Yuma woman arrested for animal abuse, 9 dogs found emaciated

YUMA, Ariz. – Five puppies and four adult German Shepherds were brought into the Humane Society of Yuma last Friday. The Yuma Police Department’s Animal Control Unit found the neglected and abused dogs, living in horrible conditions outside a Yuma home. Police arrested 34-year-old Elodia Villegas and say the environment for these animals was inhumane.

“There was a lot of feces in the yard, there was a smell, there was a lot of flies, the dogs were in various stages of emaciation,” said Leanne Worthen with the Yuma Police Department.

Because of the dogs’ conditions, Villegas faces 17 counts of misdemeanor offenses related to animal cruelty. There are indications on the bodies of the dogs that they were physically abused, but the humane society is working with these animals to make sure that they will be adoptable soon.

“We hope to get them on the adoption floor within the next week or two they’re still under observation for medical and behavioral patterns that we’re looking for before they’re adoptable but it looks like we’re pretty hopeful,” said Lana Shapiro with the Humane Society of Yuma.
Officials from YPD and the Humane Society of Yuma say people need to make sure they are capable of caring for a pet before they adopt.
Villegas is out of jail without bail and awaits a court date.

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