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Green Acre kennel owners sentenced to jail for deaths of 23 dogs


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jesse-and-maleisa-hughes-betterIn Gilbert, Arizona, kennel owners  were sentenced to jail on Friday after having been convicted of animal cruelty in the heat exhaustion deaths of 23 dogs, reports the AZCentral.

Jesse Todd Hughes and Maleisa Maurine Hughes were sentenced to staggered 60-day jail terms in a case that drew national attention in June 2014 when the kennel’s air conditioning failed, resulting in the deaths of the dogs. The dogs died in a 9-by-12-foot room at the Green Acre Kennel while the Hughes were on vacation in Florida and had left the kennel in the care of Hughes’ college aged daughter and her then husband Austin Flake, the son of U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona).  Green Acre Dog Boarding had been advertised as a “Disneyland for Dogs,” where the animals could roam freely; tragically that was not to be the case.

The couple were also sentenced to six years of supervised probation and 230 hours of community service. During their two consecutive three-year terms of probation, they are banned from acquiring new animals, working at a boarding business or posting about the case on social media.  Just before the judge handed down the sentence, the couple apologized to the dog owners:

“We are sorry about this. We have lived this every day for the last two-plus years,” Jesse Hughes stated to the court. And as Maleisa cried, she also addressed the dog owners. “I would do anything to take away their pain. I want these guys to be able to forgive us and get some closure. That’s why I pleaded guilty.”

Originally the Hughes claimed the dogs had chewed through a wire connection to the air conditioner, however an expert later determined the air conditioning unit had not been properly maintained resulting in its failure and the death of the dogs. The couple pleaded guilty earlier this year to multiple charges of animal cruelty and the facilitation to commit fraudulent schemes.

Many of the dog owners attended the sentencing and made highly emotional pleas to the judge for a tougher sentence stating their dogs were members of their families, accusing Jesse of lying to them about the number of dogs boarded at any one time and telling owners their dogs had run away, when in fact the dogs had died. The heartbreaking photos of their dogs now dead affected the entire courtroom as the victims told the judge how they have been impacted at the loss of  their companions.

Charges were dropped against Logan Brown, Hughes’ daughter and Austin Flake.

The couple will serve their jail sentence in the Tent City Jail.

(Photos via Facebook and AbcNews screenshot)

  1. Barkley's Mom
    Barkley's Mom says:

    I am trying to figure out why charges were dropped against the daughter and her boyfriend. They were actually the ones left in charge and the dogs died on their watch. The situation was bad enough but to try to cover it up by lying and saying the dogs had run away is unconscionable. They certainly deserved more of a punishment than this but I suppose it’s better than nothing. My heart goes out to the dog owners who lost their dogs like this. I can’t imagine the heartbreak!

    Reply
  2. rieann
    rieann says:

    this is still bullshit the pieces of walking shit got 60-day jail terms JOKE JOKE fucking loser judges and lawyers need to grow a fucking heart you fucks, hope one day you all get yours……. and give these kinds of lowlifes what they deserve

    Reply
  3. Penny's Dachshund
    Penny's Dachshund says:

    60 Whole DAYS!!!! They will have to go to the BAHAMA’s TO RECOVER FROM THE TRAMA!!! While those poor, unfortunate , dogs that WENT ON their DISNEY LAND BOARDING EXPERIENCE died one HORRIFIC DEATH ALL 23 OF THEM and the JUDICAL SYSTEM in Gillbert Az. think this is JUSTICE for the DOGS SUFFERING!!!
    Well , think ! I MEAN REALLY THINK AGAIN!!!!!! WOW

    Reply
  4. LINDA
    LINDA says:

    WHAT IS WITH THE HUMANS OF TODAY AND ANIMALS , THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO LIVE, SO WHY IS THAT THE HUMANS CAN KILL ANIMALS AND HUMANS CANT KILL HUMANS. THERE IS NO JUSTICE FOR ANIMALS OF ANY KIND THAT CAN HAVE A LOVING LIFE WITH A FAMILY TO LOVE THEM JUSTICE SYSTEM TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT YOURSELFS AND PUT YOURSELF IN THE ANIMALS POSITION L.B.

    Reply
  5. edward nagle
    edward nagle says:

    They killed f****** 23 dogs that were prized possessions of owners like that one man said family and this judge give them 60 days but he’s a f****** a****** a f****** a****** judge 60 f****** days and probation are you f****** stupid God Almighty I know you can have pets your honor you should have gave him 6 hours same s*** do yourself a favor take yourself off the bench you’re not fit to be a judge 60 days that’s two months judge how can you go home at night sleep with yourself knowing you put that sunshine 23 Anderson animals were killed

    Reply
  6. KATHY
    KATHY says:

    If the maximum the law allows is 60 days, at the very least the sentence should be 60 days per dog even then it is still outrageous.

    Reply

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