BLACK CANYON CITY, AZ - A Black Canyon City man is accused of animal cruelty after hundreds of domesticated rats have been found dead or dying in a travel trailer.
Yavapai County Sheriff Office spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said the 28-year-old suspect was arrested Monday on suspicion of cruel mistreatment of animals and neglect/abandonment of animals.
County Health Services officials say they got a call about numerous rats around a trailer in Black Canyon City.
Sheriff's deputies and county animal control officers say there were between 300 to 500 rats in pens at the front and back of the trailer and the odor was overwhelming.
D'Evelyn said the temperature inside the trailer was estimated to be over 100 degrees.
Inside a home near the trailer, authorities found several aquariums with newborn and adult rats.
Deputies said those rats appeared to be in good condition and had food and water.
The suspect told authorities he had stopped caring for the rats recently, but had been in a business partnership to breed and sell rats.