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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The facts that she threw the dogs out of the moving car shows she doesn't care about their welfare, what she cares about is her martyrdom.

December 07 2012 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the officials find the animals are happy and healthy? what kind of crack ARE you smoking exactly? a poor lonely dog tied up in the back (usually filthy, disgusting) yard strewn with old cars and furniture does not make for a happy life. Hicks always use dogs as living, breathing burglar alarms. Pure scum.

December 06 2012 at 10:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

hmenglish1. I have pitbulls and they are the most loving breed. They get in the hands of wrong people so now they are demonized. This could happen to any breed. So don't hate unless you truly understand the breed.

December 06 2012 at 10:20 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

all pit bulls should be euthanized , they are a dangerous breed , they attack at will .

December 06 2012 at 10:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to hmenglish1's comment

That makes me wonder. If that happened to my dog, Arizona when I lived in New Mexico. It was years ago. She just up and disappeared while we were at the movies with no trace of her and yet the other dog, Flagstaff was there safe and sound and waiting for us.

December 06 2012 at 9:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Donna Auffarth

Let me get this right....she takes animals from their homes but when she gets caught in the act, instead of turning the animals over, she tosses them from her car. Yeah, I see the LOVE in that!!!!!! See how she likes being tossed from a moving car.

December 06 2012 at 8:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Angie Harsh

After years of animal rescue I think I have seen it all. Laws are ridiculous and definitely do not go far enough. That being said, if someone EVER touched one of my dogs it would be on. Depending on the animal shelter she took them to she well may have signed their death certificate. Not to mention that if they had to keep the animals for a certain length of time since they were turned in as stray, why did the owners not check the shelters. There is a difference between saving animals, and obsession. Depending on the dog some dogs prefer to live outside. Huskies, Malamutes, Akitas, all love the outside. They actually blow their coat in the winter if kept warm. My husky would lay outside his house and let the snow fall on him. Tried to bring him in during cold weather and neither of us got any sleep. He is the only dog I ever kept outside, but that was where he wanted to be. In a half acre fenced in yard and the colder it got the better he liked it. Go figure. I am sure some think that is cruel, but if that is what the dog wants that is what the dog gets. The two I have now like the air conditioning in the summer, and the heat in the winter. Glad they caught this woman, she was not doing anyone including the dog any favor.

December 06 2012 at 8:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

you first

December 06 2012 at 8:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Animal love at its finest.

December 06 2012 at 8:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What she thought was abuse and what police think of as abuse are two different things. Saving a life is more important to an animal lover. Police look at animal abuse as the same as wife abuse, they turn the other way. To many wont turn in someone abusing a dog say for leaving it tied to a tree to starve to death when they can see every bone in their body sticking out. Sub humans feel its none of their business what someone does with their animal. So its the facts that we tend to ignore what is really going on and hope for all roses and lollypops . Humans are cruel to animals and until their way of thinking is changed animal abuse will go on.

December 06 2012 at 7:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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