Maricopa County deputies looking animal cruelty suspect

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Animal Crimes Unit Thursday night was called to the Rio Verde area at North 144th Street to investigate several horses at a boarding facility which appeared emaciated. Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office detectives are looking for the the horse’s owner, Michelle Salazar. She faces a number of animal cruelty charges.

As a result of the investigation seven horses appeared to be 300-400 pounds under weight and severely malnourished one of the horses had to be euthanized while the other six were taken into custody for treatment.

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Animal Crimes Unit detectives were called the property previously in regards to these same horses and although Salazar initially cooperated with detectives, the owner has not been helpful for the past several months. The horses were all scored on a scale from one to nine by the veterinarian, one being the worst condition. Seven of horses were scored with a two or worst indicating immediate medical care was needed.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio takes the crime of animal cruelty and neglect very seriously and said his office will continue to crack down on these types of crimes.

Also this week, detectives from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Animal Crimes Unit arrested a Queen Creek man for Cruelty to Animals Thursday after they found two dogs, one dead, and one severely dehydrated and left with no food or water.

Temperatures in Queen Creek yesterday neared the 110 degree mark.

Sheriff’s detectives arrested 59 year old Ronnie Haynes at his home near the 26400 block of South 203rd Way yesterday after receiving a call from an anonymous caller regarding a dead animal on the property. Detectives found two dogs, both in an enclosure. One was dead, and the other very lethargic and dehydrated; both were left without food or water.

During an interview with Sheriff’s detectives, Hayes stated that he last saw the dogs between 6:30 and 7:00 p.m. the night before and that they both seemed fine to him. He also stated that he provided food every other day and water every day, however detectives found no evidence of water in or near the enclosures.

The dog that was found alive was taken to Palm Glen Animal Hospital where it is being treated for dehydration.

Arizona Law requires that a person who owns or has custody of an animal provide it with necessary food, water, and shelter. In high heat days, animals that are kept outside may require more water than normal.

Hayes was booked into the 4th Avenue Jail on two counts of Animal Cruelty. He was later released awaiting a future court date.

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