Mesa animal case: Maricopa County removes 79 total pets from home

Posted at 2:47 PM, Dec 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-03 00:49:01-05

Authorities have released a full breakdown of the animals seized in an animal cruelty investigation earlier this week. 

On Wednesday Maricopa County deputies raided a home near Hawes Road and Southern Avenue in east Mesa, where they collected nearly 80 animals, insects and spiders. 

In an update on Friday, MCSO said investigators removed a total of 79 pets from the home, broken down into 71 animals, seven spiders and one insect: 

36 Dogs (34 adults, two puppies)
11 Snakes (boa constrictors)
10 Birds (Five Budgies, four Cockatiels, one umbrella Cockatoo)
7 Tarantulas
5 Bearded dragons
3 Iguanas
3 Ferrets
1 Hedgehog
1 Blue Skink
1 Turtle
1 Vinegaroon Insect

"This was the most unusual animal crimes case involving somewhat exotic animals that I have seen in 24 years," Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said in a news release.

Investigators say the animals were left in deplorable living conditions without access to food and water and were locked inside inadequate cages.

The Maricopa County MASH Unit is handling the animals after their removal from the home. The organization has put together a list of items it needs as it cares for the unusual collection of animals. Those who would like to buy items from the list can do so by clicking here.

As of Friday, MCSO said no arrests have been made but those responsible could face 71 misdemeanor counts of failing to provide sufficient food, water and shelter. Some animals are still being evaluated by veterinarians, leaving the potential for possible additional charges.

Animals which have cleared the process for adoption will be posted to the MASH Unit's Facebook page.