Rosie’s Court Case: Opening Statement

Finally. We had the court case. I stood up against the man whose dogs have chased, attacked, and I claim, killed others, including my sweet silly Rosie. Here is a copy of the statement (names removed). No judgement was made. The ruling will come within a month I’m told. I’m okay with that. This has been hanging over me, my sense of home, community, since August 2019. Whether justice is done, it’s out of my hands. All I can say is that I’m incredibly thankful to my team of friends and witnesses who stood by me all these months. Thank you.

The Setting: 

(EXHIBIT 1- there is a map so that you can see how the properties relate to each other).

I am suing F.Y.  for knowingly maintaining a private nuisance. He has for the last ten years allowed his dogs to run at large. 

F.Y. ’s dogs have, UNPROVOKED, chased and menaced both me, my neighbors, and our domestic animals. There are public records of multiple cases with SF County charging F.Y.  for owning vicious dogs that he permitted to run at large, and were unrestrained, unaltered, with no rabies, vaccinations, tags, or licences. These records are proof of how F.Y.  has known of the threat and effects of his dogs on the neighborhood. 

(EXHIBIT 4 COURT CASES VS YBARRA)

As I will list later, these repeated and unpredictable attacks have had a significant impact on my ability to enjoy and use my own property. I’m scared. 

I will now briefly cover the incidents caused by F.Y. ’s dogs, the steps taken to address this, share his responses, and lastly explain the cummulative effect on me and my life. 

The reason I finally took action and filed this suit: On August 23, 2019, my dog Rosie was mauled to death on my property. (SEE EXHIBIT 7 – Police record and witness statement.) I now suffer from complex PTSD, have trouble focusing at work, suffer from nightmares, anxiety, and as I said, I’m scared whenever I walk on my own property. (SEE EXHIBIT 5- Medical records).

F.Y.  stated in the legal response

– “I have complied with my neighbor’s wishes and gave up all my dogs”

BUT At the time when F.Y. ’s son gave up 4 of 6 dogs to the animal shelter, I had not spoken to anyone about my wishes. 

He also stated, “I do not plan on owning any other dogs.”

BUT in January 2020, three dogs from F.Y. ’s property attacked me and my senior dog outside our gate. Luckily my other neighbor M.M heard the barking and screaming, and helped chase the dogs away. In September 2020, F.Y.  was found guilty of owning Vicious Dogs, running at large, without rabies or animal licenses. (EXHIBIT 4 COURT CASES)

This is an ongoing private nuisance, not a one-off. 

For the last decade, dogs from F.Y. ’s property run at large and unprovoked, they have threatened, mauled and attacked both humans and animals. 

(SEE EXHIBIT 2 – photos, EXHIBIT 4 – court cases and  EXHIBIT 6 – statements)

The pattern is of packs of vicious pitbulls at our fences and gates, multiple dog fights, phone calls to F.Y.  and Animal Control. With enough evidence at pretrial a court date is set. 

(SEE EXHIBIT 4 – court cases.) During this time, most of the dogs are removed with one or two left with Ybarra, and within a year, he has another pack of dangerous dogs who are allowed to run at large, unfixed or socialized.  

Steps taken: At the start, I used to walk over there to talk to F.Y. , but when that turned ugly in 2012, I would then call/text when his dogs were at my gate or chasing me and my dogs. He would do nothing. (See witnesses, AS, KR and MM with similar experiences.)

Next step was calling Animal Control and County Sheriffs who would issue warnings. 

I have written to various organisations asking for advice, including SF Animal Shelter where I worked, Best Friends Sanctuary, NMDOG, local vets, and NM Animal Protection services. (EXHIBIT 6 – statements.)  

I would like to acknowledge that in 2012 or 2013, F.Y.  had an accident leading to serious back issues. His family and friends built dog kennels. He brought in men as caretakers to help. And I know from personal experience how hard it is to maintain a home and raise multiple dogs when in pain but 8 yrs later we are still dealing with the consequences of F.Y.  owning, keeping, or allowing vicious dogs on his property. And as a result my own dog is dead as is M.M’s dog. (EXHIBIT 6 – statements from 2015 and as a Witness)

Santa Fe County Animal Ordinaces consider F.Y.  as responsible because he is the property owner regardless of who claims legal ownership or care of these dogs. Given all the previous court cases, his caretakers building dog pens and more recently in this case with his reassurances about not having more dogs, nothing has kept me or my pets safe. And that’s what terrifies me even when there are currently no dogs over there. I’m scared. 

AS A RESULT, my life has changed significantly. 

I’m often unable to focus and for months after my dog Rosie was killed, I wasn’t a good employee. I changed. (Witness TR)

I lost my tenant in 2017 after her dog was attacked on my property. 

I now suffer from complex PTSD I don’t sleep well. I’ve changed, lost my confidence. (SEE EXHIBIT 5- medical.)

 I’m scared of dogs, even after working at the Animal shelter and rescues. (Witness RN).

I don’t feel safe in the yard or on the rest of the 20 acres because I MIGHT be attacked by a pack of pitbulls. It’s the uncertainty or unpredictable nature of these attacks that keeps me constantly on high alert which is in part the cause of complex PTSD.

In Conclusion: F.Y. has knowingly maintained a private nuisance. 

As a result of his wild dogs running at large, I am unable to enjoy my home, walk around or use my property fully. I have been seriously harmed mentally, emotionally, and professionally.  

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION? I DON’T KNOW. Fences and fines have not worked. 

I would like to ask the court to consider an Injunction against any dogs to be owned, kept or permitted at his property. 


AND so, in memory of a silly pup, thank you.

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