Doña Ana County, NM
 
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
All permit fees, transport fees, and dead animal removal fees, but not including pet license fees, collected pursuant to this chapter shall be remitted to the County Treasurer, who shall place the monies in the County general fund.
A. 
The County shall designate a part-time or full-time Animal Controls Officer(s) who shall be deputized to enforce animal control laws, orders, ordinances, and regulations.
B. 
The Animal Controls Officer shall prevent and control the spread of rabies within the County, including but not limited to the capture and confinement or disposition of rabies-suspect animals, the enforcement of quarantine orders, the destruction or confinement of animals exposed to rabies and the enforcement of pet skunk regulations.
C. 
Animal Controls Officers shall be provided with proper training to apprehend and handle animals.
D. 
In carrying out the provisions of animal control laws, orders, ordinances, and regulations, every deputized Animal Controls Officer is authorized to pursue a straying animal or a vicious dog or a dog molesting livestock or any animal with symptoms of rabies onto private premises unless permission to make such pursuit is explicitly refused by the occupant.
A. 
Investigation; right of entry. The Animal Controls Officer shall have the authority, and is directed, to investigate upon probable cause any alleged violation of this chapter or of any other applicable animal control law, rule, or regulation.
(1) 
Upon receiving a complaint of a violation or observing a violation of this chapter, the Animal Controls Officer is authorized to enter upon private property or premises, but not into a private residence, for the purpose of inspecting and investigating such alleged violation.
(2) 
If the owner or resident of any such private property or premises objects to inspection or on-site investigation, a warrant shall be obtained from a court of competent jurisdiction prior to inspection.
B. 
Interference prohibited.
(1) 
Assault. A person shall not attack, assault, or in any way threaten or interfere with the Animal Controls Officer in the performance of the duties required by this chapter.
(2) 
False report. A person shall not make a false report to the Animal Controls Officer regarding any animal in danger or regarding any supposed violation of this chapter.
(3) 
Animal trap. A person shall not move, open, close, or in any way alter an animal trap belonging to the County or being used by the Animal Control Unit without authorization from the Animal Control Unit. Removal or release of any animal from such a trap shall be prohibited.
C. 
Right to destroy. A police officer who learns of an animal within the County which reasonably appears to pose an immediate and serious threat to human life is authorized to destroy said animal if the officer is unable to capture said animal without any substantial danger to himself/herself or others.
D. 
Procedures for complaints. A complaint alleging any violation of this chapter may be filed with the Animal Control Unit by a person who has personal knowledge of such violation and who can identify the owner of the animal involved or the premises where the animal is located. The Animal Controls Officer may require the complainant to provide his or her name and address and swear to and affirm the complaint.
E. 
Citations; criminal complaints. Whenever the Animal Controls Officer has probable cause to believe that a person has violated this chapter or of any other applicable animal control law, rule, or regulation, the Officer may prepare a criminal complaint to be filed with a court of competent jurisdiction or prepare a citation for the alleged violator to appear in court.
(1) 
The citation shall contain the name, date of birth, address, telephone number (if known), and the driver's license number (if known) of the person allegedly violating this chapter.
(2) 
The citation shall also contain the code section allegedly violated, the common name of the alleged violation, the date and location of the alleged violation, the operative facts for the violation, the location where such person shall appear in court, and the deadline for appearance.
(3) 
The Animal Controls Officer shall present the citation to the person believed to have violated this chapter in order to secure the alleged violator's written promise to appear in court by having the alleged violator sign a copy of the citation.
(4) 
The Animal Controls Officer shall deliver a copy of the citation to the person promising to appear.
(5) 
If the alleged violator refuses to give a written promise to appear, a certified law enforcement officer/Sheriff's Deputy may make an arrest and take the violator into custody; or the Animal Controls Officer may file a criminal complaint before the Magistrate Court, which may result in an arrest warrant being issued for the person refusing to sign the promise to appear.
(6) 
All prosecutions for the commission of any offense made punishable by this chapter shall be commenced within one year after the occurrence of the violation and shall be barred thereafter.
A. 
Animal shelter. The County shall enter into a contract with the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley or other suitable entity to serve as the primary facility for the impoundment of animals pursuant to this chapter. The County may designate additional locations for impoundment under special circumstances, such as special quarantine arrangements, animals held pending legal proceedings, and/or special wildlife impoundments.
B. 
