PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Dozens of dogs were saved after their evicted owner in east Phoenix abandoned them on Thursday, officials said.
Two Maricopa County constables found the Chihuahuas at a house near 44th Street and McDowell Road, according to Scott Davis with the Maricopa County Justice Courts.
"Once in a while I can smell the dogs like out in front of my front door sometimes if the wind's blowing from their direction you walk out and it's like, 'Woah, dog!'" next door neighbor William Sherry said.
Davis said the eviction notice was given to the tenant on June 3, giving the person five days to leave.
On June 11, a judge signed a court document ordering a Maricopa County constable to carry out the eviction process.
The constables showed up to the house and found the tenant was gone, but the more than 35 dogs were left behind, officials said. The dogs were living in deplorable conditions, according to the constables.
"There's a lot of feces on the property and it's -- I wouldn't think it's healthy for the dogs," Constable Carolyn Lane of the Arcadia/Biltmore Precinct said.
The Arizona Humane Society showed up to check on the dogs. AHS said they were not malnourished or abused. The Humane Society said one of the rooms has an air conditioning unit working in it and the dogs have access to food, water and a doggie door from the inside to outside.
The owner has 72 hours to take them back, AHS said.
"Dogs are personal property," Lane said. "You can't just take them. So you have to try and reach the owners."
If, however, the power (and therefore AC) is turned off at the property, AHS would likely be able to collect the dogs to remove them from potentially dangerous heat.
Neighbors didn't realize how many dogs lived there.
"They're all over the place, they're hard to count. They're generally behind the fence," Sherry said.