Over 60 Dog-Napping Cases in New Mexico Town

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It's a story of animal love gone horribly wrong. According to Fox News, a New Mexico animal rescuer is suspected of kidnapping over 60 local dogs, because she thought she was "saving" them.

For the past few years, families have come home to find their beloved pet taken from behind fences and locked doors without any clues to who was responsible. There was finally a break when a dog owner caught a thief in the act and pursued the dognapper in his car. After tossing the two Pit Bulls from her car, a woman was eventually caught and arrested. Police believe it is this woman, Debbie Swenerton, who is responsible for the numerous pet thefts in the area.

Officials think the animal activist was stealing the dogs and bringing them to shelters as "strays" to be put up for adoption. Swenerton may be part of a group of activists concerned with the treatment of rural dogs, who are often tied up by their families. Thankfully, both of the pooches thrown from Swenerton's vehicle only suffered minor injuries. As a result of this incident, the woman is being charged with cruelty to animals, burglary and false imprisonment.

While authorities are confident they have found their dognapper, local animal lovers are skeptical. Swenerton's friends from an animal abuse alliance swear that the dedicated activist would never do anything to put an animal in harm's way. Instead, they believe that local officials are setting Swenerton up to hide the animal abuse problems that are often overlooked by police.

Authorities disagree. They say Swenerton has called to report cases of animal abuse multiple times, only for officials to find the reported dog is happy and healthy. A missing dog was also discovered under Swenerton's care at her rescue facility, though she claims the canine was given to her. Police plan to continue investigating Swenerton's link to other pet thefts in the area. Locals hope this finally brings an end to the devastating dog losses they have experienced for the past few years.


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