Doña Ana County, NM
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Animal well-being. A person owning or having charge, custody, or care over an animal shall provide such care and husbandry as to maintain the good health and well-being of the animal:
(1) 
The owner shall provide the animal with adequate amounts of, and with adequate frequency, fresh potable water and wholesome food sufficient and appropriate for the species, life stage, and medical condition of the animal.
(2) 
The owner shall provide the animal with adequate shelter consisting of a structurally sound, species-appropriate, weatherproof housing or enclosure with elevated flooring and proper ventilation, large enough to accommodate the animal comfortably. In winter months, clean species-appropriate bedding shall be provided on the floor of the housing or enclosure for warmth.
(3) 
The owner shall keep enclosures where the animal is maintained free of garbage, feces, and other debris that might endanger the animal's health or safety. The owner shall protect the animal from water and cleaning agents during the cleaning of the animal's living area.
(4) 
The owner shall keep enclosures where the animal is maintained free of insect infestation, including but not limited to ant hills, wasp nests, and flea, tick, and maggot infestations.
(5) 
Enclosures where the animal is maintained for periods exceeding 24 hours shall include adequate space to prevent overcrowding and to allow the animal to maintain normal exercise according to species. Such enclosures used to house or confine cats shall contain a regularly cleaned and maintained litter box.
(6) 
The owner shall provide the animal with professional veterinary care and necessary grooming so as to maintain the animal's good health and protection from extreme weather elements and parasites.
(7) 
An animal dwelling unit shall be kept no closer than 100 feet to any private water well or closer than 200 feet to any public water well.
B. 
Livestock well-being. In addition to the requirements stated above under § 134-3A, a person owning or having charge, custody, or care over a livestock animal shall also provide the following:
(1) 
Running water facilities shall be provided within 50 feet of each box stall and corral, and each animal shall have access to fresh water in a clean container.
(2) 
Clean feeding facilities or boxes shall be provided in each corral or box stall, and such facilities shall be maintained accessible thereto by animals to be served thereby.
(3) 
All areas adjacent to any pen, coop, stable, stall, barn, corral, grazing, workout, or training areas, or other building structures and areas where animals are kept and maintained shall be graded to drain water away from such facilities so as to prevent ponding and insect harborage.
(4) 
Any such animal shall not be kept closer than 35 feet to an adjacent residence.
(5) 
Such care and husbandry shall also include, but not be limited to, necessary hoof and teeth care.
[Amended 7-14-2015 by Ord. No. 279-2015]
A. 
License requirement. A person owning or having charge, custody, or care over a dog or cat judged to be three months of age or older shall obtain for such animal a pet license issued by the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley (ASCMV), or a third party contractor designated by the ASCMV.
(1) 
Application for the pet license shall be made by the owner within 30 days of acquiring ownership of a dog or cat judged to be three months of age or older.
(2) 
The owner of a dog or cat shall provide current proof of rabies vaccination to the ASCMV, or third party contractor designated by the ASCMV, before the pet license may be issued or renewed.
(3) 
The owner of a dog or cat shall provide proof of an implanted working identification microchip for the animal to the ASCMV or third party contractor designated by the ASCMV before the pet license may be issued or renewed.
(a) 
The implanted microchip shall store a unique identification number which shall correspond with current owner contact information for the microchipped animal. The identification number and current owner contact information shall be registered with the ASCMV or third party contractor designated by the ASCMV before the pet license may be issued.
(4) 
Each pet license issued shall include a pet license tag and a certificate of licensure stating the name and address of the owner, the animal's rabies vaccination date and tag number, the animal's identification microchip number, and a complete and thorough physical description of the animal.
(5) 
The pet license shall be valid for one year and must be renewed each year.
(6) 
The pet license shall be refused or revoked if the license applicant has withheld or falsified any application information.
(7) 
A replacement pet license tag shall be issued by the ASCMV or third party contractor designated by the ASCMV upon payment of a replacement fee.
B. 
License tag. A person owning or having charge, custody, care, or control over a dog or cat judged to be three months of age or older shall keep the animal's assigned pet license tag affixed to a collar or harness worn by the animal whenever the animal is away from the owner's property.
(1) 
The tag may be removed while the animal is undergoing treatment by a veterinarian or being groomed.
(2) 
A person shall not remove or transfer any legitimate pet license tag from one animal to another.
