Dog owner dies in trailer with 61 Chihuahuas trapped inside

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Pinal County Animal Care and Control) (Source: Pinal County Animal Care and Control)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: Pinal County Animal Care and Control) (Source: Pinal County Animal Care and Control)
(Source: Pinal County Animal Care and Control) (Source: Pinal County Animal Care and Control)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
CASA GRANDE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5/AP) -

They're scared, malnourished, and lucky to be alive.

Dozens of Chihuahuas are being nursed back to health, after being rescued from a mobile home in Maricopa.

Authorities believe the man who lived there had been hoarding dogs, birds and goats.

"Every hoarding situation starts out differently," said Crystal Arnoia with the Valley Humane Society. "They all start from a place of love. Unfortunately, people get overwhelmed.'

Pictures from the scene show the home covered in trash, filth and feces.

Audra Michael with Pinal County Animal Care and Control said the dogs' owner had died last week. leaving the dogs locked inside for days, with no food or water.

At one point, some of the dogs reportedly started chewing on their owner's feet to survive.

It wasn't until a friend did a welfare check over the weekend that the body was found, along with all the dogs inside.

"It was like a sea of Chihuahuas inside the house," said Michael. "It looked like the floor was moving, there were so many. I've seen quite a few hoarding situations and this is probably one of the worst I've seen."

All of the dogs were brought to the Pinal County's Animal Care and Control shelter for evaluation and medical treatment.

Michael said the dogs have an assortment of ailments, from possible infections to dehydration.

A number of other animal rescue groups have stepped in to help fix the dogs up, so they can be adopted out.

It shouldn't be hard to find them a better home than the one they were living in.

"I wish the gentleman would have asked for help. We could have helped him," said Michael. "Sometimes people think they are doing what is best for the animals and then it just gets out of hand and beyond their control."

Anyone interested in adopting one of the rescued chihuahuas can call the Pinal County Care and Control Shelter at 520-509-3555.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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