People gather to protest Mesa animal neglect case against Shelter Paws

MESA, Ariz. (KSAZ) - A vigil and a protest took place Saturday night as animal advocates are upset over the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and the fallout from the Shelter Paws Rescue in Mesa earlier this month. 

A vocal group came out by the dozens to ask Sheriff Paul Penzone to do more to investigate the owner of Shelter Paws and the other facilities he controls.

One dog was found dead and 53 dogs were rescued in bad shape from the sanctuary, but there are concerns over other dogs that weren't rescued and their treatment isn't known nearly two weeks after the raid. 

"I feel we have a moral obligation to ask our Sheriff that was elected by the people to stand up for these voiceless animals," said Dusty Lee. "Not only have animals been starved there are dead animals, missing animals."

The shelter owner, Domenic Asprella of Fountain Hills, remains under investigation for neglecting the animals, but so far no charges have been filed. 

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