C. 
Fees. Pet licensing fees shall be established and adopted through resolution by the Board of County Commissioners.
(1) 
Qualified service animals. No pet license fee shall be charged for qualified service animals, as defined in the Service Animal Act, NMSA 1978 Chapter 28, Article 11.
(2) 
Sterilization discount. A person owning or having charge, custody, or care over a sterilized dog or cat judged to be three months of age or older shall obtain for such animal a pet license from the ASCMV, or third party contractor designated by the ASCMV at a fee established by resolution of the Board of County Commissioners. The owner shall provide proof to the ASCMV, or third party contractor designated by the ASCMV that the animal has been sterilized. Proof of sterilization shall consist of a written certificate by a veterinarian stating that the animal has been sterilized, or that sterilization would be an unnecessary surgical risk for the animal due to its age or physical condition.
(3) 
Age discount. A person over the age of 65 years owning or having custody of a sterilized dog or cat shall obtain a pet license for such animal from the ASCMV, or third party contractor designated by the ASCMV at a fee established by resolution of the Board of County Commissioners.
D. 
Pet licensing fees collected for animals owned by County residents, less any costs associated with licensing, shall be reported and remitted to the Treasurer of the County for use in animal controls programs.
E. 
Reports of licensing activity by ASCMV, or a third party contractor designated by the ASCMV, and remittance of associated licensing fees shall be submitted to the County Manager on at least a quarterly basis.
F. 
Records. The ASCMV or third party contractor designated by the ASCMV shall maintain public records of the pet license applications and pet licenses issued and shall make such records available to law enforcement, animal control officers or codes enforcement officers upon request and without unreasonable delay.
A. 
Vaccination. A person owning or having charge, custody, or care over a dog, cat, or domestic ferret judged to be three months of age or older shall have the animal vaccinated against rabies.
(1) 
The vaccine shall be administered by or under the supervision of a veterinarian.
(2) 
The veterinarian shall issue for each administration a serially numbered certificate and metal tag bearing the certificate number.
(3) 
The certificate shall contain the name and address of the owner of the animal, a description of the vaccinated animal, the date of vaccination, and the expiration date of the vaccination.
B. 
Rabies tag. A person owning or having charge, custody, care, or control over a dog, cat, or domestic ferret judged to be three months of age or older shall maintain a current rabies vaccination tag affixed to a collar or harness worn by the animal whenever the animal is away from the owner's property.
(1) 
The tag may be removed while the animal is undergoing treatment by a veterinarian or being groomed.
(2) 
A person shall not remove or transfer any legitimate rabies tag from one animal to another.
C. 
Rabies certificate. A person owning or having charge, custody, care, or control over a dog, cat, or domestic ferret judged to be three months of age or older shall exhibit the vaccination certificate upon request by the Animal Controls Officer with probable cause.
D. 
Exposure; owner/patient responsibility. When any person is bitten by an animal, it is the duty of such person or his parent or guardian, or any person having knowledge of the whereabouts of the animal, to immediately notify the Animal Control Unit or the field office of the Public Health Division.
E. 
Exposure; physician responsibility. A physician who renders professional treatment to a person bitten by an animal shall report to the Animal Control Unit such treatment immediately after the initial treatment.
(1) 
The physician shall report the name, address, and phone number (if known) of the person bitten as well as the type and location of the bite.
(2) 
The physician shall report the name and address of the owner of the animal that inflicted the bite (if known), and any other facts or details that may assist the Animal Control Unit in ascertaining the immunization status of the animal.
F. 
Exposure; domestic animal. Any dog, cat, or ferret that bites or otherwise exposes a person to rabies shall be either destroyed and the head sent to the laboratory for rabies testing, or placed in isolation immediately at the owner's expense for a ten-day observation period at a place and in a manner designated by the Animal Controls Officer and approved by the field health office.
(1) 
The isolation and observation period shall end 10 days following the date and time of the potential rabies exposure.
(2) 
If the dog, cat, or ferret shows signs or symptoms of rabies during the ten-day isolation and observation period, it shall be destroyed and the head sent to the laboratory for rabies testing.
G. 
Exposure; wild animal. Any skunk, bat, raccoon, coyote, bobcat, or other wild animal not born or reared in captivity (with the exception of rodents or rabbits) that bites or otherwise exposes a person to rabies shall be destroyed immediately and the head sent to the laboratory for testing.
