTSM
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POSTED: Monday, September 9, 2013 - 4:35pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 7:57am

Numerous dogs causing problems for neighbors, investigators

A late Friday night phone call to Otero County Sheriff Deputies ends with the discovery of scores of dogs at a home in Chaparral.

According to Otero County Sheriff Benny House, deputies were first dispatched to a home along Alice Marie Drive late Friday night due to a call from a female. House said the woman claimed that she had been assaulted.

Once deputies arrived they found an undetermined number of dogs running around the property.

Deputies say that that property owner, Felix Moriel, was taken into custody and charged with several offenses, including false imprisonment, battery, aggravated battery, indecent exposure, interferring with communication and resisting or obstructing a police officer.

Sheriff House says that deputies had been called to the property many times, however once Moriel was taken into custody, they then had to check out the entire property.

House believes that the property may have been 'some sort of animal rescue' at one time. He added that one of his deputies was bitten by a dog at the property.

While officials obtained permission to enter the property, neighbors reported that several dogs fought with each other, resulting in the death of several dogs.

Deputies were able to contact a boardmember of the  animal rescue, who then obtained a power of attorney from Moriel while behind bars, allowing officials to enter the property and deal with the numerous dogs.

As of late Monday afternoon, several veteranarians were on the property, evaluating the condition of the dogs and assessing if the dogs could be placed or if they would have to be euthanized due to their health.

Officials say Moriel is still being held in the Otero County Jail, with a $25,000 bond.

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