Gilbert Kennel Owners Enter Plea In Dog Deaths

By Heather van Blokland
Published: Friday, July 1, 2016 - 7:58am
Updated: Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - 12:10pm

The owners of a Gilbert kennel where 21 dogs died of heat exhaustion will serve less than a month in jail.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office said Thursday that Jesse and Maleisa Hughes pleaded guilty to one count of facilitation to commit fraudulent schemes and artifices and one count of cruelty to animals.

Under the plea agreement, they will each serve 23 days. Sentencing is scheduled for September 9th

Authorities found the dogs dead in late June. Austin Flake, son of Senator Jeff Flake, and his wife Logan, daughter of the kennel owners, were taking care of the dogs at Green Acres Dog Boarding while the owners were on vacation. The couple filed a lawsuit last year against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the county, alleging that the lawman pursued animal cruelty charges against him to politically damage to the senator and gain publicity.