Moses Salido, 19, and his brother-in-law, Marcos Carmona, 22, both of the 500 block of Palmas Street in Chaparral, are charged with three counts of extreme cruelty to animals, a felony, according to arrest warrants filed Wednesday in Las Cruces Magistrate Court.
Salido allegedly told investigators they'd shot the three dogs - taking a few shots each with a .22 caliber rifle - because he thought the dogs were chasing his uncle's cat. He'd had a problem with dogs in the area since a pack of them killed his aunt's chickens and scratched her car, he told investigators.
The dogs initially got out of a neighbor's yard just three doors away Sept. 12 when the man who owned the dogs opened his gate, the man told the deputy.
The neighbor said he'd tried to run after his dogs, but lost sight of them. Some time later, he heard several gunshots, a pause, and two more gunshots, according to the report. A few moments later, his golden retriever mix, shot in the chest, and his boxer cross, shot in the back, dragged themselves home and fell to the ground, he told police.
The third dog, a white pit-bull injured so badly it could barely breathe, was shot a second time by the pair, "so it wouldn't suffer," Carmona told investigators.
The 3rd Judicial District Attorney's office decided this week to pursue charges in the case, after investigation determined "the dogs were not chasing livestock at the time of the incident, nor were the dogs endangering any persons on the property," according to the warrant.
The golden retriever died before its owner could make it to the emergency veterinary services in Las Cruces. It's unknown if the boxer-mix, which was taken to a vet in Juárez, has survived, animal control investigators said Wednesday.
The Do a Ana County Detention Center does not have photographs of either suspect, but Salido is described as 5-feet, 10-inches tall, weighing 140 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair, and is thought to be in Phoenix attending a trade school. Carmona is 5-feet, 5-inches tall, weighing 145 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair and he is thought to still be in Chaparral.
Their warrants authorize nationwide extradition, with bond set at $10,000 surety.
Anyone with any information on their whereabouts is urged to call the Do a Ana sheriff's office at (575) 525-1911.
Ashley Meeks can be reached at (575) 541-5462
it is really too bad they didn't catch the mutants in the act.