Apache Junction police investigating suspected animal-cruelty case

Inside the home in the 2300 block of East Scenic in Apache Junction. (Photo courtesy of Apache Junction Police Department)

Four dogs, seven tortoises, a pot-bellied pig, eight ducks, eight chickens, a pigeon, two snakes and a lizard, many underweight and suffering from lack of proper nutrition, were found in an Apache Junction home, police said.

An investigation was initiated when Animal Control Officer K.C. Sheahan was dispatched July 5 to the area of the 2300 block of East Scenic on a report of a loose German shepherd.

He followed the dog as it ran into a residence, according to a release.

Neighbors had claimed that the resident of the property had not been seen for two days, Rob McDaniel, Apache Junction Police Department’s community resource coordinator, said in the release.

“Many animals/reptile/fowl, ranging from poultry to tortoises to dogs, were found to be in a possible state of neglect. Additionally, observations of the property seemed to indicate a hoarding situation,” he said.

It was later determined the the owner was alive and well, but had left the property for an undetermined amount of time, he said in the release.

Over the next several days, a multi-department team and resources were assembled to execute a search warrant. On July 11 a search warrant was executed at 2344 E. Scenic St., which resulted in the seizure of more than 30 thirty animals, Mr. McDaniel said.

Members of AJPD, the city’s Code Compliance Office, park rangers, Paws and Claws Care Center, as well as representatives of the Phoenix Herpetological Society and the local farming community were involved, he said.

“All the animals/fowl/reptiles were found to be living in unsuitable conditions, the vast majority underweight and suffering from lack of proper nutrition,” Mr. McDaniel said.

Hoarding conditions found within the home are under review by the Apache Junction Code Compliance Office, he said.

The home’s owner, Vyle Raven-Greyv, 69, will be facing criminal charges including animal cruelty/neglect, Mr. McDaniel said in the release.

The Apache Junction Independent publishes a daily newsletter and website. A print edition is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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