150 healthy, happy dogs found living with homeless family in Arizona desert

 KTVK/KPHO/Gray News - SURPRISE, Ariz. Officials in Arizona discovered a homeless family living in a makeshift campground with 150 dogs. 

Last week, authorities found a strange hoarding scenario off of U.S. 60 in the city of Surprise. 

Last week, Elli Smith, the Phoenix resident and creator of Sky Sanctuary Rescue, received a call about a critical situation in the Northwest Valley. Help was needed for a family and their 150 dogs who had been living in the desert on state land but were being evicted. 

Smith concluded that "the whole thing was sad." Because it's good "for the animals and for people." 

For nearly a year, the dogs and their owners had been braving the scorching heat and violent monsoons. Surprisingly, the dogs seemed to be in decent shape when the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and animal rescue personnel arrived. 

"It was incredibly startling," said Sky Sanctuary Rescue director Caitlin Beall. People were fed, smiling, and chatting when we arrived. Animals are usually highly fearful, but the fact that these ones weren't is a clear indication of how much care was taken. 

For the purpose of getting them healthy and adopted out, 55 of the canines were taken in by Sky Sanctuary Rescue. It was roughly five times as many dogs as the rescue usually takes in at once. 

The remainder of the animals at the desert compound were adopted out by the sheriff's office. 

Smith remarked, "That day was tough, but this is when the real work starts." Now we need to get the animals checked out by a vet and locate homes for them all in need of temporary care. It's imperative that we have the means to care for all of these animals until they find permanent homes. Volunteers who can take care of them and adopt them are essential. 

The shelter acknowledged that many of the dogs have medical needs, but said these issues shouldn't preclude them from finding permanent homes. 

A representative for the sheriff has stated that the family who owned the dogs would not be prosecuted and that they have already found a new residence. That their pets will follow suit is the current plan. 

No information on the family or the circumstances surrounding their predicament were provided by authorities. 

It's shocking to see folks who have all they need nevertheless fail to properly care for their animals, as Smith put it. The sight of homeless individuals taking such wonderful care of animals despite having so little themselves was incredibly moving. 

Visit this site to learn how you can aid the dogs: 

Donations can be made at: Skysanctuaryrescue.org/donate. 

If you're interested in adopting or fostering, please visit skysanctuaryrescue.org/applications. 

URL: skysanctuaryrescue.org 

Follow us on Twitter at @skysanctuaryrescue! 

Many of the canines were also taken in by MASH in Maricopa County. You can assist by doing the following: 

Here is the link to the Amazon Wish List for the MCSO MASH Unit:

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