In June, a tragedy at the Green Acre Cage Free Dog Boarding in Gilbert, Arizona, led to the deaths of 23 dogs. The facility was overcrowded with animals and understaffed with employees, with the owners out of town. Reports show that the air-conditioning went out in the oppressive Arizona heat, which led to the dogs’ deaths. Controversial Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, pledged to prosecute the owners for negligence in the senseless deaths of the 23 beloved pets. At the time of discovery, 17 dogs were found dead, days later four more passed, and at the time of this writing, 23 have died as a result of the tragedy.
At the time of the tragedy, Maricopa County Animal Control and Care told AZ Central that the deaths seemed odd. Melissa Gable, a spokesperson released a statement.
“Based on what we heard, it does seem a little suspicious,”
“I don’t think we should rush to judgment right away until we know exactly what happened. We need to wait and hear from the Sheriff’s Office to find out what they discover because we don’t know all the details.”
After three months of investigation, the Maricopa County Attorney General found no cause for criminal proceedings, even though the facility was not prepared or equipped to house that many dogs, and the owners had outright lied to customers about the care that their pets would receive at the facility. While the owners were out of town, the facility was left in the hands of their daughter and her husband, Austin Flake. It should be noted that Austin Flake is the son of Arizona republican senator Jeff Flake.
Now, as politics has seemingly reared its ugly head in the matter, and Flake’s son will escape criminal prosecution, the families of the 23 dead dogs are banding together for a civil suit against Flake and Green Acre.
Since the tragedy, Green Acre has been closed, as evidenced by their Yelp page, but that won’t stop the families from seeking justice for the negligence through civil court. Images taken from the Phoenix Newtimes show the cramped conditions that the dogs were in.
*Warning* the following images are graphic and may prove unsettling.
The owners of Green Acre Cage Free Dog Boarding promised their customers that their pets would be treated like they were at “Doggy Disneyland,” according to a story on KTAR in Arizona. Those images are anything but.
While justice has alluded the owners of the dogs, the owners of Green Acre have escaped any penalty for wrong-doing in the tragedy. The bereaved owners hope to change that with the civil suit, and the deaths of 23 dogs will not go unpunished due to possible political wrangling from a state senator. But then again, maybe Jeff Flake’s stature as senator could possibly influence the civil courts as well.
Do you think the owners of the boarding kennel should have been charged with criminal neglect?