Starving sheep seized in PHX to be auctioned off

Posted at 4:52 PM, Dec 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-01 18:52:58-05

In October, the Department of Agriculture seized seven dozen sheep, who appeared to be suffering from starvation, from a Phoenix woman's home.

On Tuesday, a judge ruled the owner will not be allowed to keep her sheep.

According to the Department of Agriculture, neighbors witnessed two dead sheep on the owners property and reported the deaths to the department. 

When officers arrived, they seized all seven dozen sheep. Necropsies, or animal autopsies, revealed that the sheep had starved to death. 

The department said that normally they work with owners to help them keep their livestock, but in an extreme cases, such as this, the animals are seized. Last time the department visited the property, the livestock were being well fed and watered. 

In his ruling, the judge said, "there is overwhelming evidence of cruelty to animals in the form of cruel mistreatment, cruel neglect and/or abandonment."

The department will sell the sheep and lambs at a public auction. The judge also ordered the owner to pay the state's cost of feeding the sheep.