Animal Control To Step Up Efforts

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The Truth or Consequen-ces Police Department (TC-PD) will begin an aggressive proactive approach of identifying un-restrained animals within the communities of Truth or Consequences and the Village of Williamsburg.
As T-or-C Police Chief Lee Alirez says, “We are notifying the public to make sure their animals are properly restrained and unable to leave their yards without their owners.”
The TCPD and Animal Control is eager to assist residents with guidance in the compassionate care and safety of their animals and balances this with the need for public safety.
“Our goal is to assist the public, and bring into compliance those identified

Officer Hospitalized After Dog Attack

Police beat

A Truth or Consequences Police Officer was hospitalized this week after being attacked by a pit bull/bull mastiff cross, while looking for a man who had outstanding warrants.
Just after 5 p.m. on Friday, June 12, Officer Keith Miller went to 1305 Copper Street looking for William Cod…

44 Dogs Taken From EB Home

Sierra Animal Shelter officials report that 26 of the 44 dogs collected from an Elephant Butte home have been taken to the Socorro Animal Shelter to assist in overcrowding issues. Eight of the remaining animals had been adopted and the rest are available for adoption at the Sierra Animal Shelter; none of the dogs have had to be put down…

County Opposes Wolf Program

In a unanimous vote, Sierra County Commissioners during their February 17 session approved a resolution (#103-065) establishing their opposition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Wolf Recovery Program.
Prior to the vote, commission members heard public comments from a half-dozen citizens in support of the proposed resolution. The comments included requests for the board to consider enacting an ordinance, instead of a less formal resolution, saying an ordinance would assure the statutory authority of the Sierra County Sheriff’s Department in related matters.
After discussing the option, commissioners decided to approve the proposed resolution as written, but heeding the public comments, also agreed to consider a potential ordinance, or an additional resolution, to further define the county’s opposition to the present wolf recovery initiative.
The approved resolution spells out Sierra County’s direct opposition to FWS revisions of the wolf recovery program, which involved…

A Christmas Miracle

On September 1, Labor Day, 16-year-old Dylan and his 18-year-old brother, Dakota, were driving from Hatch back to their Albuquerque home.
The two were traveling with their young female black lab, Diamond, when they lost control of the vehicle and it hit a guardrail. At mile marker 98, north of the Mitchell Point exit on 1-25, their vehicle rolled over and crashed, badly injuring everyone in it. Dylan was ejected through the windshield and landed thirty feet away. He suffered from a collapsed lung, seven broken ribs and other injuries. His brother, Dakota, also suffered severe injuries all over his body. The Labrador retriever was also ejected from the vehicle and injured. Traumatized and in shock, Diamond became so terrified that she started to run and run at full speed along 1-25. No one could stop her. Their beloved companion may have been lost forever…

Local Horse Earns Superior Race Horse Status Award

Mr. Taka B has earned his “Superior Race Horse Status Award,” an achievement that is very hard to come by. The milestones it takes to reach the required 200 racing points set by the AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) are very difficult, and typically take a horse many years to achieve. It has taken Mr. Taka B, a five-year-old gelding, just three racing years to achieve this. Most horses don’t make it due to lack of talent or injuries. It wasn’t an easy road for the young gelding, but he’s survived a near fatal spider bite, a surgery for a bone spur that was beginning to aggravate him, and a year off to recover from all of this. But in his usually classy way he came back better than ever!
He is now at Lonestar Park Race Track in Dallas, Texas preparing for future stakes competition…

Sierra County Steer Named Top In State

Sierra County exhibitors recently brought home top honor from New Mexico State Fair.  Hopkins Club Calves earned Grand Champion New Mexico Bred steer with a Sierra County bred and raised show steer, shown by Christian Hopkins…

