CASA GRANDE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – A Casa Grande couple faces dozens of charges of animal cruelty after the Casa Grande Police Department found nearly 100 dogs, some of the dead, at their home.
Police were called to the home of Michael Anthony Mills and Lila Kaye Crawford on Saturday, Sept. 19, to help settle a dispute between the couple when they noticed something on the hood of the car.
"It seemed like something was wrapped up, several things were wrapped up. But he saw paws, dog paws, sticking out of these looked like clothing or towels," Casa Grande Police Officer Thomas Anderson said.
Officers said they found six dead dogs on the car. A seventh dead dog was discovered in a trash bin behind the home, and the skeletal remains of an eighth dog were right outside the home. Police called in animal control officers to assist with the investigation.
According to the Casa Grande Police Department, Crawford told officers she had about 20 dogs inside her home. Police found about 90 animals in varying states of health. The residence is roughly 700-square feet, police said.
"It's quite alarming and it's probably one of the worst I've seen," said Anderson of the disturbing animal cruelty scene.
Crawford turned the dogs over to the City of Casa Grande Animal Care and Adoption Center.
"Their coats were matted with feces. The apartment floor and walls had dog feces all over them," said Anderson.
Police said about 28 of the dogs “were in decent health.” The others suffered various health problems, including dehydration, hair and skin sores and puncture or bite wounds.
Police said all of the dogs are getting the care they need. It’s not clear if or when they might be available for adoption.
The Casa Grande Police Department has recommended that the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office file charges against Crawford and Mills.
- 59 counts of animal cruelty (neglect/abandonment)
- 59 counts of animal cruelty (failure to provide medical treatment)
- 59 counts of animal cruelty - (infliction of physical injury)
- 59 counts of animal cruelty - (reckless cruel mistreatment)
- 8 counts of animal cruelty – (neglect resulting in serious physical injury)
- 8 counts of animal cruelty – (intentional cruel mistreatment)
Police also said there were several violations of City code. The investigation is ongoing.