Who, age What Where When Last Known Address
Henry Guzman animals & livestock found suffering from malnutrition

New Mexico

Bernalillo County

March 24, 2010  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date /Courthouse
    80 animals; cows, horses, sheep, chickens, llamas, dogs, goats & a donkey Alleged  

A Bernalillo County man is being investigated for what authorities are calling a severe case of animal neglect.

Animal Control investigators said dozens of animals and livestock are suffering from malnutrition and harsh conditions on a piece of property off of I-25 that is being rented by a man named Henry Guzman.

Animal Control Officer Pat Trujillo said his investigators have met with Guzman in previous years over similar incidents.

"They all appear to be malnourished," said Trujillo about the animals. "The food he's feeding them is not proper for the species, and they are thin. Some of them are lame."

A trough of milk and tortillas was found at the scene, and investigators said this was a source of food for many of the animals. Multiple animal carcasses also littered the area.

   (Photo courtesy of KOAT)  When asked, Guzman said he cares for the animals and sells them, but admitted his facilities are not up to par.

Representatives from the Attorney General's Animal Cruelty Task Force said they are pressuring the Livestock Board of New Mexico to take action against Guzman.

Trujillo said that Guzman could face fines or jail time pending the outcome of the investigation.

Update 3/25/10:  Bernalillo County Animal Control investigated a case of animal abuse where officers said approximately 80 animals were living in inadequate pens and some were suffering from open wounds or a painful hoof disease.

Animal Control was initially called out after an anonymous caller told them the animals didn't have enough water. When officers arrived and started their inspection they found even more life-threatening problems and that is when the called the New Mexico Livestock Board.

Veterinarian Joe baker, with the Livestock Board said, what he saw is enough to make anyone upset.  “If ones the best and ten's the worst, this probably a seven or seven and a half at least,” Baker said.

  (Photo courtesy of KRQE)  He found skinny, wounded, and hoof diseased animals forced to share small pens and drink muddy, murky water.  “It doesn’t' look like it's changed very often,” Baker said.

Baker said he found animals, including three horses and a donkey badly injured.  “A couple of the horses and a donkey look like they have laminitis,” Baker said.

The disease could eventually become life-threatening. The donkey that’s infected showed the worst signs of the disease with hoofs outgrown and shaped in the form of skis. However, Baker said there are more pressing issues.

“On the short term I would be more worried about the open wounds and infected wounds that I’m seeing,” Baker said.

Some of those horses have open wounds. The owner, Henry Guzman, said he used over-the-counter medication to treat the wounds and that he applies it daily. However, one source told us the animals hadn't been treated.

Animal Control worries if the owner doesn't fix the problems, it will only get worse and more animals will suffer. How many more animals is what animal control was trying to find out. Guzman said he doesn't even know how many animals he cares for.  “I’m not sure,” Guzman said. “I think we counted 15 horses a minute ago.”

Animal control thinks it’s around eighty animals, total. They all live in several small pens. In some pens you will find cows and horses together. In another pen there are sheep, chickens and llamas. There are also dogs, goats, and a donkey.

Guzman said he's not doing anything wrong. He said his job is to heal the sick animals.  “I’m not trying to hide nothing, I’m…you know, these horses are in good shape, they come in bad shape and I take care of them and I try to sell them,” Guzman said.

“There is one horse that is limping, you can tell he's uncomfortable,” Baker said.

Animal control officers told Guzman he has 24 hours to take the injured animals to a vet or they will take him to court.

Guzman said he was taking them that same day.  “If one animal is not improved, I’m abusing them,” Guzman said.

Animal Control cited Guzman for five violations which included; no proof of rabies vaccination, too many animals per the 8 dogs on the property, failure to care/maintain animals, inadequate shelter, and lack of animal licenses.

The livestock board will visit Guzman soon and make sure he took the injured animals to the vet. If he did not they will cite him for animal cruelty.