Health or safety risk. The Animal Controls Officer, in performance of his or her duties, may take emergency measures in order to seize and detain any animal that poses a present or imminent health or safety risk to the public.
(1) 
If the animal is not to be held pending court proceedings, such an impoundment shall be considered a care and maintenance impoundment for the purposes of reclamation.
C. 
Critically ill or injured. The Animal Controls Officer, in performance of his or her duties, may take emergency measures in order to seize and detain any animal that is deemed by the Officer to be critically ill or injured or in real and immediate jeopardy of becoming critically injured.
(1) 
If the Animal Controls Officer is unable to safely return said animal to the appropriate owner or caretaker within a reasonable amount of time, the Officer may deliver the animal to the ASCMV. The Officer may require reasonable proof of ownership prior to releasing the animal to an owner or caretaker in the field.
(a) 
If the animal is not to be held pending court proceedings, such an impoundment shall be considered a care and maintenance impoundment for the purposes of reclamation.
(2) 
A properly trained, equipped, certified, and licensed Animal Controls Officer may humanely euthanize such animal on site if the Officer deems it necessary.
D. 
Running at large. The Animal Controls Officer may detain any animal found running at large, except as otherwise provided for in this chapter.
(1) 
If the Animal Controls Officer is unable to safely return said animal to the appropriate owner or caretaker within a reasonable amount of time, the Officer may deliver the animal to the ASCMV.
(a) 
The Officer may require reasonable proof of ownership prior to releasing the animal to an owner or caretaker in the field.
(b) 
If the animal is not to be held pending court proceedings, such an impoundment shall be considered an unrestrained impoundment for the purposes of reclamation.
E. 
Owner relinquish. The Animal Controls Officer may detain and deliver to the ASCMV any animal relinquished by its owner.
(1) 
An owner requesting to relinquish ownership of an animal to the Animal Control Unit or an animal shelter shall be required to complete and sign a release of ownership at the time of detainment or impoundment. By signing the release of ownership, the owner shall:
(a) 
Affirmatively represent, in writing, that he or she is the legal owner of the animal;
(b) 
Transfer ownership of the animal to the ASCMV or other suitable entity;
(c) 
Direct, in writing, that the animal be placed in the custody of the ASCMV or other suitable entity for disposition as such agency or facility sees fit; and
(d) 
Agree that he or she will indemnify and hold the Animal Control Unit and/or the ASCMV or other suitable entity harmless from any loss or damage he or she may sustain, including attorney's fees, by reason of the destruction or placement for adoption of said animal.
(2) 
The Animal Control Unit may provide for the transport of a relinquished animal to the ASCMV or other suitable entity.
(a) 
The transport fee amount shall be established and adopted through resolution by the Board of County Commissioners.
F. 
Cruelty; neglect. An Animal Controls Officer or peace officer who reasonably believes that the life or health of an animal is endangered due to cruel treatment or neglect shall follow the seizure, notice, disposition, and cost procedures contained in NMSA 1978, § 30-18-1.1, 18-1.2, and 18-1.3, as amended.
G. 
Rabies exposure; quarantine. If the Animal Controls Officer reasonably suspects an animal of having bitten a person, the Officer may detain and deliver the animal to be placed under a quarantine isolation and observation period at an approved impoundment facility.
(1) 
Refer to § 134-5H of this chapter for regulations regarding the isolation and observation period.
(2) 
A person owning or having charge, custody, care, or control over an animal that bites a person shall surrender custody of said animal to the Animal Controls Officer if the Officer deems it necessary to impound said animal for a quarantine isolation and observation period.
(3) 
If the owner refuses to surrender custody said animal, the Officer may seek a warrant for the seizure of the animal.
A. 
Right to reclaim. The owner of any pet or livestock animal that is impounded pursuant to this chapter shall have the right to reclaim the animal from the ASCMV during the allotted reclamation period upon payment of any and all fees that may be due and payable for the impoundment of such animal.
(1) 
Any animal not reclaimed within the reclamation period shall thereafter be considered the property of the ASCMV.
(2) 
The reclamation period may be interrupted if it is determined by the staff of the ASCMV that euthanization of the animal is necessary due to the animal being in severe, acute distress or if the animal is irremediably suffering.
(3) 
The ASCMV shall hold any animal impounded as unrestrained (stray) without pet identification for a minimum reclamation period of three working days following impoundment.
(4) 
The ASCMV shall hold any animal impounded as unrestrained (stray) with pet identification for a minimum reclamation period of five working days following impoundment.
