Dog Owners Charged With Violation After Tragic Attack

Jun 21, 2012

Doña Ana County Sheriff’s deputies have charged a Radium Springs couple with violating a state law that requires owners of vicious and/or potentially dangerous dogs to keep their dogs under control at all times.  The charges were filed after an attack in which another dog was killed and the dog's owner was injured.  

According to a report, Diana and Leith Bishop’s two dogs, a German Shepherd and a black Labrador Retriever, were walking unleashed about 300 yards ahead of their daughter and another girl who were riding on horseback near Faulkner Canyon in Radium Springs on June 8, 2012.

The dogs came into contact with a 72-year-old woman who was walking her Dachshund on a leash in the area and charged at the woman and her dog.  The woman picked up the Dachshund to protect it from the loose dogs, but the shepherd attacked, ripping the Dachshund’s abdomen open.

 The Dachshund died June 10, 2012 under a veterinarian’s care.

 The woman suffered bites to her hand, and injuries to her elbow and leg.

Doña Ana County Animal Control quarantined the German Shepherd and the Labrador for 10 days. Both dogs were released back to their owners, who have been cooperative and are now in full compliance of the vicious and or potentially dangerous ordinance.

Currently, the law requires owners of any breed of dog that is deemed to be potentially dangerous to have a permit. In order to receive a permit, owners must meet several requirements, including a current rabies vaccination and microchip, a proper enclosure for the dog and the owner must demonstrate they are able to keep the dog under control at all times.  The owners have been charged with violating the requirement of the ordinance, a misdemeanor offense on the first charge.

Any subsequent charge could constitute a fourth-degree felony.