2011 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 30: Criminal Offenses
Article 18: Animals, 30-18-1 through 30-18-15
Section 30-18-1.2: Disposition of seized animals.
30-18-1.2. Disposition of seized animals.
A. If the court finds that a seized animal is not being cruelly treated and that the animal's owner is able to provide for the animal adequately, the court shall return the animal to its owner.
B. If the court finds that a seized animal is being cruelly treated or that the animal's owner is unable to provide for the animal adequately, the court shall hold a hearing to determine the disposition of the animal.
C. An agent of the New Mexico livestock board, an animal control agency operated by the state, a county or a municipality, or an animal shelter or other animal welfare organization designated by an animal control agency or an animal shelter, in the custody of which an animal that has been cruelly treated has been placed may petition the court to request that the animal's owner may be ordered to post security with the court to indemnify the costs incurred to care and provide for the seized animal pending the disposition of any criminal charges of committing cruelty to animals pending against the animal's owner.
D. The court shall determine the amount of security while taking into consideration all of the circumstances of the case including the owner s ability to pay, and may conduct periodic reviews of its order. If the posting of security is ordered, the animal control agency, animal shelter or animal welfare organization may, with permission of the court, draw from the security to indemnify the costs incurred to care and provide for the seized animal pending disposition of the criminal charges.
E. If the owner of the animal does not post security within fifteen days after the issuance of the order, or if, after reasonable and diligent attempts the owner cannot be located, the animal may be deemed abandoned and relinquished to the animal control agency, animal shelter or animal welfare organization for adoption or humane destruction; provided that if the animal is livestock other than poultry associated with cockfighting, the animal may be sold pursuant to the procedures set forth in Section 77-18-2 NMSA 1978.
F. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an owner from voluntarily relinquishing an animal to an animal control agency or shelter in lieu of posting security. A voluntary relinquishment shall not preclude further prosecution of any criminal charges alleging that the owner has committed felony cruelty to animals.
G. Upon conviction, the court shall place the animal with an animal shelter or animal welfare organization for placement or for humane destruction.
H. As used in this section, "livestock" means all domestic or domesticated animals that are used or raised on a farm or ranch and exotic animals in captivity and includes horses, asses, mules, cattle, sheep, goats, swine, bison, poultry, ostriches, emus, rheas, camelids and farmed cervidae but does not include canine or feline animals.
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