Black Canyon City man accused of cruelty to rats

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

BLACK CANYON CITY, Ariz. (AP) -- A Black Canyon City man could face a felony charge of animal cruelty after hundreds of domesticated rats were found dead or dying in a travel trailer.

Officials with the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office said Jeffrey Wendorff, 28, was arrested Monday on suspicion of cruel mistreatment of animals and neglect/abandonment of animals.

County Health Services officials said they got a call about numerous rats around a trailer.

Sheriff's deputies and county animal control officers say there were between 300 to 500 rats in pens at the front and back of the trailer and the odor was overwhelming.

Inside the trailer, authorities found several aquariums with newborn and adult rats.

Wendorff told authorities he had stopped caring for the rats recently, but had been in a business partnership to breed and sell rats.

YCSO spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said Thursday that officers involved in the case will be seeking a Class 6 felony charge of cruelty to animals, which involves issues of cruel neglect or abandonment.

In addition, Yavapai County Developmental Services has opened an investigation into the property conditions with the land owner.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.