Residents Calling for Change to Lea County Animal Control Ordinance

Residents Calling for Change to Lea County Animal Control Ordinance

By Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

LEA COUNTY - Both the City of Hobbs and Lovington prohibit dogs from being chained up but that's not the case out in the county.

That's the reason why two residents approached County Commissioners calling for Lea County to follow in those footsteps.

"People just turn a blind eye to this. If people would stand up and voice their concern, it would help so much," Lea County resident, Pennye Horn, said.

A Facebook post sparked the movement.

"[The dog] was always short-chained tied to a bush in an empty lot. So of course I posted it on Facebook and that's why me and her got started because it was so sad," Horn said.

Pennye Horn and Carri Condarco have seen enough animal neglect and are calling for a change to the county's Animal Control Ordinance.

"I'm a delivery driver, so I see the same dogs in my area over and over and over with no food, no relief. They're out there in the snow, they're out there in the rain, they're out there in the heat," Lea County resident, Carri Condarco said.

The two residents asked County Commissioners to amend the ordinance by banning the use of chains and tethers to restrain animals.

"You wouldn't want your son or daughter chained outside in the freezing cold with no water, no food, no companionship," Condarco said.

The current ordinance enforces owners to secure their animals on their property to prevent damage or harm to people, other animals and other property.

"We make them understand that they need to make sure that the animals, that the dogs have shelter, food, water. If they're on a chain, we would suggest to them to make sure that the food and the water is not tipped over," Lea County Environmental Director, Lorenzo Velasquez, said.

Velasquez says the county always follows up on reports of animal neglect. For example, those responsible for the dog in the Facebook post have already been cited. He adds, after this request was brought forward to commissioners by Condarco and Horn, an environmental board meeting has been scheduled the first week of March where they can speak to an advisory committee to explain what changes they wish to see.

"If the advisory committee feels like this is something that we can do, then we can bring it in front of the county commission for approval and get directions from the county commission as to what it is we need to do for this ordinance," Velasquez said.