Two representatives from Animal Control, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza and another officer led the meeting. County Commissioner Rudy Garcia and a representative from the Attorney General’s Office were scheduled to attend, but didn’t, according to Leamy.
Ultimately, it’s up to the Santa Fe County attorney’s office to show up for trials in Magistrate Court to prosecute Ybarra; a judge would determine whether a particular dog is “vicious.” But county officials haven’t done that so far, despite at least five other dogs being attacked by Ybarra’s animals, two of which were killed, residents say.
“My focus at the meeting is to get a guarantee from Animal Control that they will prosecute under the Dangerous Dog Act of New Mexico and that they will show up to ALL court dates,” Leamy wrote in a change.org petition. “In the past, each criminal case was dismissed because the Santa Fe County prosecutor failed to be there in Magistrate Court on the final date. Repeatedly. The last four times. Santa Fe County is just as liable as the owner of the dogs.”
The first step is to file a civil lawsuit against Ybarra and then work on strengthening the county’s ordinance on restraining dogs, which was last amended in 2014.
“We will absolutely be committed to doing whatever we can based on what we’ve been told legally,” Madrid resident Stephanie Coulthard tells SFR. “We are now committed to going up and filing a civil suit and changing the ordinance going forward. It may not be easy, however our County Commissioner Rudy Garcia has been extremely receptive to this neighborhood and I believe he will work with us.”
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Katherine is a Florida native in Santa Fe to cover the texture and life of the city’s Southside using writing, photography, videography and audio. She’s a grant-funded fellow in the Report for America program and her work is underwritten by the Brindle and McCune foundations, Enterprise Bank and Hutton Broadcasting.
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