Phoenix Police: couple arrested; charged with animal and child abuse

Phoenix Police have arrested a man and a woman for alleged child abuse charges.

Officers were called to the home near 35th Avenue and Encanto to assist the Arizona Humane Society with a report of animal cruelty. They spoke with an AHS employee, who said three pit-bull dogs at the home appeared malnourished and neglected; one of the dogs apparently had a chain embedded in its neck.

Charlie is one of three dogs rescued by authorities on Tuesday. They found him tied to a tree.

"He was unable to lay down because the chain was so short, and it was so tight around his neck that the skin was growing around the chain," said AHS' Ashleigh Goble.

Charlie's neck was still swollen and bleeding.  AHS doctors are now caring for him.  His owner, 24-year-old Chrison Johnson, was arrested and faces animal cruelty charges.

"It's heartbreaking," said Goble.

Charlie and two other pits, named Diamond and King, were seized from the home.

"Sweet as ever, she's a sweetheart," said Goble.

All three were starving and malnourished, weighing half of what they should.

"These guys just didn't get treated the best," said Goble.

Police say Johnson and his wife, whose name has not been released, are also facing possible abuse charges.  The couple lives in a small cottage in the back of the home.

Officers said when they went to question Johnson, the cottage smelled like marijuana with no ventilation.  Also inside the cottage were three children, ages, 2, 3 and 10-days-old.

The Department of Child Safety was called and placed the children with a family member. 

Police say the investigation is continuing. 

As for the dogs, AHS hopes to eventually put them up for adoption.  They have to pass a medical exam and gain weight first.

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