YCSO: 50-plus animals found in 'cruel, deplorable, horrifying' conditions; suspect arrested

Image 1 of 7

WARNING: Graphic Content

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP/FOX 10) - Arizona officials say they arrested a woman on suspicion of animal cruelty after collecting more than 50 dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs that were overtaking her home and creating deplorable living conditions.

Yavapai County Sheriff's spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said Wednesday animal control officers with a warrant on Sunday searched 50-year-old Stacey Hembree's home near Red Rock Lane and Mesa Verde Road in the Cordes Lakes community.

D'Evelyn says they found animals running loose, leaving urine and feces in common areas and inside kennels and cages. He says one officer called the conditions "cruel, deplorable, horrifying, shocking and very disheartening."

"Most of the larger dogs could barely stand or turn around in the 'kennels,' especially those with [at] least two inside. The kennels were overflowing with feces and urine. The cat cages had overflowing litter boxes except for those with no litter box and overflowing cat feces," added D'Evelyn.

None of the dogs had water and no food was present in the cages. The other animals were eating food laced with feces and urine on the floor.

YCSO Animal Control Officers said the entire home was overwhelmed with a putrid odor what was almost unbearable.

Hembree was not home during the search. She was arrested Tuesday after appearing in court for a previous animal cruelty case.

Per YCSO, Hembree had recently moved to the home after being evicted from another nearby location due to issues involving animal abuse.

54 animals were taken to a local humane society for care: 28 cats, 20 dogs, four guinea pigs, and two rabbits. Two dead cats and a guinea pig were also found during the investigation.

Hembree was released from the Camp Verde Detention Center on a promise to appear.

Court records listing an attorney who could comment on the charges were not found online.