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Phoenix woman arrested on 12 counts of animal cruelty

Rachel Ussery-Welch (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

PHOENIX — Phoenix police arrested a woman on animal cruelty charges last month in what was considered one of the worst hoarding scenes the Arizona Humane Society had seen so far this year.

Rachel Ussery-Welch was arrested and booked April 19 on 12 counts of animal cruelty after police found four dogs, one cat, two chickens and six reptiles living in deplorable conditions along with a Great Dane mix that was locked in a crate with no food or water.

Additionally, 15 other pets were also found dead on the property, according to a press release.

The 3-year-old Great Dane mix, named Pandora, and the cats and dogs were transported to Arizona Humane Society’s Second Chance Animal Trauma Hospital, while the reptiles and chickens were taken to the Phoenix Herpetological Society and the New Dawn Sanctuary, respectively.

Pandora was in the worst shape of the animals, suffering from dehydration, several wounds, an ear infection, hookworms and a poor coat likely due to a lack of proper nutrition, according to the release.

The Great Dane mix, who was well underweight at just 57 pounds considering her age and breed, gained almost 10 pounds under the care of the organization in just 10 days but will require ongoing medical care, including a feeding schedule, as well as foster care for additional healing and weight gain.

The investigation into the animal cruelty case continues.

People can report animal abuse, cruelty or neglect by calling their local police department or Arizona Humane Society’s Field Dispatch Team at (602) 997-7585, Ext. 2073.

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