Maricopa County Sheriff Office deputies rescued five donkeys in Buckeye that were underfed and neglected.
Neighbors first complained to MCSO about the donkeys' health. Deputies checked out the three-acre property and found that the donkeys were underweight and their hooves were overgrown.
One of the mares had recently given birth, said MCSO.
The owners were cited for two counts of cruel neglect and failure to provide medical attention linked to the donkeys' conditions.
The owners, Francisco Avila, 60, and Maria Avila, 64, told deputies that the animals were fed and watered three times a week, but they could not explain the their weight loss.
They agreed to surrender the donkeys to MCSO. The animals will be housed in the Tent City Jail with other horses and cared for by jail inmates.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio said his office will continue to crackdown on people that “abuse any animals."