A text message from a woman accused of neglecting animals offers an admission, of sorts, to an owner whose dog died at the embattled pet rescue.
Phoenix police and the Arizona Humane Society ended up removing 34 cats and dogs from the Wiggle Butts Rescue in north Phoenix last week. Officials described the rescue as an animal hoarding situation filled with sick and emaciated animals.
One dog didn’t survive the situation. Faith Williams had been paying Wiggle Butts owner Dani Lee to board her dog, Raider. When police went into the rescue they found Raider’s body stuffed into a plastic container covered in flies.
"There were probably about six different stories about how my dog died,” said Williams.
After agonizing days of trying to get answer from Lee, Williams said she finally got a text that contained a rambling apology from Lee. The text explained how Raider died.
"Raider attacked a dog 3x bigger than him, other dogs tried jumping in, I couldn't break it up. Raider was killed,” said the text that Williams shared with ABC15.
“You know, if there was a dog fight, why didn't she contact me? I could have met her at the vet, paid the bill. There are options… saying she panicked is unacceptable,” said Williams.
The text also tried to explain why Raider ended up stuffed in a plastic bin.
“I panicked... put him in the trash... I only put him in the storage container 20 minutes before you showed up... I didn't want your last image of him to be him dead,” said the text that Williams claims is from Lee.
"That made me just want to rip my skin off. I mean, really!?” said Williams.
Several of the dogs taken from Wiggle Butts just went up for adoption a week after the police raid.
“It did show up that many of them have a parasite, so we're working through that medically,” said Bretta Nelson, spokesperson for the Arizona Humane Society.
So far Lee hasn't returned several messages from ABC15 looking for comment.
She has not been charged with any crimes at this point. However, Phoenix police told ABC15 that investigators “will be submitting this case for the appropriate criminal charges” when the investigation is over.