At least 70 animals taken from home of man prohibited from owning animals

Maricopa County Sheriff's Deputies found more than 70 dogs and cats inside a Wittmann home. 

Their owner was not supposed to have any animals in his possession.

The Sheriff's Office said they were alerted to the location by some utility workers.

When they served a search warrant Wednesday morning, they brought a camera with them.

Warning: the video in this story is graphic and may be hard to watch.

From the moment deputies walked in, dogs seemed to come from all over the home.

Detectives found the home covered in feces. They also spotted some puppies that thought a cat was their mom. Deputies assume the dogs were looking for milk.

They found, in total 71 dogs and cats in the home.

"Everybody around here is kind of fed up," said Charlie Paddock.

Paddock said everybody who lives nearby could hear the animals.

"When he left you could hear the dogs barking, and barking, and barking," said Paddock.

A veterinarian working with MCSO checked out all the animals as their owner spoke with detectives. They say 71-year-old John Kopke wasn't very welcoming to authorities.

It turns out he wasn't supposed to have animals at all. According to MCSO, as part of a previous incident back in 2011, a judge banned him from having animals.

"You can tell there is more than one dog in there, and when you have too many dogs in the house you just can't take care of them," he said.

In the MCSO video, you can see animal waste piled high in parts of the home. They even found a dead kitten in the home office.

Most of the animals were dogs. Outside the home they were placed into crates and taken away for further evaluation.
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