MCSO serves warrants at site of Gilbert dog deaths - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

UPDATE

MCSO serves warrant at site of Gilbert dog deaths

Posted: Updated:
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said deputies seized records and computers from a dog boarding facility in Gilbert on Wednesday. (Source: CBS 5 News) Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said deputies seized records and computers from a dog boarding facility in Gilbert on Wednesday. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Forensic experts check the air conditioning system at a home in Gilbert where 20 dogs died last week. (Source: CBS 5 News) Forensic experts check the air conditioning system at a home in Gilbert where 20 dogs died last week. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Several MCSO vehicles converged on Green Acres Dog Boarding in Gilbert to serve a search warrant. (Source: CBS 5 News) Several MCSO vehicles converged on Green Acres Dog Boarding in Gilbert to serve a search warrant. (Source: CBS 5 News)
  • More Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • Tropical Storm Dolly to hit Mexico Wednesday

    Tropical Storm Dolly to hit Mexico Wednesday

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:07 AM EDT2014-09-02 10:07:26 GMT
    Tropical Depression Five was upgraded to Tropical Storm Dolly overnight and is located in the far SW Gulf of Mexico with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. The storm is located at 22.4 N and 94.4 W and is moving NW at 10 mph.More >>
    Tropical Depression Five was upgraded to Tropical Storm Dolly overnight and is located in the far SW Gulf of Mexico with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. The storm is located at 22.4 N and 94.4 W and is moving NW at 10 mph.More >>
  • Unions celebrate Labor Day 2014

    Unions celebrate Labor Day 2014

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:41 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:41:06 GMT
    Unions celebrated Labor Day 2014 with annual picnic and visits from politicians.More >>
    Unions celebrated Labor Day 2014 with annual picnic and visits from politicians.More >>
  • Volunteers help build ramp for local artist

    Volunteers help build ramp for local artist

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:20 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:20:42 GMT
    Some local volunteers spent their Labor Day weekend helping to build a ramp for a local artist whose leg had to be amputated.More >>
    Some local volunteers spent their Labor Day weekend helping to build a ramp for a local artist whose leg had to be amputated.More >>
GILBERT, AZ (CBS5) -

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies on Wednesday served a search warrant at the Gilbert pet boarding facility where 22 dogs died last month.

"We're looking at every angle," Arpaio said during a news conference on the property of Green Acres Dog Boarding. "We are seizing records, computers and we still have subpoenas out for phone records. We still have a lot of work to do after we finish here."

Arpaio said 12 detectives along with two forensic experts seized evidence they believe may help determine how the dogs died at Green Acre Cage Free Dog Boarding between June 19 and June 20.

The owners of the boarding kennel, MaLeisa and Todd Hughes, claimed the dogs died of heat exposure after a dog chewed through an air conditioner power cord where they were boarded after the caretakers left for the night.

Arpaio said 20 of the 28 dogs in the 9-by-12-foot room died and their bodies were found in a nearby shed on June 21. Deputies were still trying to determine if another dog died before that date. And another dog was found dead a week later after being hit by a car.

The carcass of another dog was found buried in the backyard of the property on Wednesday, Arpaio said. No other animal carcasses were found on the property.

Arpaio said deputies seized computers, cell phones, ledgers and business documents as well as wiring and drywall.

He said one of the experts hired by his office is checking to see whether there was sufficient air flow from the only vent in the room even when the air conditioning was working, and to determine whether the dogs suffocated.

An electrician was also hired to determine whether the Hughes' story was legitimate.

Arpaio said the warrant was delayed while deputies talked to the owners and attempted to contact Austin Flake and his wife, Logan, who were taking care of the dogs for six days while the Hughes were out of town.

Deputies had to travel to Provo, UT, where Flake attends school, but he refused to talk to deputies and referred them to his attorney. Arpaio said deputies tried to reach Flake by phone, but received no response.

Flake is the son of U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake and Logan is a daughter of the Hughes.

"We had to make sure we had enough probable cause," Arpaio said about the delay. "You can see we had enough information for a search warrant."

He said there was no timetable for determining whether criminal offenses occurred or if the deaths were accidental.

Arpaio said fluids from seven of the dead dogs were sent to the University of Arizona and the University of Michigan for analysis.

He's defending the resources devoted to the case.

"If you want to say it's overkill, it's not overkill," Arpaio said. "It isn't unusual for this sheriff to put these kinds of resources into this case. We do this all the time (for) animal cruelty."

The Hughes had been cooperative and pleasant until Wednesday, when deputies showed up with warrants and MaLeisa Hughes became annoyed, Arpaio said.

Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News as this story develops.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • UPDATEMCSO serves warrants at site of Gilbert dog deathsMore>>

  • Sidebar: Gilbert dead dogs

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:24 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:24:35 GMT
    IMAGES: Owners in tears after their dogs found dead Furious pet owners demand autopsies on dogs (6/22/14) 20 dogs found dead at Gilbert boarding home (6/21/14)More >>
    IMAGES: Owners in tears after their dogs found dead Furious pet owners demand autopsies on dogs (6/22/14) 20 dogs found dead at Gilbert boarding home (6/21/14)More >>
Powered by WorldNow