Deputies remove 27 dogs from Tonopah home; owner arrested for animal cruelty


by Crystal Cruz

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 5 at 12:24 AM

Map: 367th Avenue and Indian School

View larger map

TONOPAH, Ariz. -- A backyard breeder in the far West Valley was busted by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday.

Mark Robinson, 48, is accused of animal cruelty.

More than two dozen cocker spaniels, Rottweilers, dachshunds and Boston terriers were ridden with ticks, malnourished and severely underweight.

Robinson's neighbor, Donna Early, said she had been waiting for this day for a while.

"It makes you wonder what's going on up here," Early said. "When you're not able to take care of something, why take in other dogs and other cats? It was just like a revolving door over there."

Neighbors got tired of seeing and smelling what was going on in Robinson's yard.

Deputies received several tips about the animals' tragic living conditions around the property.

A search warrant was served at the Tonopah property. Officers spotted 40 dogs, but only 27 were removed from the property.

"My heart just breaks for the dogs," Early said. "There was nothing I could do. There was nothing I could do but to call someone to help Mark."

Several deputies dipped the dogs in a tick bath.

"The tips indicated that some of these dogs had possibly tick fever, which is very contagious and leads to death in most cases," said MCSO spokesman Brandon Jones.

Robinson did not say anything to the media as he got into the deputies' car.

The dogs were taken to old county jail in downtown Phoenix for rehabilitation.

The breeder turned seven dogs over to the deputies because he didn't want them.

"Any animals that Mark loses I hope they find them a good home because they deserve a lot of love," Early said.

The dogs will eventually be up for adoption.