DEMING – Luna County Sheriff’s Office were alerted to a possible case of animal cruelty at the Ruff Ruff Animal Sanctuary located at 7390 Rockhound Road SE.
Deputies went to the location on July 7, 2018 and contacted the property owner Raymond Schmal. Schmal told deputies 10 dogs were dead as the result of an employees’ negligence.
LCSO investigators interviewed Michael Thomas Muir, 63, an employee at the sanctuary on July 23, 2018. Muir admitted the animals had succumb due to negligence.
The LCSO report indicated the kennel were overcrowded with animals and as many as 100 dogs were at the facility.
Muir has been charged with 10 counts of animal cruelty, due to negligence. The charges are misdemeanor crimes.
The sanctuary is one of eight licensed through the Deming-Luna County Humane Society and follows state licensing and inspection procedures on a routine basis.
At the last inspection date, Ruff Ruff Animal Sanctuary and seven other facilities met the state and local licensing inspections.
The following statement was provided by the Deming-Luna County Humane Society:
All multiple animal facilities in the county are licensed annually, which includes inspection. Any complaints and infractions are referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Regarding the recent incident, both the Humane Society and the property owner have worked with law enforcement to assist the investigation. It is a standard practice of the board to not comment on open cases, so we are unable to provide further details on this incident at this time.
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