A dog, apparently a pit bull-terrier mix, is held at the Roswell Animal Shelter on Thursday. The shelter is suspending releasing animals to local rescue groups until the Sheriff’s Office completes its investigation into the Wednesday dog attack that sent a 9-year-old boy to the hospital. (Randal Seyler Photo)
A total of 12 dogs from Doggy Saviors rescue that were not involved in Wednesday’s attack on a 9-year-old boy are now in Colorado.
Two more of the dogs were held back due to aggressive behavior, said Animal Shelter director Joseph Pacheco on Friday.
“They seemed friendly, but when we took them on a walk down the hallway they tried to go after the other dogs,” Pacheco said. “So we kept them here.”
There were a total of 18 dogs at the Doggy Saviors kennel before the mauling incident occurred on Wednesday. Two of the dogs are now dead, two were being held for observation, and the final two were held back due to their behavior. The remaining 12 dogs were shipped out to the Buck’n-R-Ranch Animal Rescue in Franktown, Colo.
On Wednesday morning, a pack of three pit bull terrier-mixed breed dogs escaped from the Doggy Saviors kennel and attacked 9-year-old boy Colby Prince, sending the child to the hospital.
The boy’s father shot and killed one of the dogs, and wounded a second dog, which was later euthanized by animal control officers. The third pit bull-mix is being held for observation for rabies, as is a Lab-mix dog that was running with the other three animals but which did not attack the boy.
Thursday night at the Roswell City Council meeting, Mayor Dennis Kintigh announced that the Animal Shelter was suspended from releasing any animals to a local animal rescue organization until the investigations have been completed regarding the attack on Colby.
“The dogs involved in that attack were reportedly ‘rescued’ from the Roswell Animal Shelter by a local group,” Kintigh said in his statement. “That group may have failed to provide appropriate care and supervision to these dogs.”
Once the criminal investigation by the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office and the administrative investigation by the city of Roswell have been completed, the policy and procedures for releasing animals to local organizations will be reviewed and amended where needed, Kintigh said.
“Until that time, the only groups that will be allowed to receive dogs will be those who will remove the animals from our state,” Kintigh said.
Pacheco said on Friday that the shelter will begin euthanizing animals on their regular schedule, which allows animals seven days from when they are captured or surrendered. “On the eighth day, they are euthanized,” Pacheco said.
Residents are still allowed to adopt and reclaim animals as normal, Pacheco said, it is just local rescue groups who are currently banned from removing animals.
However, without rescue groups taking animals from the shelter, the number of dogs and cats the shelter has to kill will likely increase.
Pacheco said the shelter could not suspend putting animals down until the investigation is completed. “We wouldn’t be able to do that, we’d run out of room pretty quickly,” he said.