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NM Agency Used Lot While Owner Faced Charges

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico livestock auction lot was used by a state agency to care for abused horses at a time when the proprietor faced animal cruelty charges.

The Associated Press reports that the Livestock Board hired Southwest Livestock Auction of Los Lunas to care for four abused horses for 13 days in September.

Proprietor Dennis V. Chavez at that time still faced unrelated animal cruelty charges dating from four emaciated horses that animal rights activists discovered on his property in 2012.

The animal cruelty charges against Chavez were dismissed in November under a plea agreement. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges related to missing paperwork for the animals.

Livestock Board Executive Director Ray Baca says the board used Chavez's lot because rescue organizations have been full.