PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) --The Arizona Humane Society says it is one of the most horrific cases they've seen. Fourteen dogs were found in a locked in a west Phoenix home, Sunday.
According to the police report, Blanche Lopez, 61, intentionally neglected 14 dogs at her residence, "which resulted in the death of six of the dogs due to lack of water and/or heat exhaustion."
"It smelled like a dead person type smell but stronger,” said neighbor Ricardo Leyva.
Nauseating and unrelenting, the smell from the home next door often canceled Leyva’s outdoor barbecues.
"It was really really bad. You would try to buy food try to cook out, the smell was unbelievable,” said Leyva.
An officer patrolling the area of 40th Street and Baseline Road got a whiff of the smell too. The odor was "recognized to be that of a decomposing body," states the police report.
When officers attempted to do a welfare check at the home, they were able to see a dead dog in the center of the front room.
No one appeared to be at the home at the time, and neighbors said they had not seen Lopez in at least two or three days. "She would roll up with gallons of water, leave it there and then take off," said Leyva.
Police say that when officers managed to contact Lopez, she "appeared to show no concern or surprise at the overwhelming foul odor coming from the residence."
Once inside the home, officers observed that "the floors were covered in dog feces along with dried and fresh blood from the deceased dogs. The bodies of the dead dogs showed decomposition and had maggots," according to the police report.
In all, they found 6 deceased dogs, and 8 dogs showing "signs of malnourishment," according to court documents.
Police say while officers were at the home, Lopez loaded two of the dead dogs onto a hand cart and started taking them to the back alley to dispose of them, before officers stopped her.
Lopez was arrested and booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail. She now faces more than a dozen felony animal cruelty charges.
The Arizona Humane Society (AHS) said its field rescue team responded to more than 7,400 suspected cases of animal cruelty last year, yet "this one is one of the most horrific scenes they have come across."
AHS says the eight surviving dogs were in extremely bad shape. Two of those dogs are critical.
One dog was found lying on his side, and his kidneys are “a completely out of whack, indicating perhaps an infection or renal failure,” according to AHS trauma veterinarian, Dr. Kathleen Croteau. He is on IV fluids and antibiotics.
The other critical case is a dog who is having seizures and is on seizure watch. Initially concerned about heat distress, the dog’s temperature is now normal.
AHS staffers say the other six dogs appear very lethargic, have hair loss and skin irritations, and are very nervous and fearful. Blood work is pending.
The dogs range in age from 10 weeks old to four years old, but due to their poor health, they reportedly look much older. They are mixtures of Labs, Shepherds and Shar-peis.
The dogs will be held at the Arizona Humane Society on a protective custody hold for the next 10 days and treated in AHS’ trauma hospital during that time.
Lopez was released from jail without bond on the condition that she not have or take care of animals of any kind for any reason.