Updated: Sep 29, 2012 10:59 AM
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — Albuquerque's Animal Welfare Department has finally started enforcing a law designed to protect people from dogs with a proven vicious past.
It's a law that has been largely ignored for at least a year, but the city cannot really say since there are not records.
Angel's Law was named after a young Albuquerque boy attacked by a dog in 2005.
The law requires owners of dangerous dogs to have insurance policies on their pets, but the city cannot say if anyone is following the law because no one checks.
Angel Martinez was the little boy hospitalized after he and his sister were attacked by a rottweiler at an Albuquerque park.
Soon after the city council approved an ordinance stating if you own a dog that seriously injures someone, you must have a $100,000 insurance policy on the dog.
"Our job is to make sure we protect the citizens from these dangerous animals." said Capt. Albert Marquez with Animal Welfare.
Marquez and others at Animal Welfare are in charge of making sure dangerous dog owners insure their pets with a violent past.
Right now there are 48 dogs on the dangerous-dogs list, but the city has no idea if their owners are following Angel's Law.
"I'm going to admit that we haven't worked diligently," Marquez said. "But we are going to be making sure we are going to stay up to par as far as following up with these dangerous dogs."
KRQE News 13 has learned no one at Animal Welfare has been checking up on the list, and it is hard for the city to say how long this has been happening.
"I don't have any record of the last time we checked on them," Marquez said.
Animal Welfare has been working fast to update the list in the past week with field officer checking addresses and owners between their normal calls.
Marquez said they dropped the ball on Angel's Law because of staffing issues and are just now getting around to enforcing it.
Dangerous dog owners who do not get the insurance policy could be fined $500 and get 90 days in jail.
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