Yvette Tapia City Hall secretary seen on video choking, tossing, kicking puppy

Albuquerque, NM   Valencia County

July 14, 2008

Eyewitness News 4 has obtained home video showing an Albuquerque city worker choking, tossing, and kicking a newly adopted puppy.

  (Photo courtesy of KOB Eyewitness News 4)  Yvette Tapia works at City Hall as a secretary in the legal department.

She lives in Valencia County, and that’s where one of her neighbors recorded some disturbing images on video.

In the video, Tapia is seen bringing out her garden hose to clean out her dog’s cage in the backyard.

The puppy moves from sitting underneath a chair to behind the house after Tapia spays the hose in his direction. She then picks up the dog and tosses him in the air.

The dog lands on the concrete.

Tapia was also seen dragging and yanking the puppy by his leash in the backyard.

A neighbor, who wanted to remain anonymous, videotaped the incidents from her house.

“I was absolutely appalled at the way that she treated the animal, so we decided to take some action to let people know that this was happening," the neighbor said.

After seeing the tape, animal control officers took away both of Tapia’s dog.

Tapia was not at home or work when Eyewitness News 4 tried to get her side of the story.

But her boss said that he will look into the incident.

"As you know, the policy of the city is to deplore any kind of animal abuse and certainly if the person involved is a city employee we will look at the tape, look at the charges that are brought and do an internal investigation and take what administrative action we feel is appropriate and within our power," said City Attorney Bob White.

Valencia County Animal Control officers say they’re reviewing the tape further to try and figure out how many counts Tapia could be charged with.

Update 7/15/08:

Tapia has been placed on paid administrative leave from her city job.

  (Photo courtesy of KOB Eyewitness News 4)  The puppy known as Buddy is now at the Valencia County Animal Shelter.  Workers have received more than 100 calls from people wanting to adopt him.  The dog will remain at the shelter until the case is resolved.


KOB Eyewitness News 4