(5) 
The ASCMV shall not be required to hold for any minimum reclamation period any animal that has been relinquished to the ASCMV by its owner.
(6) 
The ASCMV shall hold any deceased animal delivered to the ASCMV with pet identification for a minimum reclamation period of one working day.
(7) 
The ASCMV shall not be required to hold for any minimum reclamation period any deceased animal delivered to the ASCMV without pet identification.
(8) 
The ASCMV shall hold any animal impounded as a care and maintenance impoundment for a minimum reclamation period of five working days following impoundment.
(9) 
The owner may not reclaim any animal that has been placed under a court-ordered detainment or has been submitted as evidence with the ASCMV or other impoundment facility pending court proceedings. Any animal submitted as evidence shall be accompanied by an evidence chain of custody worksheet.
(10) 
Any animal placed under quarantine shall be held for the full quarantine isolation and observation period before said animal may be reclaimed by the owner, unless a home quarantine is authorized by the Animal Controls Officer. Refer to § 134-5H for regulations regarding home quarantine.
B. 
Impoundment fees. Fees for the impoundment and boarding of each animal shall be established and set by the ASCMV administration.
(1) 
Payment of such impoundment fees shall not bar the imposition of any fine that may be imposed by a court of competent jurisdiction for the violation of this chapter.
(2) 
Additional fees may be included for each day or fraction thereof of impoundment for feeding and care for such animal.
(3) 
The owner of any animal impounded shall be responsible for all fees associated with such impoundment whether or not the animal is reclaimed.
(4) 
All fees associated with such impound shall be paid to the ASCMV.
C. 
Proof of vaccination. A person reclaiming a dog, cat, canine hybrid, feline hybrid, or ferret judged to be three months of age or older by the ASCMV staff and that was seized or apprehended from an address or location within the County shall provide a current rabies vaccination certificate for said animal before the animal may be reclaimed from the ASCMV.
(1) 
If a current rabies vaccination certificate is not provided, the owner shall purchase either a new vaccination or a vaccination voucher for the animal from the ASCMV before said animal may be reclaimed.
(a) 
If the owner chooses to purchase a vaccination voucher, the owner shall sign an agreement stating he or she will have the animal vaccinated against rabies within 30 days of reclamation.
(b) 
The owner shall subsequently provide the current rabies vaccination certificate for said animal to the ASCMV within 35 days of reclamation.
(2) 
The fees for the rabies vaccination and vaccination voucher shall be set by and payable to the ASCMV.
D. 
Proof of microchip. Proof of a working implanted microchip in a dog, cat, canine hybrid, feline hybrid, or ferret seized or apprehended from an address or location within the County and judged to be three months of age or older by the ASCMV staff shall be obtained by the ASCMV staff before such animal may be reclaimed.
(1) 
Proof of the microchip implantation shall be a scan of the animal by an ASCMV staff member confirming the presence of a working identification microchip.
(2) 
If proof of a working microchip implantation is not obtained, the owner shall be charged for microchip implantation by the ASCMV before the animal may be reclaimed.
(3) 
The microchip and corresponding owner contact information shall be registered with the ASCMV.
(4) 
The microchip fee shall be set by and payable to the ASCMV.
E. 
Proof of sterilization. A person reclaiming a dog, cat, canine hybrid, or feline hybrid judged to be six months of age or older by the ASCMV staff and that was seized or apprehended from an address or location within the County shall provide proof that said animal has been sterilized before the animal may be reclaimed if such condition is not readily obvious to the ASCMV staff.
(1) 
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.
(2) 
If proof of sterilization cannot be provided or such condition is not readily obvious to the ASCMV staff, the owner shall provide a sterilization deposit to the ASCMV.
(3) 
The owner shall sign an agreement stating he or she will have the animal sterilized within 30 days of reclamation or will obtain an intact animal permit from the Animal Control Unit within such time. Such permits shall not be available for hybrid animals.
(4) 
The sterilization deposit shall be reimbursed to the owner upon presentation of proof of sterilization to the ASCMV by the owner within 35 days of reclamation.
(5) 
The sterilization deposit shall not be reimbursed for obtaining an intact animal permit.
F. 
Release of feral cats. Prior to release of any feral cat, a licensed veterinarian must establish that the cat has been sterilized, and is microchipped, vaccinated for rabies, and ear-tipped.
Each violation of this chapter shall be enforced and shall be punishable as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article III, General Penalty, § 1-20.