In a press release made by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. Calbert Gillett confirmed the rumors about a family living in the Arizona desert which has been quite the topic in town. According to the sergeant, the sheriff’s office deputies received an official call from the State Land Trust informing them about the family on the state-owned land near Wittman, Arizona. And so, they launched an investigation to take a closer look at the matter.
The deputies first went in to visit the family to check on their well-being. But when they arrived, they were greeted with a very pleasant surprise.
That is, the family who was being evicted after living in the area for about a year owned a total of 150 dogs. All the dogs lived in kennels and tents and despite so many of them, the deputies were surprised to see that everyone was well taken care of. They also noted that no sick dogs were discovered at the time and none also appeared malnourished.
But for the best interest of the dogs, the family agreed to voluntarily surrender them to the MASH, the county office’s animal safe haven unit. There the dogs would receive immediate veterinary evaluation and care according to their needs. After that, the dogs would eventually be available for adoption by the public.
The family also actually contacted Sky Sanctuary Rescue, a non-profit organization based in Phoenix, Arizona that focuses on saving street dogs, for help taking in the dogs.
According to Elli Smith who is the founder of the Sky Sanctuary, the family contacted the organization through social media. She immediately coordinated a visit to the area with the intention of getting 10 dogs who need help but when she arrived, she saw that there were so much more. By her estimate, there were around 50 to 60 more dogs than they had told her they had.
She ended up leaving with 22 dogs that first night. The next day, she came back and took some more while the county sheriff’s office relocated the family and the rest of the dogs to a new property. Elli hoped that the family would not be vilified because for the most part and to the best of their ability, they really took care of the dogs.