Search warrant: 2 possible causes cited in Gilbert dog deaths - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, Florida-

Search warrant: 2 possible causes cited in Gilbert dog deaths

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"Nobody feels worse about these poor, special angel dogs than me and my husband," boarding facility owner MaLeisa Hughes said.  (Source: CBS 5 News) "Nobody feels worse about these poor, special angel dogs than me and my husband," boarding facility owner MaLeisa Hughes said. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Sherman and Parker, two of the 20 dogs who were found dead at the Gilbert boarding home. (Source: Shannon Gillette) Sherman and Parker, two of the 20 dogs who were found dead at the Gilbert boarding home. (Source: Shannon Gillette)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

CBS 5 News has obtained the search warrant associated with the animal cruelty investigation into the Green Acres Boarding Facility in Gilbert. 

In June, authorities believe 21 dogs died after the owners left them in the care of facility. 

The owners of the boarding kennel, MaLeisa and Todd Hughes, claimed the dogs died of heat exposure after a dog chewed through an air conditioner power cord where they were boarded.  

The couple was actually out of town and left the dogs in the care of their daughter, Logan Flake and her husband, Austin Flake, who is the son of Arizona Senator Jeff Flake.  

The search warrant indicates that investigators confiscated computers, cell phones and records associated with the operation of the facility. But they also took samples of Romex wiring from the small room where the dogs were found dead.   

[Click here to read the search warrant (PDF)]

[Click here to read the list of items seized (PDF)]

The search warrant indicates that the "dog room" has a well sealed exterior door. The door leading to a bedroom in the main house was sealed up with calking to prevent any air or smell to pass from the "dogs" room to the bedroom.  

Investigators also took samples of the room's insulation. The search warrant also reveals that seven of the 21 dogs were necropsied by a veterinarian. 

That doctor indicated that the dogs he examined died from two possible causes, heat-stroke or suffocation. In a written opinion by the animal doctor, which is included in the search warrant, he said the overcrowding in the small room with no ventilation or air conditioning likely caused a lack of oxygen and a build-up of carbon dioxide.

However, tissue, blood and stomach content samples were sent out for analysis to prove or disprove the possibility that the dogs were drugged.

Of the seven dogs necropsied, the vet said he found no evidence that any of the seven were electrocuted.  

The warrant also indicates that investigators found evidence that shows that Logan and Austin Flake were still taking in pets to watch at Green Acres, during and after the time frame that the dogs were reportedly already dead. 

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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    Friday, July 25 2014 11:24 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:24:35 GMT
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