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About 50 malnourished dogs found in Mesa animal shelter

(Twitter/@SgtJEnriquez)

PHOENIX — Dozens of malnourished dogs were removed from an animal shelter in Mesa after a woman tipped law enforcement off Thursday to the “deplorable” conditions they were being held in.

Sgt. Joaquin Enriquez with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office told KTAR News 92.3 FM that the dogs inside the shelter did not have food or water and were clearly malnourished. Some were lying in their own feces.

“There were deplorable conditions in the shelter,” he said. “They had been neglected.”

Enriquez said deputies estimated that more than 50 dogs were housed in the shelter. As of Friday, 52 dogs were removed from the scene and taken to the MCSO Animal Safe Haven in Phoenix. One of the dogs later died.

Some of the dogs were offered medical treatment on scene, while others were taken to veterinarians.

Some, according to ABC15 reporter John Trierweiler, were so weak that they could not walk out of the on their own.

ABC15 reported that the facility was Shelter Paws located near the Loop 202 and Main Street.

Enriquez said the owner of the shelter was cooperating with deputies, but said it is a “criminal investigation into the neglect of animals.

“It’s a slow, methodical process because there are a lot of dogs. It could result in a lot of charges for each animal neglected.”

Trierweiler said the owner had taken in the dogs, who were initially held in a Maricopa County shelter to be euthanized, to rescue them. The owner is also “well respected in the animal rescue community.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nailea Leon contributed to this report. 

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