EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah, March 15, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A 74-year-old woman is being investigated for animal cruelty after Utah County Sheriff’s deputies removed 16 dead dogs from her Eagle Mountain home earlier this month.
Fourteen live but malnourished dogs also were found inside the home and were seized by animal control deputies, according a news release from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. Those animals are being held at the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter in Lindon, Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said.
“It’s pretty disturbing,” Cannon said.
Animal control deputies visited the woman’s home March 3 after neighbors reported several dead and malnourished dogs, according to the news release. Neighbors told deputies the homeowner had been hospitalized from a fall and no one was home to care for the animals, Cannon said.
“(The homeowner) was injured in a fall and hospitalized, but these dogs weren’t being taken care of prior to the fall,” he said. “She does not have either the knowledge or desire to care for the dogs.”
Fifteen dead dogs in plastic bags were found inside a freezer, and another dog was found dead on the floor outside its kennel, Cannon said. Another 14 dogs ranging from puppies to adults were found alive and removed by deputies and animal shelter officials, he said.
“As they entered the home, they encountered an overwhelming odor of animal feces and urine,” the news release states. “There was animal feces and urine throughout the house.”
The woman is being investigated for 30 counts of animal cruelty charges — 16 class A misdemeanor charges for the dogs that died and 14 class B misdemeanor charges for the malnourished dogs, according to the news release.
Deputies previously visited the woman’s home in 2018 and removed 14 dogs, according to the sheriff’s office. She later was able to get four of those dogs back, the maximum allowed by Eagle Mountain city ordinances, the release states.