Animal Cruelty Charges in Green Acre Case to be Tossed Due to Bad Grand Jury Info

Jesse and Maleisa Hughes are still being charged with fraud, but animal-cruelty charges are to be dropped.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery announced today that animal cruelty charges will be dropped against the four suspects in the Green Acre dog-death case.

One count of fraud remains against Jesse and Maleisa Hughes, owners of the Gilbert boarding facility where at least 23 dogs died overnight in June, Montgomery's office says. Austin Flake, son of Arizona U.S. Senator Jeff Flake, and his wife, Logan, daughter of Maleisa Hughes, appear to be completely off the hook. All four were indicted by a grand jury in late October following months of speculation and frustration over potential criminal charges in the dogs' deaths.

Prosecutors will ask that the animal-cruelty charges be dismissed without prejudice, meaning they could be re-filed if new, incriminating information ever surfaces.

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Dustin Peck Admits to Shooting, Wounding Bulldog With .22 Birdshot, Cops Say

A Phoenix man admitted he shot his 1-year-old American bulldog in the hind leg with a .22-caliber rifle on Sunday night because he was "upset" with it, cops say.

The wounded dog was reportedly "extremely friendly and in good spirits" when cops arrived at the man's residence at 401 West Oraibi Drive.

It'll recover sooner than Dustin Peck, 27, will be out of legal trouble.

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Four Indicted in Green Acre Dog-Facility Deaths, Including Son of Senator Jeff Flake

A grand jury has indicted the four principal suspects, including the son of Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, in the deaths of more than 20 dogs at a Gilbert dog-boarding facility.

Austin Flake, his wife, Logan, and the owners of the facility, Jesse Todd and MaLeisa Hughes, now face multiple felony counts each and are scheduled to appear at a court hearing on October 23rd. It may be difficult to find a seat at that hearing, considering the public pillorying going on in this case. (Update: The October 23rd hearing has been postponed until October 29th.)

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Green Acre Dog Owners File Lawsuit Alleging Fraud by Senator Flake's Son, Others

Image: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
Dogs in the "Dog Room" at the Hughes' house.
The owners of 23 dogs found dead on June 19 at a home-boarding business in Gilbert are suing the four suspects in the related criminal case, including the son of Senator Jeff Flake.

Twenty-one people, represented by four local lawyers, filed a 23-page complaint today in Maricopa County Superior Court alleging they were defrauded by the owners of Green Acre Cage Free Dog Boarding, MaLeisa and Jesse "Todd" Hughes, MaLeisa Hughes' daughter, Logan Flake, and her husband, Austin.

The wide-ranging lawsuit alleges multiple acts including fraud, conspiracy, breach of contract and negligence, and details heart-wrenching tales of lies and betrayal that followed the deaths of numerous beloved pets.

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Bill Montgomery Lowers Expectations on Charging Decision in Green Acre Dog Deaths, Ticks Off Sheriff Arpaio

Image: Ray Stern
Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County Attorney: "We're not talking about the deaths of 23 children."
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery lowered expectations for charges in the Green Acre dog-death case this week, sparking a brief tiff with Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

A Republican elected in 2010 and 2012 with Arpaio's support, Montgomery apparently sounded too uppity for the sheriff in a news conference on Wednesday and in online comments.

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Phoenix Dog Attack Leaves Elderly Woman in Critical Condition


An elderly woman was attacked by five dogs at Phoenix's Barrios Unidos Park park early yesterday morning, police say.

The woman remains in extremely critical condition at a nearby hospital.

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Cockfighting Operation Busted in South Phoenix; 132 Roosters and Hens Seized

Yusuf IJsseldijk via Flickr

Two men have been arrested in connection with cockfights taking place in the backyard of their home near Seventh Street and Southern Avenue.

Ademir Avalos, 20, and his brother, Jesus, 24, face three counts each of animal cruelty, according to Phoenix police.

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Phoenix Man Hacked Off a Puppy's Ears with a Box Cutter

Silent Witness

A guy who offered to "crop" the ears of a dog-owner's pit bull ended up hacking off the puppy's entire ear flaps with scissors and a box cutter, police say.

Police haven't been able to identify the man, but a reward of up to $1,000 is being offered.

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10 Grossest Bestiality Cases in Arizona

Anderson Mancini via Flickr

There seems to be an especially high number of people who get caught having sex with animals in Arizona.

Just earlier this week, when authorities said a man who was just recently jailed for allegedly branding his initials into his girlfriend's vagina had been re-arrested for allegedly having sex with a dog, we were only a little surprised.

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Cat-Lovers Protest Outside Home of Accused Cat-Murderer

Dobson Woods Cat Murderer info via Facebook
Actual sign taped to light pole in Mesa last year.

If Scott Graham is responsible for all the missing cats in a Mesa neighborhood, then it's safe to say that he messed the wrong people's cats.

Now that Graham was sentenced to house arrest in the case -- which involved the murders of up to 40 cats -- people are protesting outside his home.

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