Douglas Reames

Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputies seized more than 40 dogs and arrested a Tijeras man for suspicion of felony animal cruelty Nov. 1.

The issue with the resident of a “now-condemned property in the East Mountains,” arose in 2022 when Bernalillo County Animal Care Services and the sheriff’s office tried to work with homeowner Douglas Reames, 70, to manage the animal population, according to a sheriff’s news release.

“While there was initial cooperation, the number of animals on the property fluctuated dramatically,” the release said. “By July 2023, the situation escalated into a community concern with the owner’s non-compliance resulting in breaches of the Bernalillo County Animal Care Ordinance.”

Deputies then executed a search warrant to rescue the animals, which will be assessed for health issues and potential adoptability by the county’s animal care services, which took control of the dogs.

The investigation is continuing and it is likely that more dogs may be discovered as the search of the property continues.