MESA, Ariz. (FOX 10) -- Police say the unsanitary conditions at a home near Stapley Drive and McKellips were so extreme that city officials had to condemn the residence.
According to the report from the Mesa Police Department, investigators could not walk anywhere inside the home without stepping in dog feces. They found 12 live dogs and five live cats, all in various health conditions. Officers also found six deceased dogs in a kitchen trash can, two animal skulls in a bedroom and skeletal remains of what appeared to be a dog on the living room couch.
Police say no one was living at the residence and they seized all of the live animals.
Per the report, "Within the last year, both the Mesa Police Department and Mesa Animal Control had received numerous complaints about the stench emitting from Theresa's residence."
Police say Theresa Finneren, 62, told them during a phone conversation on January 16 the animals died from fighting, Valley Fever and old age. She said she was sorry and knew she could have done something to take better care of the animals.
On January 21, Finneren was arrested and told police she felt depressed, overwhelmed and stopped caring. "I feel more guilt than I can tell you... I felt guilty about the dogs."
The arresting officer says there is probable cause to charge Finneren with nine counts of animal cruelty (knowing subjects any animal under person's control to cruel neglect or abandonment that results in serious physical injury to the animal), one count of animal cruelty (knowingly subjects any animal to cruel mistreatment) and 17 counts of animal cruelty (knowingly subjects any animal under person's control to cruel neglect or abandonment).