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Conditions at Valley animal rescue, Woofs, Wiggles and Wags, in question

Posted at 6:33 PM, Oct 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-17 00:04:29-04

PHOENIX  — Four years after ABC15 uncovered questionable conditions inside the animal rescue Woofs, Wiggles N Wags, former volunteer Debbie Domenicucci says nothing has changed.

She posted photos on social media, some dating back to February of this year, from inside the home where the rescue operates.

"I knew it was a matter of time before somebody else would see it and do something," she said.

Lisa Peterson says she's the one who took the photos and sent them to Domenicucci. Peterson says she was a long-time friend of Woofs, Wiggles, N Wags owner Melanie Murphy.

"I'm not just a rescuer in the community," Peterson said. "I was Melanie's friend and I defended her against those people, but I didn't know what was going on behind closed doors."

Peterson says she stayed at Murphy's home for about four months last spring. During her stay, she says she saw blood on the floor, dogs sitting in their own feces, rat feces in cages and underfed dogs.

"I counted 40 to 50 dogs," she said. "Animals will sit in their cages for 20-23 hours a day."

Peterson says after every photo she took, she would clean up the mess. She says she voiced concerns to Murphy about how things were being run but was ignored.

When asked about the conditions inside her home, Murphy said, "I talked to the police, that's all we need to do." Murphy did not answer further questions and closed the door.

Phoenix police say there is an open investigation, but they have not filed criminal charges at this time.