CASA GRANDE, Ariz. — Police found more than 90 dogs living in despicable conditions in Casa Grande. They say they were living in a 700-square-foot apartment on the 100 block of West Viola Drive.
“I never would’ve imagined there were that many dogs,” said a neighbor who spoke to 12 News.
On Saturday, officers found 90 Chihuahuas and mixed breeds at the home. Six were found dead, wrapped in towels on top of a car.
“You couldn’t really see the floor. All you saw were dogs,” says Thomas Anderson, the public information officer for the Casa Grande Police Department.
Investigators say they were originally called to the apartment for a civil standby. Officers then smelled a horrible stench coming from inside where the other dogs were still alive.
“Many of them are underweight many of them were dehydrated,” says Julie Stocke, the animal control supervisor for the city of Casa Grande.
Police are asking the court to charge Michael Mills and Lila Crawford, who live with the dogs, with more than 50 counts of animal cruelty. City ordinance violations are also pending.
12 News spoke to a woman claiming to be Lila Crawford. She says the dogs “were well taken care of.”
“They’re all very skittish, they’re unsocialized. When you go to touch them they shrink down to the ground,” says Stocke.
Now neighbors regret not calling the police.
“Had I known all that was going on, I would’ve called the Humane Society,” says a neighbor who spoke to 12 News anonymously.
The Valley Humane Society, Humane Society of Southern Arizona, and the Arizona Humane Society have agreed to take some dogs from the city, so they can help them find a new home.
However, police say it will be a long time until the dogs are ready for that because they need to be medically treated and socialized.