Proposed Site Of Public Service Complex

With legislative funding requests for construction of a community animal shelter now pending in Santa Fe, T-or-C City Manager Juan Fuentes introduced a plan to City Commissioners January 28, which would expand the project to include development of a “one-stop” Public Safety Complex.
In presenting the plan, Fuentes said the City’s efforts to assume ownership of the former National Guard Armory and adjacent property, the site selected as most suitable for the future animal shelter, was tentatively approved by National Guard Armory authorities.
He also told commissioners necessary steps to effect the property transfer to the City were progressing and while unable to deliver a timeline, said he was hoping the measure would be addressed by National Guard Armory Board (NGAB) members at their next quarterly meeting.
Fuentes reminded commission members of a 2012 action, in which the City entered five-year agreement providing for continued animal services from the Sierra Animal Shelter’s Dr. Danielle Dawkins, while the community proceeds with construction of a new animal shelter. He acknowledged there was still more than two years remaining in this agreement and while suggesting there would be sufficient time to complete the project, indicated the initiative must begin to move forward in the near future.
The City manager noted T-or-C received a $100,000 Senate Appropriation grant for the animal shelter project in 2013 and was requesting $750,000 from this year’s legislative appropriations.
While awaiting news of the armory property’s transfer and potential funding, Fuentes suggested commissioners consider the possibility of expanding the project to include development of a public safety complex.
Sharing details of the armory and adjacent property, the City manager said the existing maintenance building was being considered as a likely location for the future animal shelter, leaving the armory building available for other uses.
Noting the City’s animal control services function as a division of the T-or-C Police Department (TCPD) and acknowledging a desire to bring all of the department’s services under one roof, Fuentes said he felt the armory would provide functional space and a unique opportunity to accomplish this goal.
TCPD Chief Priscilla Mullins was on hand for the evening’s session and told commissioners she would be in full support of such a project, noting the armory would provide an adequate amount of space for TCPD operations. Chief Mullins also suggested the site’s centralized location could not only serve as an ideal hub for police services, but could further become a useful staging point for joint law enforcement exercises and as an emergency command post, when required.
City manager Fuentes emphasized the adjacent property would be more than adequate for future expansion and suggested the complex could provide additional space for other area law enforcement agencies.
While the City manager was not requesting any immediate action from the board, members indicated they would be likely to support the initiative. Commissioner Steve Green said he felt the development of a public safety complex at the armory site would be a good use of public funds.
In the meantime, Fuentes said City officials would be waiting to see what amount of funding might be directed to the project from the current legislative session, while also looking for the NGAB to move forward on the requested property …..

EB Animal Ordinance Revisions Looked At

By Chuck Wentworth | SENTINEL

Following up on their June 13 meeting, which brought national attention to the community’s debate over Blue, the community dog, members of the Elephant Butte City Council examined a number of proposed revisions to the city’s animal control ordinance during a workshop session Wednesday, June 27.

Utilizing prepared suggestions from the community’s contracted attorney, Chez Rennick, and the legal representative of local Blue supporters, Hilary A. Noskin, council members considered how they might best alter the city’s codes to address similar concerns in the future.
City attorney Rennick said with the exception of canines designated as dangerous or potentially dangerous, his primary efforts focused on removing specific requirements for the physical enclosure of all dogs and shifting responsibility to the animals’ owners as to how they will ensure control.

During the hour-long session, councilors considered aspects of the city’s ordinance regarding animals-at-large, proper enclosures and restraint, the definition of animal control officers, electronic fences and breed specific provisions, among others.

In almost every instance council members agreed with recommendations to eliminate what was deemed to be cumbersome language in favor of more simplified statements that fell in line with existing state regulations.

At the conclusion of the workshop, board members agreed that the proposed changes appeared to be sufficient and directed city manager Alan Briley to proceed with publication of the suggested ordinance revisions. Briley said that the measure would be properly published and otherwise made available for public review, and told the council a formal public hearing would likely be included on the agenda of their regular meeting currently scheduled for July 25.