(1) 
Rabbits and rodents do not normally transmit rabies, but may be submitted for testing with the consent of the State Epidemiologist of the Division of Epidemiology, Evaluation and Planning Division.
H. 
Home quarantine. The Animal Controls Officer may consent to confinement and isolation on the owner's premises of a dog, cat, or domestic ferret that bites a person on the owner's premises.
(1) 
The premises where the home isolation is to occur shall be inspected and approved for such purpose by the Animal Controls Officer.
(2) 
The owner of the animal shall be required to enter into an indemnity agreement on a form approved and prescribed by the Animal Control Supervisor for such home confinement.
(3) 
The owner shall immediately notify the Animal Control Unit if the animal shows signs of sickness or abnormal behavior, if the animal escapes confinement, or if the animal dies within the quarantine period.
I. 
If any of the provisions of this section are in conflict with, or materially inconsistent with, regulations for the reporting of animal bites, confinement and disposition of rabies-suspect animals, rabies quarantine, and the disposition of dogs and cats exposed to rabies in the interest of public health and safety prescribed by the New Mexico Department of Health pursuant to NMSA 1978, § 77-1-6, and as amended, the state regulations shall control.
A. 
Physical restraint. A person owning or having charge, custody, or care over an animal shall keep the animal under humane physical restraint at all times.
B. 
Dragging; hobbling. A person shall not tether or attach any animal to any object that can be dragged or moved by the animal. Such an animal, if not otherwise restrained by a secure tether or enclosure, shall be considered by the Animal Controls Officer to be unrestrained. This shall not apply to livestock animals being properly used for work purposes.
C. 
Owner's premises. A person owning or having charge, custody, or care over an animal on his or her premises shall restrain the animal either by a secure enclosure or by immediate control.
(1) 
All pens, kennels, stalls, corrals, or other enclosures used to restrain an animal shall be continuously maintained with preservatives, fasteners, and other materials to prevent deterioration and animal escape. Substantial and acceptable locking or latching devices shall be installed on all gates and doors to animal enclosures in such a manner as to be inaccessible to animals and small children in order to prevent animal escape and unauthorized entry.
(2) 
A person owning or having charge, custody, or care over a dog on his or her premises may use a tether as a temporary means of restraint only.
(a) 
A person shall not tether a dog to a stationary object for more than two hours in any twelve-hour period.
(b) 
A person shall not tether a dog to a running line, pulley, or trolley system for more than four hours in any twelve-hour period.
(c) 
A person shall not tether a dog in an unenclosed area where people or other animals are able to wander into the proximity of the tethered dog.
(d) 
A tether used to restrain a dog shall be at least 12 feet in length. Such tether shall not enable the animal to reach beyond the owner's property.
(e) 
A tether used to restrain a dog shall be affixed to a properly fitting collar or harness worn by the dog. A person shall not wrap a chain or tether directly around the neck or other body part of a dog.
(f) 
A tether used to restrain a dog shall not weigh more than 1/8 of the animal's body weight. The tether weight shall include any additional objects attached to the dog or tether, such as locks or fasteners.
(g) 
A tether used to restrain a dog shall have working swivels on both ends and shall be fastened so that the animal may sit, walk, and lie down using natural motions. Such tether shall be unobstructed by objects that may cause the tether or animal to become entangled or strangled.
(3) 
Fences to be provided for a livestock animal enclosure shall be species appropriate. For use in conjunction with stud stalls, such fence shall be maintained not less than six feet in height.
(4) 
A person owning or having charge, custody, or care over a venomous reptile shall restrain the animal to the owner's premises by a secure locked cage.
(a) 
A cage used to restrain a venomous reptile shall feature labeling that clearly defines and identifies the animal with the following information:
[1] 
Common name;
[2] 
Scientific name; and
[3] 
Venomous nature.
D. 
Public premises. A person owning or having charge, custody, or care over an animal off of his or her premises shall keep the animal under immediate control.
(1) 
A leash used to restrain an animal shall be of suitable length so as to enable the handler to maintain control of the animal under the specific circumstances.
(2) 
A person shall not carry an animal in or upon any vehicle in a cruel, inhumane, or unsafe manner. Animals carried in the open bed of a vehicle shall be crated or restrained upon a nonslick surface and in a manner that prevents the animal from jumping out of the vehicle.
