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Lt. Earl Baca & Officer Albert Benavides, Week of November 8, 2010

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Lt. Earl Baca and Officer Albert Benavides work in the City of Albuquerque's Animal Welfare Department.

A mutilated puppy is in safe hands today because of the hard work done by two animal welfare officers.

In late-October, a concerned resident informed Lt. Earl Baca and Officer Albert Benavides about a pitbull puppy that had a serious ear infection as a result of an illegal cropping. Both animal welfare officers were able to take the puppy into custody to provide it with medical treatment. They also launched an investigation to find out who was responsible for the mutilation. Often times, animal crimes are the toughest cases for APD officers to solve because the victims don’t have a voice of their own.

The woman who owned the puppy told Lt. Baca and Officer Benavides that she bought the puppy from a roadside vendor in the South Valley. But there were inconsistencies in her story and both investigators were skeptical. They knew they needed more help, so they took the story to the media to generate more leads and turned over their investigation to the Albuquerque Police Department.

Once the story of the mutilated pitbull hit the streets, the leads came in and only a few days later, APD detectives had enough to charge a man with the felony crime of extreme cruelty to animals.

The future of the puppy looks bright. A few days after the arrest, a wonderful Albuquerque family with experience in raising pitbulls adopted the puppy and named her Dottie Jo.Lt. Earl Baca and Officer Albert Benavides

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