An Arizona man has been charged with animal cruelty after finding 183 dead dogs, rabbits, birds and other animals in a freezer, some of which were probably frozen alive, according to officials.
The sheriff’s office said in a statement Thursday that deputies and animal control officers discovered the craters in a garage freezer on April 3 when a woman reported that Michael Patrick Tarland, 43, had failed to return the snakes he had borrowed for breeding. Turland previously rented a property in the Golden Valley, a rural town in far western Arizona, where the freezer was found.
Dogs, turtles, lizards, birds, snakes, rats, mice and rabbits were among the frozen animals, according to the statement.
“Several animals seem to be frozen alive because of their body position.” The sheriff’s office said they were kept in a “large book freezer.”
While cleaning up after Turland and his wife left, the homeowner apparently discovered frozen animals. According to the statement, the owner later contacted the woman, who later informed the sheriff’s office.
According to the agency, Tarland was arrested at his home on Wednesday after receiving information that deputies had returned to the property.
“Upon being interviewed, Tarland finally admitted to keeping some of the animals in the freezer while they were still alive,” the statement said.
Tarland, who was arrested on 94 counts of animal cruelty, had no counsel listed on court records who could comment on his behalf.
Image Credit: AP and Getty
You read: Arizona panicked when police found hundreds of animals crammed into a “large chest freezer.”