PHOENIX - More than 200 pets were seized from a boarding facility over the past few weeks and the animals are now creating a challenge for an already crowded Arizona Humane Society.
165 animals were seized from Planet Petopia Doggie Dude Ranch on Thursday. The owners of the facility, 49-year-old BarbaraAnn Whitley and 52-year-old Glen Whitley, are facing charges of neglect, failure to provide medical care and hoarding.
According to police, the dog boarding/daycare facility was filthy and the animals were starving.
"A lot of what we were seeing, definitely the Pit Bull Terrier mixes, shepherd mixes. There was a couple of Chows in there as well, Chihuahuas," said Bretta Nelson of the Arizona Humane Society.
The dogs were all taken to AHS for treatment, many for tick fever.
"A blood parasite that if not treated, can really affect these guys. It's a 21 to 28 day treatment," said Nelson.
Although a closed sign is a welcome sight for Dusty Lee with Passionate People 4 Paws, she says more needs to be done. Lee says she's frustrated with the system that failed these animals.
"When we tried to say something, it was ignored. There's no regulations. There's no licensing facility for kenneling. Anyone can be a 501(c). All it is is a piece of paper."
Lee also tells us several groups have been complaining about the facility for months with no action. She's hoping this serves as a warning to pet owners.
"You better do your research, because your dog or your cat could come out dead. We already know several have died."
If you had a dog in the facility that was seized, you'll want to call the AHS's pet resource center at 602-997-7585 ext. 3800. You'll need to provide a description of your pet, length of time at Planet Petopia, veterinary records, licensing, microchip information (if applicable) and pictures. Within 24 hours, AHS field supervisors will schedule an appointment with you return the pets.
Arizona Humane Society Pet Resource Center
602-997-7585 ext. 3800