Two Las Cruces men were arrested Saturday and charged with dog fighting and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Just after 1 p.m., Doña Ana County Sheriff’s deputies and Doña Ana County Animal Control officers were dispatched to the 5900 block of Las Alturas after neighbors reported hearing and seeing two pit bull terriers fighting in a yard.
Deputies arrested Christian Cipriano and Fabien Rivera, both 18, after learning through interviews that the two reportedly took their friend’s brown pit bull, named Haze, to allegedly fight another white and tan pit bull in the neighborhood.
The white and tan pit bull was reportedly tied up in a yard when the two men allegedly set Haze free to crawl under a fence to fight the dog.
Deputies say neighbors told them Cipriano and Rivera, who were both seen with another juvenile male, were heard enticing Haze to fight the dog.
The white and tan pit bull, a male who is believed to be about six years old, suffered more than 25 wounds in the attack. He is being treated by the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department staff veterinarian and will be released back to his owner.
During questioning, it was discovered Haze belongs to Joel Ramirez, who also lives in the neighborhood and is friends with Cipriano and Rivera. Ramirez was reportedly at work during the incident, but told investigators he was not upset when he learned his friends allegedly took his dog with the intention of having Haze fight another dog.
Haze is currently in the custody of the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department.
Cipriano and Rivera were booked into the Doña Ana County Detention Center, charged with dog fighting and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Both men had a secured bond of $5,000 each.
According to deputies, this case is still an open investigation and additional charges are pending.