Utah police remove dozens of dogs from home, find dead ones in freezer

Mar 15, 2022, 11:01 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 9:03 pm

EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah — Utah County Sheriff’s deputies said Tuesday they were pushing prosecutors for more than two dozen animal cruelty charges against a woman after 30 dogs were found in filthy conditions inside her home, including 15 deceased dachshunds stored inside a freezer.

Sgt. Spencer Cannon said deputies initially received a call on March 3 from neighbors concerned that the 74-year-old woman, who apparently had fallen days earlier and was in the hospital, wasn’t able to care for the dogs known to be at the house.

“They went over to check on the dogs and they found what really can only be described as horrible, horrible conditions,” Cannon said.

Cannon said 14 dachshunds that appeared to be malnourished were living in the home and deputies found even more dogs that were deceased once they executed a search warrant.

“They found a total of 16 dogs that were dead — 15 of those were in Ziplock baggies or grocery bags inside of a freezer,” Cannon said. “They were the larger-type Ziploc bags that had names presumably of the dogs that were inside the bags.”

Cannon said it was unknown how the dogs died, but most of the deceased appeared to be young puppies.

“It’s just a tragic situation to see that kind of thing happen.”

According to Cannon, detectives handed over the case to the Utah County Attorney for screening and recommended 16 class A misdemeanor animal cruelty charges for the deceased dogs and 14 class B misdemeanor animal cruelty charges for those that were still living.

Deputies did not immediately disclose the woman’s name or the address of the home in Eagle Mountain.

Cannon said the surviving dogs were taken to a shelter in the county as evidence, but he said the hope was they could be adopted out at some point.

Investigators said they had been to the woman’s home once previously in 2018 under similar circumstances and removed 14 living dogs from the house. 4 were apparently allowed to remain there — the max according to city ordinances—while the others were taken by animal rescuers.

Cannon said it remained unknown why the woman chose to store the deceased dogs in the freezer.

“When you see that, you know, you expect to see cuddly little things rooting to nurse off their mother and not wrapped up in a Ziplock baggie with their name written on it,” Cannon said. “It’s disturbing. To say the very least, it’s disturbing.”

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Utah police remove dozens of dogs from home, find dead ones in freezer