(3) 
A person in charge of an amphibian or reptile away from the owner's premises shall keep the animal secured within a closed container that will not expose people unexpectedly to the animal.
(4) 
A person in charge of a venomous animal away from the owner's premises shall keep the animal secured within a tied bag that shall be placed inside a secure locked box clearly marked "Venomous Animals."
E. 
Property of others. A person owning or having charge, custody, or care over an animal shall not detain or restrain an animal upon another person's private property without having permission from the resident or owner of such property.
(1) 
If the resident does not permit the animal being detained or restrained upon such property, the animal may be taken up and impounded by the Animal Controls Officer at the request of the resident.
(2) 
If the owner of a rented or leased property does not approve of an animal being restrained or detained by the resident on such property, the dispute shall be regarded by the Animal Control Unit as a civil matter.
F. 
Multiple-dwelling unit. An owner, manager, agent, or governing board of any multiple-dwelling unit, including mobile home parks and gated communities, shall not permit or authorize any animal to be unrestrained upon the common areas of the multiple-dwelling unit, except upon such areas and within such enclosures specifically designated for such activity.
G. 
Exceptions.
(1) 
A working dog that is under the control and supervision of the owner or handler performing such acts as herding, search and rescue, or police work shall not be considered as unrestrained while performing or being trained for such duties.
(2) 
A hunting, tracking, or show dog that is under the control and supervision of the owner or handler shall not be considered as unrestrained while performing in or being trained for those capacities.
H. 
Delayed effective date. Those provisions of this chapter which limit the number of hours a person owning or having charge, custody, or care over a dog may tether such animal shall come into effect no sooner than 24 months following approval of this chapter. During such time period, the Animal Control Unit shall make all reasonable efforts to inform dog owners of such provisions, and encourage dog owners to provide such animals with alternative forms of restraint that are preferable to tethering prior to such provisions coming into effect.
A person shall not abandon any animal or cause such abandonment.
A. 
Abandonment of an animal shall not relieve the owner of the responsibilities associated with ownership, and he or she may still be regarded as the owner for the purposes of this chapter.
B. 
A person owning or having charge, custody, or care over an animal shall not leave the animal at the ASCMV or private animal shelter without providing either notification of intent to reclaim the animal or a release of ownership of the animal in writing. Such actions shall be considered abandonment for the purposes of this chapter.
C. 
Abandonment does not apply to the trap, neuter and return (TNR) of feral cats. A person or organization managing unowned cats by trap, neuter and return is not deemed the owner, harborer, keeper, holder, possessor, custodian or caretaker of such cats.
A. 
Cruelty to animals. A person shall not negligently mistreat, injure, kill without lawful justification, or torment an animal, or abandon or fail to provide necessary sustenance to an animal under that person's custody or control. Under this section, "lawful justification" means humanely destroying a sick or injured animal or protecting a person or animal from death or injury due to an attack by another animal.
(1) 
Nothing in this section shall prohibit reasonable force to be used to drive off vicious, dangerous, or trespassing animals.
(2) 
Prosecution under this section shall be limited to first, second, or third offenses. Fourth and subsequent offenses, and offenses involving extreme cruelty as defined under state law, shall be prosecuted as a felony under NMSA 1978, § 30-18-1, as amended.
B. 
Veterinary care. A person shall not have, keep, or harbor an animal that is seriously sick or injured, including suffering from starvation or severe thirst, without providing proper veterinary care.
(1) 
Given probable cause, the Animal Controls Officer may require the owner to provide a letter of health evaluation from a veterinarian describing the condition of the animal and the treatment provided or recommended.
(2) 
The Animal Controls Officer may evaluate the condition of an animal in order to determine probable cause.
C. 
Sexual abuse. A person shall not take part in any sexual abuse of an animal.
(1) 
Nothing herein shall prohibit a person from engaging in accepted veterinary practices, medical treatment by the owner or with the owner's consent, or bona fide experimentation for scientific research.
D. 
Vehicle operator responsibility. A person shall not intentionally strike any animal with any vehicle, self-propelled or otherwise.
(1) 
Any person who, as the operator of a motor vehicle, strikes any animal shall immediately report such injury or death to the Animal Control Unit.
E. 
Performing animal exhibition. A performing animal exhibition or circus in which animals are induced or encouraged to perform through the use of chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual devices in a manner that will cause or is likely to cause physical injury or suffering shall not be permitted.
