MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Two Arizona funeral directors have lost their licenses following allegations that they treated the deceased like cats and dogs at the pound.

A state review board determined that the Saguaro Valley Cremation Services in Mesa mishandled a number of bodies.

[WATCH: Mesa crematory accused of mishandling bodies]

According to court and records, the business was caught stacking bodies on top of each other and leaving multiple bodies outside their refrigeration unit.

"It's upsetting," said Mesa resident Jennifer Wilkerson. "Kind of horrifying, for sure. That's awful."

The Arizona Funeral Board started an investigation shortly after the alleged incidents came to light back in 2015, then revoked two funeral directors' licenses, and the license of a third employee.

But those penalties just took effect after a lengthy court fight came to an end.

Arizona Funeral Board executive director Judy Stapley said it was important to make sure this business was held accountable.

"You want to know that your loved one is being cared for," said Stapley. "You don't want to have to wonder what's going on when you leave, or what's going on behind the doors that you're not invited in to. You want to know your loved one is being cared for."

But making sure the public is protected is no guarantee.

The business manager of Saguaro Valley, Frank Lambert, is now running Family Burial and Cremation, a few miles away.

Lambert had his funeral director's license revoked back in 2011, following similar allegations.

"What would you do if it was your family member?" asked Eddie Micheals, of Mesa. "How would you be? Luckily it wasn't one of mine."

Lambert's attorney Charles Buri said his client believes he was treated unfairly.

Saguaro Valley Cremation Services has also had its business license suspended for 30 days and will also be on probation for a year.

It will also require a state monitor to ensure all laws and protocols are being followed.

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
 
 


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