The LawSeveral individuals have been indicted on charges of animal cruelty in a Phoenix, Arizona, suburb, and one of them is the son of a United States senator. The individuals were charged in relation to 21 dogs that died at a canine-boarding kennel in June.

The two owners of the kennel were charged with 22 felony counts in addition to seven misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. They were further charged with a single count of fraud relating to what took place in a close-quartered room at their Green Acre kennel. According to authorities, the animals died as a result of the room's conditions, which led to overheating and suffocation in the tragic incident.

Some Pet Owners Were Told Their Dogs Ran Away

Two other caretakers at the boarding facility, one of whom is the son of United States Senator Jeff Flake, have been charged with seven misdemeanor and 21 felony counts of animal cruelty relating to the incident. The two caretakers were left to care for the animals while the kennel owners were visiting Florida. Allegedly, some of the owners of the pets were lied to about what happened to their dogs and told that they had simply run away.

The caretakers indicated that it was an accident and that the power had gone out in the area where the dogs were staying. They were not aware how long the power had been cut before they eventually checked on the animals. Upon investigation, authorities say that they found an area of the wall that had been chewed through, where exposed wiring may have been affected.

Some Dog Owners Are Pursing Damages in Court

In addition to the criminal charges, some of the dog owners have banded together to file civil claims against the kennel owners and caretakers, saying that they committed neglect and fraud. Civil lawsuits relating to pet injuries are different from personal injury cases. However, in some situations, pet owners can recoup damages in court if their animal has been severely injured or killed due to another person’s negligence or illegal actions.