Dog owners want laws changed after pet deaths at facility - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Dog owners want laws changed after pet deaths at facility

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Some of the 20 dogs that died at a Gilbert boarding facility are undergoing necropsies in hopes of finding the cause and time of death.

The owners of the facility claim the dogs died when one of them chewed through a cord, cutting off the air conditioning, but the sheriff's department is still investigating exactly what happened.

One family FOX 10 spoke with on Tuesday say they feel lied to and misled by the owners of the facility.

They, like others, were told this was a free range facility where only a few dogs were kept at time.

They're now joining other dog owners and working with an attorney they say not to get money, but to get laws changed.

"They're dead, they're dead. They're in the shed," said Shannon Gillette.

Gillette describes the call she got from her mother who went to check on her dogs at the green acres boarding facility in Gilbert this weekend.

Gillette says her mother was looking for the dogs after a green acres owner told them their two golden retrievers escaped.

"Our dogs meant the world to us. They were our family. Sherman was the best man in our wedding," said Gillette.

It turns out, the Gillette's two dogs were among 20 found dead in a shed at the Green Acres facility on Saturday.

The sheriff's office released photos of the dogs who survived.

Investigators say the dogs were kept in a 10 by 10 room. The owner claims a dog chewed through a power line knocking out the air conditioning.

The Gillette's are getting necropsies done on their dogs.

"We believe that there is no way 20 dogs could be in a 10 by 10 room and not attack each other," said Gillette. "Were they sedating them? Drugging them? That's what we're going to find out through these toxicology reports and pathology reports."

The owners of the facility, who were out of town, left their 21-year-old daughter and her husband, the son of Senator Jeff Flake, in charge.

County Attorney Bill Montgomery doesn't have the case yet but says it doesn't matter that a senator's son is involved.

"I don't care who you are. There is no surname defense in Arizona statutes," said Montgomery. "For us to be able to prosecute the case, no matter how wrong it feels. We have got make sure we have the evidence to be able to prove the statutory elements."

Dog owners are upset the caretakers didn't call for help when they discovered the dogs.

The Gillette's say they want new laws written so this doesn't happen again.

In Arizona, no state law regulates places that board animals; no agencies oversee the operations.

The sheriff said Monday that he also wants to see legislation on boarding facilities.
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