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Dona Ana County Sheriff's Department targeting neighborhoods

By: Stephanie Guadian 
DONA ANA COUNTY, N.M. - The Dona Ana County Sheriff's Department is canvassing neighborhoods in the northern part of the county.

Homes in the Marisol subdivision are not far from Doa Ana Elementary School. The neighborhood is one not usually on the radar of the Doa Ana County Sheriff's department. The couple of hundred homes are tucked away in a rural community -- and often overlooked.

The visit is part of something called animal control and environmental survey, or ACES. The proactive project is really an education initiative. Workers with various Doa Ana County departments are going door to door to offer homeowners suggestions on how to keep properties clean and properly take care of pets.

Kelly Jameson is the public information officer for the Dona Ana County Sheriffs Department.

We are looking for violations as far as excessive animals, animals that might not be contained properly and also vaccination records, said Jameson.

Paul Richardson, an animal control officer, was among the dozen or so workers involved in the blitz.

There is always going to be a stray dog in a neighborhood. And if your dog is chained out with no kind of barrier, they are just bait on the end of a rope for dog-fighting. We see a lot of that, said Richardson.

Code officers are also looking for things like zoning violations, yard waste and people operating a business out of the homes without a permit.

We are not going door to door writing citations. We are just letting people know that there are issues. And they need to come into compliance, said Jameson.

There weren't many problems found. But, that doesn't mean those living in Marisol aren't glad to see someone keeping tabs on the neighborhood.

Historically, they are happy to see us. No one wants to live next door to a problem house, said Jameson.

The next neighborhood blitz will held March 5 in Salem.

Dona Ana County wants to remind pet owners of a new ordinance that limits the amount of time a dog can be chained. Those living in unincorporated areas will only be able to keep a dog chained or tethered for two hours in a 12-hour period. The ordinance takes effect in 2016.



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