Animal cruelty

Casa Grande Police allegedly found 90 dogs squeezed into a 700-square-foot residence. Two people have been charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty in the case. 

CASA GRANDE — Police are investigating a possible case of animal cruelty.

The department has forwarded the following charges against Michael Anthony Mills, 59, and Lila Kaye Crawford, 49, for review by the Pinal County Attorney’s Office: 59 counts of animal cruelty — neglect/abandonment, 59 counts of animal cruelty — failure to provide medical treatment, 59 counts of animal cruelty — infliction of physical injury, 59 counts of animal cruelty — reckless cruel mistreatment, eight counts of animal cruelty — neglect resulting in serious physical injury, and eight counts of animal cruelty — intentional cruel mistreatment.

According to the department, officers were called by Mills for a civil standby on Saturday at a home in the 100 block of West Viola Street. A civil standby is where an officer is present while two people exchange property, exchange custody of a child or a person enters a building, home or vehicle to retrieve property.

While officers were discussing the civil standby with Mills and Crawford, they discovered six dead dogs wrapped in towels and shirts sitting on the hood of a car.

Officers contacted city Animal Control and the remains of two other dogs were found on the property, one in a dumpster behind the home and the other just outside of the home.

Crawford allegedly told officers that she had another 20 dogs inside the approximately 700-square-foot home.

Officers found 90 dogs inside the home. About 28 of the dogs were in decent health but the other dogs were suffering from dehydration, hair loss, skin sores and bite wounds, according to police. All of the dogs were covered in feces.

Officers also found that several city of Casa Grande codes had been violated at the home involving licensing requirements, housing standards, pet limits and vaccinations.

Crawford voluntarily relinquished the dogs to Animal Control. The dogs have been fed, watered and bathed. The city’s animal care and adoption team is monitoring the dogs’ health and working on getting them ready for adoption.

The Casa Grande Roller Derby club is collecting animal care supplies in response to the dog-hoarding case.

The collection event will be held drive-thru style from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday in the parking lot of the club facility, 798 N. Picacho Ave. Among the items needed are: bleach, paper towels, laundry soap, towels and Diamond Naturals brand pet food.

Supplies will benefit the Valley Humane Society, the only no-kill animal shelter in Pinal County. Those who wish to make a financial contribution may make checks payable to Valley Humane Society.

“Please consider helping,” a flyer from CGRD said. “Due to an animal hoarding situation, our local no-kill shelter has had an influx of animals needing medical care and adoptive forever homes.”

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Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa is a reporter covering the city of Casa Grande and the surrounding area, as well as Central Arizona College. She can be reached at sadams@pinalcentral.com.

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