28 dogs seized from Pinal County home

Posted: Updated:
PINAL COUNTY, AZ (CBS5) -

Dozens of dogs have been removed from a home in the Apache Junction area after Pinal County authorities say they found the animals "caked with feces" and had urine-soaked towels inside their cages.

Officers responded to the home after a case worker with Child Protective Services reported seeing an animal skull in the front of the home. The case worker also reported a strong smell of urine, kennels filled with feces and no water or food for the dogs.

Pinal County got a search warrant on Dec. 14 and after seeing the conditions the 28 dogs, mostly Chihuahuas and Pomeranians, were living in they were removed by Pinal County Animal Care and Control officers.

Four of the caged animals were pregnant and one other dog had recently given birth to puppies.

"The resident had, at one time, obtained a kennel permit. The permit lapsed earlier in the year," Animal Care and Control Director Kaye Dickson said. "The permit allowed them to have up to 20 animals on the premises. The owner clearly was not in compliance with the permit and was not providing humane care and proper treatment for the animals, including basic food and water. Some of the statements the pet's owner made to our officers lead us to believe that some these dogs were being used in a puppy mill breeding operation."

The case remains under investigation.

The animals will not be available for adoption unless the owner surrenders them or until the investigation is finalized.

Copyright 2011 KPHO. All rights reserved.