An Arizona man has been arrested for allegedly stuffing 183 animals into his garage freezer — including some that were frozen alive after a woman reported she had lent the man snakes for breeding.
The dead animals were discovered at a home previously rented by Michael Patrick Turland, 43, in Golden Valley in the state’s far west, the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.
Deputies said they found the animals, including dogs, turtles, lizards, birds, snakes, mice, rats, and rabbits, stashed inside a “large-sized chest freezer.”
“Several of the animals appeared to have been frozen alive due to their body positioning,” the sheriff’s office said.
Authorities made the grim discovery on April 3 after a woman reported that Turland hadn’t returned several snakes she had lent him for breeding several months earlier.
The woman told deputies the homeowner contacted her after finding the frozen animals while cleaning out the property after Turland and his wife had left and moved out of state.
Turland was taken into custody Wednesday after deputies were told he had returned to the rental property.
“When interviewed, Turland eventually admitted to placing some of the animals in the freezer when they were still alive,” the sheriff’s office said.
He is facing 94 counts of felony animal cruelty.