Social media post leads to man being charged after his dog kills fawn in Colorado
According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials, a New Mexico man who allowed his dog to kill a fawn in southern Colorado has been charged with several wildlife crimes and could lose his privileges to hunt and fish.
Michael Garcia, 36, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, has been charged with illegal possession of wildlife, allowing his dog to harass wildlife and unlawful manner of taking of wildlife. He was issued a citation by a CPW wildlife officer on July 23. The fines for the offenses are $1,372.50 and an assessment of 20 license-suspension points.
He may elect to pay the fines or appear in court, according to Rick Basagoitia, area wildlife manager for CPW in the San Luis Valley. If he does not pay the fine, he will be required to appear in court on Sept. 16.
“This is a disturbing case; we’ve heard from many members of the public wanting CPW to investigate,” Basagoitia said. “Information that they’ve provided has been greatly helpful to CPW efforts.”
According to the officer’s report, the man was in an area near the Conejos River when his dog chased the fawn and killed it. The man posted photos of the dog and the dead fawn on social media. Someone saw the post, reported it to Operation Game Thief and CPW began to investigate.
He was working as a fishing guide on the Conejos River. District Wildlife Officer Rod Ruybalid located him, conducted an interview and issued the citation.
Wildlife crimes can be reported anonymously to Operation Game Thief at 877-265-6648. Those who report are eligible for a cash reward if the tip results in the issuance of a ticket or a conviction.
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Grace Wesseling is an animal lover, a cheerleader of seven years and another soon-to-be graduate of Bridges High School, class of 2021.