RUIDOSO, N.M. (KRQE) – A U.S. Border Patrol agent accused of shooting and killing a dog faces felony charges in southeastern New Mexico. Neil Clifford Schwartz was arrested on Friday in connection with an animal cruelty case.
An affidavit says Schwartz and a neighbor had been having issues this past summer. On Oct. 18, Thiago, the neighbor’s brown Lab, went missing from the family’s property.
An arrest warrant states the family went searching for Thiago and had bought a GPS collar to keep track of their dog. They say they were able to track down the collar to Schwartz’s house but when they confronted Schwartz’s wife, she asked them to leave.
The family told police they were able to track the collar to several different places around Ruidoso. The collar was eventually found in the ditch by the highway just outside the Casino Apache Travel Center, but there was no Thiago. The family then called the police after they found the dog on Warwick Street. Police then investigated and found the dog died from a gunshot wound to the back of the head.
Police got security video of the travel center, dog hair from Schwartz’s truck and a dashcam from his personal vehicle. Police charged Schwartz after they matched spent shell casing from his house with the same bullet size that killed Thiago. Schwartz faces three charges with two felonies including extreme cruelty to animals and tampering with evidence.
KRQE News 13 reached out to Border Patrol to get their reaction to Schwartz’s arrest but they sent a statement saying they are cooperating with police and have started their own investigation into Schwartz’s actions. The statement would not say whether Schwartz is still on the job.