By Jeff Maher and Taryn Bianchin, KOB
Police need help finding two men who have been selling mutilated puppies out of a box in southwest Albuquerque.
Officials believe the men used scissors to crop the puppies’ ears and tails. The men could face animal cruelty charges.
Anyone with information can call (505) 242-COPS.
Update October 22, 2010 12:11pm - The following article is by David Romero, KRQE:
Man charged in animal abuse of dog
Peter Barraza, Jr. arrested for dog's ear clipping
Albuquerque police have arrested 28 year old Peter Barraza, Jr. for sending a pit bull dog named "baby" to get her ears clipped.
Barraza was arrested Thursday night and charged with extreme cruelty to animals, a fourth degree felony.
Albuquerque Animal Control found the dog with the cropped ears last Friday and confronted the owner, Miranda Aguilar who said she bought the dog that way from "two thugs."
That information was turned over to the city, which had Albuquerque police detectives investigate. Media attention helped generate a tip from a confidential informant, who said Aguilar made up the story and Barraza had the dog's ears clipped.
The informant said the man who clipped the ears used to work at a veterinary facility. According to the criminal complaint, that man has not been found and is only known as "Vete."
Police continue to look for the supposed former veterinarian and anyone else connected to the case.
The informant also told police that Barraza was afraid of being charged with the crime and researched possible penalties on the internet for the charges he now faces.
The city says Miranda Aguilar has adopted a number of animals from the city shelter in the past and has been placed on a "do-not-adopt-to" list.
Update October 22, 2010 2:04pm - The following article is by Dan McKay, Albuquerque Journal:
Mutilated Puppy Story Made Up, Authorities Say
Police arrest man believed to be responsible for cutting puppy's ears
Police now question the original story of how "Baby" ended up with badly cut, infected ears.
They no longer believe Baby's owner, Miranda Aguilar, was telling the truth when she said she bought the 2-month-old puppy from two men who had already cropped the dog's ears, according to the Mayor's Office and court documents.
Instead, an arrest warrant has been issued for the man they think is Aguilar's boyfriend, 18-year-old Peter Barraza Jr. He is accused of extreme cruelty to animals, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court. Police arrested him Thursday, officials said.
"We do believe (Aguilar) fabricated the whole entire story about the puppies being sold out of the box," mayoral spokesman Chris Ramirez said. "We believe she was fully aware that Mr. Barraza had been responsible for cropping" Baby's ears.
Baby, a pit bull mix, is getting medical care at Albuquerque's West Side animal shelter, where she has been kept while she recovered. Ramirez said she will be adopted out to a family this afternoon.