Green Acre tragedy: Arizona lawmaker, Kate Brophy McGee, rallying support for tougher regulations

GILBERT, AZ - Dog boarding facilities in Arizona could face more regulation in the future, if one state lawmakers can gather in the votes.

The lack of oversight in animal boarding is now in the spotlight after more than 20 dogs died at the Green Acre boarding facility in Gilbert a few weeks ago.

RELATED: Dogs may have died even without air conditioning, says Sheriff Arpaio

State representative Kate Brophy McGee (R-Phoenix) is trying to gather together support to make some changes so something like this never happens again.

Arizona's dog boarding facilities are not widely regulated-- and that came as a surprise to many dog owners who lost their dogs at the Gilbert boarding facility.

As the investigation continues, those owners are speaking out, asking for more regulation and tougher animal cruelty laws.

RELATED: New memorial for dogs killed at Green Acre boarding facility

Brophy McGee said she's in the beginning stages of talking with stakeholders like pet owners,  owners of boarding facilities and other lawmakers. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is also getting involved.

 McGee is looking at several ideas regarding licensing and inspection.

“I think we're just gathering the people who are able to put those options on the table. And certainly I could envision that being one,” she said.

She wants to put changes in place that won't hurt the facilities that are doing things the right way.

“The issue or the question that we have to ask is, ‘Will it work?' 'Will it make it so that something like this does not happen again?’” she said.

Meanwhile dog owners are still fighting for change.

Shannon Gillette lost two golden retrievers at Green Acre.

A few weeks later, her family welcomed two rescue puppies into their home in their honor.

“When we got to our house it was empty without Sherman and Parker, so we really wanted to save one or two dog's lives,” she said.

MCSO is still investigating how those dogs died at the boarding facility.

RELATED: MCSO serves search warrant on Green Acre facility

“And now, looking back on it, had there been laws in place that some other states have, my dogs might be alive right now,” Gillette said.

She hopes tougher animal cruelty laws and more regulations is the answer.

“The heartbreak we feel as owners, losing our two golden retrievers, we don't want any dog owner to ever have to go through what we're going through,” she said.

No arrests have been made.

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