MESA, Ariz. — A Mesa shelter is being accused of neglecting more than 50 dogs, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

MCSO began the investigating after receiving a tip from a woman who was picking up her dog at Shelter Paws Rescue about a large amount of emaciated dogs Thursday. The woman said numerous malnourished dogs were being kept in crates.

When they arrived to the animal shelter near Loop 202 and Main Street, deputies saw more than 50 dogs that were in bad condition, MCSO said.

According to MCSO, the dogs were malnourished and being kept in confinement with feces in their crates.

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The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office investigates claims of animal neglect at Shelter Paws, an animal shelter in Mesa.
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Deputies waited for hours to execute a search warrant and finally did so around 1 a.m. Friday. Deputies were seen taken what appeared to be very malnourished dogs from the building early Friday morning.

MCSO said one dog was taken to an emergency veterinarian where it later died, another 52 dogs were taken to a MCSO animal facility in Phoenix for further care and treatment.

According to MCSO, the owner of the shelter, identified as Domenic Anthony Asprella, is cooperating but could face animal abuse charges.

"It’s heartbreaking to see animals in this condition, and our investigators will seek charges as appropriate in this case,” Sheriff Paul Penzone said in a release.