By Jesse Byrnes - 06/24/14 03:00 PM EDT
Twenty dogs allegedly in the care of Sen. Jeff Flake’s son were found dead in a shed in Arizona on Friday.
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said 20 dogs died from overheating in the Green Acre boarding facility after a dog chewed through a wire for the air-conditioning for the part of the home where the animals were kept, according to Fox 10 in Phoenix.
The senator's son, Austin, and daughter-in-law were watching the property while owners Todd and MaLeisa Hughes, who operate the boarding service out of their home, were out of town, Fox reported.
A spokesman for the sheriff's office said the dogs were left unattended between 11 p.m. Thursday and 5:30 a.m. Friday. The temperature was over 100 degrees by the time the Flakes found the dogs, MaLeisa Hughes said on CNN.
On Sunday, MaLeisa Hughes told The Arizona Republic the deaths were “truly an accident” and she and her husband were “heartbroken.”
The Facebook page “The Tragedy at Green Acre Dog Boarding Gilbert, AZ,” created Saturday to demand justice for the dogs, has gained nearly 10,000 likes.
The boarding facility has received 42 negative Yelp reviews since the accident, garnering the dog home a 1-star rating.