Owner of Gilbert dog facility confronts mourners - Tucson News Now

CAUGHT ON TAPE

Owner of Gilbert dog facility confronts mourners

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A memorial growing next door to Green Acre Cage Free Dog Boarding in Gilbert, where more than 20 dogs were found dead in June, has created tension between mourners and the owner. (Source: CBS 5 News) A memorial growing next door to Green Acre Cage Free Dog Boarding in Gilbert, where more than 20 dogs were found dead in June, has created tension between mourners and the owner. (Source: CBS 5 News)
GILBERT, AZ (CBS5) -

A memorial is growing next door to the Green Acre Cage Free Dog Boarding facility in Gilbert, where more than 20 dogs were found dead in June, and it has created some tension between mourners and the owner of the facility.

People have been coming by day after day, leaving flowers, dog toys and messages of condolence as a way to pay their respects to the dogs' families.

But Green Acre owner MaLeisa Hughes told CBS 5 News off camera Wednesday she feels they're only there to harass her.

When the reporter asked Hughes to justify her concerns with examples, she walked away.

On Monday, one mourner videotaped Hughes as she confronted people visiting the memorial in her neighbor's front yard.

"This isn't where they died," Hughes said to Tom Anderson about the dogs that allegedly perished in her care. "This is just a display for attention."

Anderson said Hughes proceeded to take pictures of the visitors and their license plates.

"We are doing what the sheriff's department told us to do because we are in fear for our lives," Hughes yelled at the crowd.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said there have been 28 calls for service to the Green Acre boarding facility, where the Hughes' home is also located, since June 21.

Nine of those calls came from the Hughes' household, and four of them were about threats against the family.

"We have been threatened to have our house burned down," Hughes shouted to a crowd on Monday. "We have been threatened that they will kill my children - that my children will all be shot."

Anderson can be heard on camera wondering, as several of Hughes' children surrounded her, "She's fearful for her kids, yet has them out here parading around – ranting?"

But Anderson and the steady stream of people who continue to visit the memorial insist they are not there to bother the Hughes family.

"I don't think anybody would come here to harass her," said Daphne Patrick whose children dropped off stuffed animals at the memorial Wednesday. "We're here to pay our respects to the families of the lost dogs and the dogs."

Steve Guenther who traveled from his home south of Maricopa with his two dogs also said he was there to support the families who've lost their pets.

"They're (Hughes) supposedly as distraught over this as everybody else is," he said. "That means we're all ultimately on the same side. But it's sad."

The Hughes' next-door neighbor said the sheriff's office was called after Monday's confrontation, and Hughes has been warned to stay off of his property.

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

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