2 rabbits found dead at Gilbert dog kennel


by Karen Brown

Bio | Email | Follow: @KarenBrown3TV


Posted on July 24, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 24 at 10:23 PM

Map: Green Acre

View larger map

GILBERT, Ariz. -- New animal cruelty allegations were leveled against the Green Acre dog boarding kennel on Thursday.

Deputies from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office served a search warrant at the property after a neighbor reported seeing two rabbits die in the heat.

The two pet rabbits found dead on the property belonged to the owners of the kennel, Todd and MaLeisa Hughes.

The Sheriff's Office has been investigating the facility and its owners since more than 20 dogs died there in June.

"Let's look at it as a complete picture now," said Sheriff Joe Arpaio. "Here we are back here again and this is a violation of the law, rabbits too, same thing...my patience is running out."

No criminal charges have been filed against the Hugheses for the dog deaths as the investigation is ongoing, but an attorney representing many of the dog owners said the rabbit deaths will help an impending civil suit.

"It's important to show the way the Hugheses operate," attorney John Schill said. "They don't care about rabbits. They don't care about dogs. They don't care about animals."

Jacqueline Heath is hoping for change after her three dogs died at the kennel.

"We already now that our dogs were neglected. Obviously, they don't care for their own animals," she said. "I hope eventually there are changes in the law, and I hope the Hugheses are never entrusted with another animal."

A family member said the rabbits were always outside and wondered why they were found dead on a day when the family wasn't home. Todd and MaLeisa Hughes said they were at their youngest daughter's gymnastics competition for most of the day.

Necropsies will be performed on the rabbits to determine the cause of death.