During her report, Mayor Pro-tem Kim Skinner shared some of the latest efforts aimed at bolstering tourism for Elephant Butte. She outlined her recent attendance at the Governor’s tourism conference and noted that Elephant Butte Lake was currently ranked as the state’s number four attraction, superceded only by …

Alleged ‘Manipulation’ In Reintroduction of Wolves

By Etta Pettijohn | For The SENTINEL

Public Employees For Environmental Responsibility (PEER) conjures up images of noble government workers risking their livelihoods to uncover misconduct and mistreatment by big government.
On June 7 the activist organization filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Interior alleging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has permitted “political manipulation” to drive the decisions and actions in the  Reintroduction Program in New Mexico and Arizona, “severely compromising” the program.

A PEER news release alleges the FWS has allowed the number of wolves (estimated at 58) in the Blue Range Recovery Area, which includes portions of the Gila National Forest, to “threaten the population with failure.”

The group bases its allegations on the findings of a special Science and Planning Subgroup for the Wolf Recovery Team in 2010, which unanimously concluded that the, “Mexican wolf recovery required three populations of 200-350 wolves connected by corridors,” and “the best suitable habitat for reintroduction included southern Colorado and Utah.”

Along with several other environmental organizations, PEER is lobbying heavily to force the FWS to add more wolves to the recovery area, and to generally expand reintroduction efforts in the….

Fair Dates Announced

By Dee Wear

The 2012 Sierra County Fair begins on Thursday, October 11 and continues through Sunday, October 14 at the Sierra County Fairgrounds on South Broadway.

Everyone is encouraged to make plans now to go out and enjoy the local county fair. Enter a cake, an apple pie, or some homemade jam; knit a sweater, or bring the quilt you just finished. If you enjoy sewing, painting, photography, or growing things such as flowers and vegetables, please get them ready to take to this year’s county fair.

All indoor exhibit entries (excluding livestock) will be taken on…

Amid Blue Uproar, Wording Change Endorsed

By Chuck Wentworth | SENTINEL

The escalating debate concerning Blue, the “community dog,” that has fostered stark divisions among the City of Elephant Butte’s residents, dominated the attention of the city council during their scheduled meeting Wednesday afternoon, June 13.

A crowd of more than a hundred local residents, as well as interested parties from across the state and nation, gathered at the city’s administrative offices. Anticipating the extraordinary turnout that easily exceeded capacity of the commission chambers, city staff provided additional seating in the adjacent court chambers and outside the building, as well as arranging for a loudspeaker system to ensure all on hand would be able to stay abreast of the proceedings.

The point of contention centered upon whether city authorities would permit the well known and much-beloved canine to continue his long-standing lifestyle of roaming freely throughout the community, in clear violation of existing state and community animal control regulations.
Blue, an Australian-Shepherd cross, was reportedly abandoned by its owner years ago and has since become a well-recognized fixture in the…….

Pausing Along The Path

Traveling across country on horseback

By Chuck Wentworth | SENTINEL

Intrepid travelers Sue Hemming, Art Lamely and his horse, Big John, took a moment to document their stopover in T-or-C Wednesday afternoon, April 4. The couple has embraced what is truly an alternative lifestyle…

The Critters In Town

Racoon in the City

By Kacie Welty for THE SENTINEL

I lived in Dusty for 14 years and never did we have the problems with skunks, raccoons, squirrels and fox as we have now living in town.

We moved to the Foch Street hill in July, and let me tell you, in the first three months living there we had city animal control help us trap three skunks and seven raccoons, along with two squirrels.

Recently, one more raccoon was caught. There is a family of foxes living on Foch hill too, but we haven’t had any problems with them getting too close to have to be caught and released.

If you drive out to Ash Canyon going towards Engle and see a herd of such critters, it may be because this is where they are released when caught in town. Keep your eyes out; you might even see a deer on Foch St, as some have reported.

While substitute teaching at the school this week, there was a skunk problem under one of…