Neighbors back woman accused of neglecting mini-horses

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
NEW RIVER, AZ (CBS5) -

Neighbors who live next to a farm on North New River Road banded together to bail Heather Phillips out of jail.

She's accused of neglecting 24 miniature horses.

"She's a good neighbor. She has no problems with her animals," said neighbor Renee Fraze.

When Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies showed up at her the farm in mid-May no one could believe the charges. According to Sheriff Arpaio, Phillips' two dozen miniature horses were suffering.

"We received phone calls, acted on a tip and initiated the investigation. Let me say they could hardly walk. They had a problem with their hooves. It was a big problem," said Sheriff Arpaio.

MCSO provided CBS 5 News with several pictures of the horses that were taken. A horse expert we spoke to agreed that one of the horse's hooves was in terrible condition. That particular animal was euthanized.

[Also read MCSO: 30 miniature horses neglected, owned arrested]

As for the others,  the expert concluded the hooves were a little long but said it was nothing to constitute criminal charges.

Fraze captured video of the raid.

"They were all on their feet. They were all running not wanting to be picked up," said Fraze.

"She has some ducks and chickens and goats and I think a lamb or two. When the sheriff came out they didn't even check any of those animals they only went to the mini horses," said neighbor Bernadine Barajas.

Phillips is facing 24 misdemeanors and three felonies all stemming from animal neglect.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Neighbors back woman accused of neglecting mini-horsesMore>>