(1) 
All equipment used on a performing animal shall fit properly and shall be in good working condition.
F. 
Performance of duty. Nothing herein shall prohibit the Animal Controls Officer from using a tranquilizer gun, snare, or trap to humanely capture animals as reasonably necessary for the control of such animals.
G. 
Hunting. Nothing herein shall prohibit a person from engaging in legal hunting practices as allowed by state wildlife authorities.
A. 
Sale of unweaned. A person shall not sell, offer for sale, barter, transfer, or adopt a dog, cat, canine hybrid, or feline hybrid under eight weeks of age, or a guinea pig, hamster, or rabbit under four weeks of age. All animals shall be fully weaned and capable of eating on their own to sufficiently maintain proper body condition prior to being offered for sale, transfer, or adoption. Nothing herein shall prohibit the transfer of animals between animal shelters and animal rescue organizations. Nothing herein shall prohibit the sale, transfer, or adoption of an unweaned animal if accompanied by a nursing female.
B. 
Sale in public. A person shall not sell, offer for sale, barter, give away, transfer or otherwise dispose of an animal upon a street, sidewalk, public park, or any area open to the public, unless such person is acting on behalf of a professional animal establishment.
C. 
Prize. A person shall not offer an animal as a prize, giveaway, premium, novelty, or award for a contest, game, or sport or as an incentive to purchase merchandise unless as part of a Future Farmers of America (FFA) or 4-H sanctioned event.
D. 
Venomous animal. A professional animal establishment shall not offer for sale any venomous animals, other than tropical fish contained in accurately labeled aquaria.
E. 
Animal exhibit safety. A person shall not operate, conduct, or maintain any animal exhibit under conditions that pose a danger to the public or the animals.
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.
B. 
Removal. The Animal Controls Officer may remove any animal carcass from the roadway or other public property. The Officer and/or ASCMV shall make all reasonable efforts to notify the animal's owner (if known) in the event of the animal's death.
(1) 
The Officer may dispose of the animal carcass at a local landfill or waste transfer station as authorized, after microchip scanning and making reasonable efforts to notify the owner, if known.
(2) 
The Animal Control Unit is not responsible for pickup or disposal of dead domestic livestock or wild animals, or animals killed on interstate and state highways. Dead animals on County roads shall be removed by the County upon notification.
(3) 
The Officer shall turn over any tags, or other identification found on an animal carcass to the ASCMV.
C. 
Removal fee. The Animal Control Unit may, but is not obligated to, provide for the removal of an animal carcass from private property at the request of the animal owner or property owner for a set fee.
(1) 
The fee amount shall be established by resolution of the Board of County Commissioners.
A. 
Property damage. A person owning or having charge, custody, care, or control over an animal shall prevent the animal from causing damage or being a nuisance to the person or property of another.
B. 
Female in estrus. A person owning or having charge, custody, or care over a female animal in estrus shall confine the animal in such a way that prevents the animal from becoming a public nuisance.
C. 
Waste. A person owning or having charge, custody, or care over a small domestic animal such as a dog or cat shall dispose of animal waste from the animal in a watertight and flytight receptacle, which shall be emptied frequently and in such a manner so as to prevent a nuisance or health hazard.
(1) 
Such receptacles shall be securely covered at all times except when opened to dispose of the animal waste.
(2) 
No animal waste shall be permitted, either intentionally or unintentionally, to accumulate except in such receptacles.
D. 
Public defecation. A person owning or having charge, custody, care, or control over an animal shall not permit the animal to defecate on public property or the property of another unless such animal waste is immediately removed and properly disposed of.
A person shall not, without the knowledge and consent of the owner, hold or retain possession of any animal for more than 24 hours without first submitting a found animal report to the ASCMV.
A. 
A person having possession of such an animal shall immediately surrender the animal to the Animal Controls Officer upon request.
B. 
A person having possession of such an animal shall allow the animal to be scanned for the presence of an identification microchip by the Animal Controls Officer immediately upon request.
C. 
If the animal remains in the custody of the finder and the owner of such animal fails to submit a missing animal report with the ASCMV within 72 following the submission of the found animal report, the finder may thereafter claim ownership of the animal.
No person shall keep or operate a puppy mill. This section shall in no way be interpreted as applying to the ASCMV.