GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Animal crimes detectives with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office seized nine neglected labradoodles from a property in the southwest Valley on Friday.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio said his office received a tip from a person who responded to a "puppies for sale" classified ad on Thursday.
A sheriff's detective posed as a potential buyer to gain access to the property and obtained a search warrant after seeing the condition of the dogs.
Deputies seized four dogs and five puppies from the property near Southern Avenue and Maricopa 85. They were taken to a veterinarian for medical care.
"They were indeed tick-infested as well as it appears that they just weren't being taken care of properly," said Lt. Brandon Jones with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. "The floor's muddy, flies everywhere, dog hair everywhere. The smell was not pleasant."
Deputies said each dog is so infested with hundreds of ticks that they have little remaining coat, according to Arpaio.
The backyard breeder, John Brown, who is in his 80s, faces animal neglect charges.
"They get a dermatitis so they'll have severe skin irritation," said Dr. Bernard Mangone with Palm Glen Animal Hospital. "The ticks also drink blood so the dogs will become anemic and weak from that, especially the puppies."
Female inmates will care for the dogs at the sheriff's MASH unit in the First Avenue Jail until they are well enough to be placed for adoption.
Labradoodles are a popular dog breed considered by some to be designer dogs. They are a cross between a Labrador retriever and a poodle.