SURPRISE, AZ - Two cases of animal cruelty are under investigation in Surprise, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies were called to the area of 180th Avenue and Waddell Road to check on a dog that Surprise fire personnel thought was malnourished. As deputies arrived, they say they located a dog lying in a walkway that appeared to be malnourished and had an injured back leg.
According to deputies, 79-year-old Lonnie Townsend said he didn't have the money to provide veterinary care to his dog and was, "just waiting for the dog to die." Detectives responded to the scene and seized the dog.
The dog was transported to an animal hospital in Phoenix to receive emergency veterinary care. Deputies say the dog remains in critical condition. Animal cruelty charges are pending at this time based on the results of the medical report, according to MCSO.
Deputies were called out to a home by a property owner near 151st Avenue and Dynamite Boulevard for a report of a former tenant that had abandoned her animals. The owner reportedly told deputies that Juli Soave had abandoned her animals after being evicted from the residence.
As detectives responded, they reportedly smelled an odor of feces. Once inside, deputies said they encountered large piles of feces and animal urine throughout the residence.
Twenty-three cats and two dogs were removed from the home and were transported to a Phoenix animal hospital for veterinary care.