MESA, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Dogs, reptiles, rodents, and even birds were taken from an east Mesa home following an animal abuse investigation.
According to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, the office's Animal Crimes Investigation unit, along with a team of veterinarians, went to the a home near Crismon and Southern as part of an animal abuse investigation.
The homeowners, according to the statement, surrendered nearly 40 animals that were on the property, including 15 breeds of dogs, as well as a number of birds, lizards, hedgehogs, spiders, and snakes.
"This is the most unusual animal crimes investigation that I have seen in my tenure as sheriff," Joe Arpaio said. "The conditions in this house were deplorable. No one animal should be subject to the kind of living disorder the owners provided, let alone the menagerie of animals they collected."
Criminal charges, according to the statement, may be filed against the three adults who reside at the home.
Investigators believe the animals were groomed by the owners for sale, and many of them appear to be undernourished.