Gilbert 23 case: Boarding facility owners make court appearance

The owners of the Gilbert boarding facility where several dogs died last year know they are responsible for the dog's deaths. Those words came from their own attorney outside of court.

The attorney for Todd and Maleisa Hughes say the couple know they are responsible, but they didn't do anything criminal. In court FOX 10 learned that their attorney plans to ask that the case be sent back to the grand jury.

If the Hughes' attorney succeeds in getting the case sent back to the grand jury, it would be the third time they've heard the case.

"Without going into specifics we believe that there are some grounds for that in this case," said Garrett Smith.

But the grand jury indicted the couple twice, for felony animal abuse, and fraud charges. 

"We don't believe the Hughes' were criminally responsible; they are responsible for the death of those dogs, but not criminally. There is a different there, and that is significant," said Smith.

A year-ago last month, the owners of the boarding facility left more than 20 dogs in the care of their daughter and son-in-law. Overnight they claim the air conditioning broke, leading to the deaths of many of the dogs that had been locked in a 9x12 foot room.

Of the four involved, only the two owners have been criminally charged, the pet owners hope the case doesn't go back to the grand jury.

"We have been through this twice unless they are just stalling for time.," said John Schill, the attorney for the dogs.

"They just want everybody to go away and forget about it, and we're not going to forget about it, we're going to stand strong and keep fighting this case," said Valerie Collins.

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