”This is the most unusual animal crimes investigation that I have seen in my tenure as sheriff,” said Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Detectives from Arpaio’s Animal Crimes Investigations Unit descended upon a home at 8510 E. Emelita Avenue in East Mesa on Wednesday with a team of veterinarians and other specialists as part of an animal abuse investigation. As a result, the homeowners surrendered the nearly 40 animals that were on the property, including 15 breeds of dogs, as well as a number of birds, lizards, hedgehogs, spiders and snakes.
Depending upon the veterinarian’s physical condition reports, criminal charges may be forthcoming for the 3 adults who live at the house.
“The conditions in this house were deplorable,” said Sheriff Arpaio. “No one animal should be subject to the kind of living disorder the owners provided, let alone the menagerie of animals they collected.”
Investigators believe the owners were grooming the animals for sale. However, feces and other fifth littered the home throughout. Many of the animals appeared to be undernourished.