(KFYI News) – Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies have arrested two women, in different parts of the Valley, on animal cruelty charges.
In one case, 61-year-old Heather Phillips was booked into jail Wednesday on suspicion of 27 counts of animal neglect. Three of those charges are felonies.
Investigators say 30 miniature horses were found suffering from poor medical care at Phillips' home in New River. They say the horses' hooves were in such bad condition that many could barely walk. Deputies seized 24 of the miniatures and took them for immediate veterinary care. One of them had to be euthanized.
In the other case, 55-year-old Sharon Weber was jailed on Tuesday on suspicion of 18 counts of animal cruelty. The Sheriff's office says she's a cat rescue volunteer who recently had at least 50 cats inside what the Sheriff's Office described as a million-dollar home in Fountain Hills. She had twice been warned to reduce the number of cats she had.
When deputies returned to the home on Tuesday, a deputy who has responded to numerous homicides and meth labs over the last 15 years described the scene as "far worse than any homicide scene I've seen."
Deputies had to call a hazmat team to clear out the home.