Rio Rancho resident Terri Smith says a neighbor refuses to return her dog.
On June 21, Smith posted on the Northern Meadows Community Facebook page asking for help in locating her Yorkie named Khloe.
“I think it was around early June when we lost her, around the 5th maybe,” Smith said.
Smith let Khloe outside to use the bathroom in the backyard. However, when Khloe did not return, Smith went to the front yard and started calling her name around the neighborhood. Smith left to go to work and asked a family member to continue searching for Khloe.
Smith then attempted to join the Northern Meadows Community Facebook page, and when she was approved to join the group, she made a post about her lost dog on June 21.
Smith told other Northern Meadows community members that Khloe had been missing since “last Tuesday.”
After some tips about Khloe’s whereabouts, Smith reached out to a resident who had found a dog similar to Khloe’s description.
“After I was told by some neighbors that my dog was at [her] house, it took her awhile to respond, and she said that my time frame did not match her time frame of when she found the dog,” Smith said.
In a Facebook post directed to Smith, the neighbor said, “Unfortunately, the dog we found was outside of your time range. You said you lost yours last Tuesday; we found the dog prior to that. Then you said you lost yours two weeks ago. The one we found was posted three weeks ago. I’m sorry. I hope you find your dog.”
Smith asked to see the dog to see if it was her dog. After not receiving a response from the resident, she contacted the Rio Rancho Police Department.
On June 23, Smith said that her neighbor admitted to RRPD that she has a Yorkie but that she refused to give the dog back because she is not microchipped and because the time frames don’t match.
“He went in, he talked to her, he confirmed it was my dog but she told him since she found him that she has no intention of giving him back,” Smith said.
According to case notes from the RRPD, the RRPD officer advised Smith to take the matter to civil court to get the dog back. The notes also include that Smith states that she has Khloe’s papers and that a distinguishable scar can help identify Khloe.
“I did go to her house today [June 25], knocking on the door thinking we could have a normal conversation to see if we could get the dog back,” Smith said. “Her husband came out, he was calm, he let me talk, and then she came out just yelling, cussing for me to get the ‘F’ out of her yard; she was drinking and you could smell alcohol.”
Smith is currently pursuing a civil suit.
“I wish we could have had just a normal conversation and didn’t have to go through this mess,” Smith said. “I heard that Northern Meadows is a place where we all look out for each other …and just seeing this is terrible and just sad.”
A request for comment from the resident identified by Smith received no response.
This story was written by Rio Rancho Observer correspondent Daniel Zuniga for the Neighborhood Journal