“A pit bull named Mugsy Malone was officially declared dangerous even before he attacked a 3-year-old girl. The dog has twice come and gone from our animal shelters. The attack on the child was not enough to warrant euthanasia under our practices. Neither was the fact that Mugsy Malone killed a small dog and also bit a man in our own facility.
One day, while Mugsy Malone was outdoors, a man came along with a small dog. “No, no! Close the gate! Don’t come in!” the caregiver yelled. But it was too late. Mugsy Malone saw the dog and killed it, even as the owner of the dog tried to save his little friend by fighting Mugsy Malone to no avail.
Mugsy Malone was declared to be a dangerous dog. Then, last year, he saw a little girl playing outside. Mugsy Malone ran to the little girl and attacked her, grabbing her on the face. The father leaped into the attack and tried to pry the dog’s mouth from his daughter’s face. The father grabbed a rock and began hitting Mugsy Malone on the head to save the child.
The girl was taken to a hospital, and Mugsy Malone was taken to the West Side Animal Shelter and later to a veterinary clinic. At the clinic, while the dog was being sedated, an officer had to stand by Mugsy Malone, holding him with a cable stick until the dog passed out.
Back at our animal shelter, about six weeks later, a volunteer decided to take Mugsy Malone for a walk. The volunteer reached into the kennel so he could put a leash on the dog. Mugsy Malone bit the volunteer’s arm and scratched the volunteer with his teeth. The volunteer was taken to our clinic, where the volunteer’s arm was scrubbed for about 10 minutes before being bandaged and wrapped. A note was added to the dog’s file, advising that Mugsy Malone should not be walked by anyone, to avoid another incident.
(Mugsy Malone was given to an out-of-town animal group last September).”
“Eight years ago, a little dog named Lienda was turned over to a city animal shelter. There was something medically wrong with Lienda and its owner could not afford the expense of veterinary care.
Our staff fell in love with Lienda. They believed Lienda was so cute that she could easily be adopted if they could only save her life. It appeared there was an intestinal blockage. Our veterinarians discussed it and they decided to operate on Lienda to see if the blockage could be removed. If not, the plan was to euthanize Lienda; she would not wake up from surgery.
Dr. John Romeo performed the operation and he was able to save the little dog. “Wagging tail,” a medical note said as Lienda began to recover from surgery. And, just as expected, Lienda was quickly adopted into a loving home.
Three months ago, Lienda was horribly killed by a pit bull named Pappy, who had recently been released from a city animal shelter despite a history of aggression and repeatedly failing behavioral tests. During the attack, Pappy also bit Lienda’s owner when she tried to save her beloved little friend.
After the killing, Pappy was returned to the animal shelter and I personally put him on a euthanasia list for public safety reasons. However, by the end of the day, Pappy had been removed from the euthanasia list on orders of the department director. Later, the director approved giving Pappy to a rescue group, who recently arranged for Pappy to be adopted by a family living on the West Side of Albuquerque.”
These excerpts are from a complaint written by Jim Ludwick, of the Animal Welfare Department.