More than 100 neglected animals and two children were removed from a Buckeye property, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

Heather Brenton, 39, was contacted by Sheriff’s deputies, who knew her from prior animal-neglect cases at her previous home, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Brenton had complied with MCSO stipulations in the previous cases, officials said.

In this current case, MCSO seized 36 dogs, 21 cats, 16 pigs, 16 guinea pigs, 7 goats, 6 donkeys, 6 mini-horses, 4 pet rats, 3 horses, 2 rabbits, 2 birds, 1 tortoise, and a mule, MSCO said in a press release.

Detectives found more than 30 of the dogs secured in a bedroom, numerous cats that appeared to be ill and feces in several areas, including the walls, floors and furniture. There also appeared to be a lack of food and water for all the animals on the property, MSCO said.

Investigators believed there was animal hoarding and breeding taking place on the property after a complaint was filed with the agency. Officials obtained a warrant to enter the property on Monday, according to the press release.

The woman’s 11-year-old son and 18-year-old daughter also were living on the property, officials said. The Arizona Department of Child Saftey opened a case for the boy.

Ownership of the animals was signed over to the MSCO and are in emergency veterinary care, the Sheriff’s Office said. The case is still ongoing and no arrests have been made.  

Last week, the Sheriff’s Office seized neglected animals from a youth rehabilitation center in New River. Three children also were found living on the property and DCS was referred to the case.

The week before, Sheriff’s deputies seized three neglected horses from another New River property.

“With the past few animal neglect cases, the community is being more observant,” said Sheriff Paul Penzone. “We appreciate the public’s assistance by helping us maintain safety of the animals and children in our communities.”


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