EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Doña Ana County Animal Control/Code Enforcement is investigating a residence after volunteers with an animal rescue group say they saw several dead dogs in the front yard.

Foster Schneider, a volunteer with the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley, said she is currently fostering five dogs from a residence in Doña Ana County. She said she was going to pick up a dog from the home with the owner’s authorization and when she arrived she saw a horrifying scene.

“I instantly started throwing up the smell was that bad,” Schneider said. “I looked to my left, and I saw a chain with a black, like something black. I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, what is that?’ So I walked over and there was a chain in the ground. And it was leading to a big black dog under a bush dead.”

Schneider said the shelter had first taken five of the dogs, after the owner told animal control previously he was in the hospital and unable to pick them up until he was out. She said she was notified about the conditions by another foster who returned one of the dogs to the owner.

“So I decided to call him and say ‘hey, can I keep these dogs till they’re recuperating from surgery?’ They’ve all five just had surgery. I mean literally. So I say can I keep them till they get better?” Schneider said.

She said once, when she went to the residence, she saw one dog which appeared to be dead while on a chain under a bush, one wrapped up in a bag or sheet with flies surrounding it and a puppy that also appeared to be dead in the yard.

“So the conditions were so horrible that I made a place to call to Animal Control County Animal Control for a welfare check on the dog that we knew that was in there,” Schneider said.

KTSM asked Doña Ana County about the welfare check. A spokesperson said there was an open investigation and they could not comment on the case as it was in the beginning stages.

The County also referred to the county ordinances.

§ 134-10 Deceased animal disposal.
A.Owner responsibility. A person owning or having charge or custody of an animal carcass shall be responsible for its removal within 24 hours of death if the animal is not to be used for human consumption.

(1)An animal carcass may be disposed of at the local landfill or waste transfer station as authorized.

(2) An animal carcass may be buried on the owner’s property as long as such burial is at least three feet underground.

Sherrif Kim Stewart said she was also aware of the case. She also added she believes it would be “tremendously beneficial” for the county to crack down on animal welfare.

For now, five dogs from the residence are in Schneider’s foster care but she said she believes more dogs were in the home.

Schneider said local rescues are needed to help with the fostering of the dogs and can contact her for information by calling the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley.

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