- New Mexico, USA -
50-years-old APRIL TINA NASTASI (pictured below) owns April’s K911 Academy on 2735 Desert Wind Way in Las Cruces. According to the academy website, NASTASI is an expert canine behavior specialist.
The Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department arrested NASTASI on Friday, August 27, for alleged extreme cruelty to animals in connection with an incident that happened on July 20, 2021, when a dog under her care, an Alaskan Malamute named Thor, “experienced three gaping holes in his chest, which led to necrosis following hours of neglect.”
Additionally, the sheriff’s department said in a news release that NASTASI “lacks a kennel license and does not have a permit to board animals.”
KFOX14 reports that according to documents, Thor was seen being aggressive and attacking a Mastiff and a Bulldog.
Documents state that NASTASI told authorities she used an electric cattle prod to break up the fight between the dogs, she then used the same device to poke Thor, she shocked him about six times, including in the buttocks, and added that she had to “tag” him multiple times due to his long fur.
Then, NASTASI put Thor in a kennel after putting a muzzle on him.
Thor remained in the kennel for at least two days.
NASTASI informed Thor’s guardian, Graciela Rodriguez, about the incident and would send her pictures throughout the week.
Graciela’s version of the facts, however, is slightly different.
In fact, she sates that although NASTASI told her about the incident, she also told her “not to worry” and that Thor wasn’t hurt.
NASTASI claimed she noticed Thor was injured five days later, on July 25, after she smelled an odor of rotting flesh. She observed a puncture wound on his chest which became infected and found a drained hematoma.
NASTASI told reporter Kate Bieri with ABC-7 that she planned to take Thor to the emergency vet in El Paso but she didn’t and in the meantime, she gave Thor drugs which had been prescribed for another dog.
Graciela showed up on July 25, to pick up Thor and called the police to report what happened. She told investigators she was not made aware of the extent of Thor’s injuries.
Graciela then took Thor to the El Paso Animal Hospital and the veterinarian told her Thor’s wounds were “neglected” and about days to a week old.
Reporter Kate Bieri asked Captain Jeremy Hash: “So the criminal charges are not necessarily connected to the injuries but the delay in the care of those injuries?”
“Correct. The delay in the care and how severely the dog actually was injured”, responded Captain Hash. He then added: “ As the days progressed and the puss and the necrosis set in in the animal, she should have absolutely known that that dog was in need of immediate care.”
The sheriff’s department said in a news release that Thor is now back home with Graciela and is recovering after undergoing multiple surgeries. Additional surgeries may still be required to treat his wounds. The release goes on to say that according to the veterinarian who is handling Thor’s care, “recovery has been slow and requires frequent veterinary visits because of the severity of his injuries and extensive loss of skin.”
Captain Jeremy Hash told ABC-7: “This dog was in so bad of care that had a very good chance of dying.”
Seems to me that before teaching dogs how to behave with other dogs, NASTASI should have learned how to handle dogs first!
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