PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- Earlier in October, MCSO deputies removed more than 50 dogs from a shelter near the Loop 202 and Main. Since then, the dogs have been getting treatment at the Sheriff's MASH Facility ever since. After protesters were outside Penzone's front door, the Sheriff is answering back.
"We have a moral obligation to ask our Sheriff, who was elected by the people, to stand up for these voiceless animals," said one woman, during a protest. 10 days after that protest, the sheriff fires back.
"If you are truly committed to the best interest of these animals, let's focus on these animals, but let's not cast stones or disparaging things to the men and women who fight everyday to keep these animals safe in our community," said Penzone. "So, on my emotional side of the scale, that's how I feel about it. Don't question our commitment. Don't question our intent. Don't question our effort."
The animals are all being cared for in Downtown Phoenix, with many of them still being nursed back to health. For the protesters last Saturday, however, one question remains: will the owner of Shelter Paws, Dominic Asperella, face any charges.
"It would be an overreach of our authority to intimidate any individual during the course of the investigation by constantly going back to their home over and over again," said Penzone.
Penzone says investigators have visited Asperella's Fountain Hills home, but no charges have been filed. Meanwhile, the animals are being kept as evidence, and with several owners still to be questioned, Penzone is tiptoeing around a timeline.
"We can't control everything, and we're not always responsible for everything," said Penzone. "We're doing our best, as law enforcement professionals and people, to get it right."