Chandler man arrested for animal cruelty

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Chloe Nordquist By Chloe Nordquist
By Chloe Nordquist By Chloe Nordquist
By Chloe Nordquist By Chloe Nordquist
By Chloe Nordquist By Chloe Nordquist

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- A Chandler man was arrested Thursday for animal neglect and cruelty, after more than a dozen dogs were found in terrible shape, living in filthy conditions.

Rosario Alvarado is charged with 13 counts of animal cruelty and neglect.

The arrest comes after a tip led police to his home near Chandler Boulevard and McQueen in late August.

"Called in to assist Chandler Police on a case involving 17 pit bull mixes who had been severely ill, injured and living in complete filth," Bretta Nelson of the Arizona Humane Society said.

When authorities arrived at the home, the dogs were covered with skin rashes, lacerations, and were covered in feces and urine, according to police documents. All 17 dogs were seized. Only four of them survived.

The Humane Society said the four that survived were puppies.

"It appeared to us on scene the puppies were kept separate from the adults, which is a blessing in disguise, based on just pure conditions," said Nelson.

The 13 adult pit bull mixes had to be euthanized. They were all suffering from malnutrition, open wounds and mange, according to police.

"They were suffering and in pain and for how long, I'm not certain," Nelson said.

When 3TV went out to the home, our reporter was able to speak with a woman close to the situation.

She said Alvarado was not the original owner of the dogs but he was living on the property with the dogs.

According to her, the actual owner would come by and care for the dogs.

"Always had medicine for them, and put cream on their bodies," she said.

However things began to spiral out of control. She says none of the dogs were fixed and so not only were they breeding, but when they went into heat they would start fighting.

"Sad that it had to happen; it just got out of hand," she said.

She also says neither the owner nor Alvarado meant any harm toward the dogs, and that they did try to get help at some point but could not afford it.

The Arizona Humane Society told 3TV that there are a number of low cost care options for people who need them.