Deputies find at least 200 dogs in alleged case of animal hoarding in Chaparral

Homeowner accused of beating 70-year-old woman, holding her captive

POSTED: 05:40 PM MDT Sep 09, 2013    UPDATED: 12:52 PM MST Jan 16, 2014 
CHAPARRAL, N.M. -

Sept. 10, 2013 Update: Fifty of 208 dogs found in a home in Chaparral, New Mexico were euthanized at the home on Monday due to their aggressiveness.

Volunteers who came to the scene reported finding dead dogs stacked in the trash with no food or water found on the scene. Many of the dogs even reverted to wild behavior, eating one another to survive.

A hundred or so that might still be adoptable were taken to an Otero County animal shelter for evaluation and about fifty still remain in the home.
 
Felix Moriel, the owner of the home, is in jail on a $25,000 bond in conjunction with an assault arrest. No word yet on any upgraded animal cruelty charges.

Sept. 9, 2013 story: Otero County Sheriff's on a domestic call discovered a massive case of alleged animal hoarding Friday in Chaparral, N.M., where more than 200 dogs were found in "deporable" conditions.

On Monday afternoon, deputies and animal rescue workers could be seen removing and trying to save as many dogs as they could.

A volunteer said the conditions were deplorable and that the dogs were, "living in hell." That volunteer also said that the man's home was a well-known dog sanctuary called Mission Desert Hills Sanctuary for Dogs, a legally registered facility. 

Sheriff's deputies initially responded to call of domestic violence Friday at the home. They said 44-year-old Feliz Moriel beat up then forced an unidentified 70 year-old woman to stay in the home to watch the dogs. Moriel, the property owner, was arrested and charged with battery and false imprisonment.

Investigators said Moriel was trying to go to Las Vegas.