Prescott Valley woman faces 21 counts of animal cruelty

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office) (Source: Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office)

Investigators have unearthed a horrifying case of animal cruelty in Prescott Valley.

Suspect Marie Spak, 22, is accused of keeping animals in deplorable and "disgusting" conditions. She faces 21 counts of animal cruelty.

Back in June, a Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Officer (ACO) was dispatched to an animal neglect complaint at a Prescott Valley home. 

Spak had been leasing the home and had recently moved, and the real estate company had hired a cleaning crew to remove and replace the carpet. 

But a cleaning crew member told animal control that he could smell dead animals as soon as he stepped out of his truck.
Inside the home, he saw feces on the walls and carpet. Checking further, the crew member found two dead rabbits locked inside a kennel in the master bedroom. Both were in an extreme case of decomposition.

The odor in the house was so bad the crew had to wear respirators to work.

When the animal control officer arrived at the scene and began checking the property, he came upon a shed emitting the distinct odor of dead/decaying flesh.

Inside the shed, the ACO opened a cardboard box and found a dead dog lying in feces and dried urine.

Behind the shed, the ACO located 5 dead adult chickens. In nearby trash cans, two more dead dogs were found wrapped in a shower curtain. Next to the trash cans, a plastic storage bin contained 10 dead baby chickens. Another dead dog was found in the yard the next day.

Records on a majority of the dogs indicate they had been adopted by Spak, according to the police report.
The investigation continued with the aid of a YCSO detective, who determined the dogs had been in poor health, malnourished, and neglected while in the care of Spak.

In photos of the dogs taken less than a year earlier, they appeared in good health and normal in weight. The detective described the kennel containing the rabbits and another with a dead dog as “disgusting,” covered with feces and likely their ‘home’ while under Spak’s care.

The dead chickens were unkempt with their feathers matted and mangled. The detective noted photos of scratch and bite marks on a door frame inside a bathroom covered in feces indicating a dog was likely in distress and trapped.

On August 22, 2017, detectives tracked down Spak at a home in Prescott.

She denied allegations of cruelty, claiming the deaths were caused by other external issues like "medical conditions and weather." 

She claimed to have made previous vet visits, but could not supply documentation. 

Spak was arrested for 21 counts of Animal Cruelty and booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center. 

She has since been released on a $5,000 bond and is not permitted to care or house any animals. 

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